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In the long-deserted hall,
In dead beauty's withered bower,
That makes glad the fleeting hour;
Closer cling we unto those
Who must leave us
Henry Glassford Bell.
IN every village marked with little spire,
Embowered in trees, and hardly known to fame, There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire, A matron old, whom we schoolmistress name, Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame; They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent, Awed by the power of this relentless dame, And ofttimes, on vagaries idly bent, For unkempt hair, or task unconned, are sorely slent.
And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,
And work the simple vassals mickle woe;
So have I seen (who has not, may conceive)
Near to this dome is found a patch so green
Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwined,
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
In some melodious plot
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delvéd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainéd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :
But here there is no light,
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine ;
Fast-fading violets covered up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
In such an ecstasy!
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird !
No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown :
The same that ofttimes hath
Of perilous seas, in fairy-lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.