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Oh, Attic shape! Fair attitude ! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed ;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral ! When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other wo Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st “ Beauty is truth, truth beauty ;" that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
ODE TO PSYCHE.
Oh, goddess ! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, And pardon that thy secrets should be sung,
Even into thine own soft-couched ear: Surely I dream'd to day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes ! I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
And on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof
A brooklet, scarce espied :
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
The winged boy I knew;
His Psyche true!
Oh, latest-born and loveliest vision far
Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy!
Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
Nor altar heap'd with flowers ;
Upon the midnight hours ;
From chain-swung censer teeming;
of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming. Oh brightest! though too late for antique vows,
Too, too late for the fond believing lyre, When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
Holy the air, the water, and the fire ; Yet even in these days, so far retired
From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
Upon the midnight hours ;
From swinged censer teeming ;
Of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming.
In some untrodden region of my mind, [pain, Where branched thoughts, new-grown with pleasant
Instead of pines, shall murmur in the wind : Far, far around shall these dark-cluster'd trees
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep; And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull’d to sleep;
With the wreathed trellis of a working brain,
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name, With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
Who, breeding flowers, will never breed the same; And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win,
To let the warm Love in !
PERCY BYSSUE SHELLEY. 1792-1822. FROM “ALASTOR, OR THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE." There was a poet whose untimely tomb No human hands with pious reverence reard, But the charmid eddies of autumnal winds Built o'er his mouldering bones a pyramid of mouldering leaves in the waste wilderness; A lovely youth! no mourning maiden deck'd With weeping flowers, or votive cypress wreath, The lone couch of his everlasting sleep: Gentle, and brave, and generous, no lorn bard Breathed o'er his dark fate one melodious sigh: He lived, he died, he sung in solitude. Strangers have wept to hear his passionate notes, And virgins, as unknown he pass'd, have sigh'd And wasted for fond love of his wild eyes. The fire of those sost orbs has ceased to burn, And Silence, too enamour'd of that voice, Locks its mute music in her rugged cell.
By solemn vision and bright silver dream His infancy was nurtured. Every sight And sound from the vast earth and ambient air Sent to his heart its choicest impulses. The fountains of divine philosophy Fled not his thirsting lips; and all of great, VOL. II.-0
Or good, or lovely, which the sacred past
His wandering step,
Where stood Jerusalem, the fallen towers
Meantime an Arab maiden brought his food, Her daily portion, from her father's tent, And spread her matting for his couch, and stole From duties and repose to tend his steps: Enamour'd, yet not daring for deep awe To speak her love: and watch'd his nightly sleep, Sleepless herself, to gaze upon his lips, Parted in slumber, whence the regular breath of innocent dreams arose : then, when red morn Made paler the pale moon, to her cold home, Wilder'd, and wan, and panting, she return'd.
When on the threshold of the green recess The wanderer's footsteps fell, he knew that death Was on him. Yet a little, ere it fled, Did he resign his high and holy soul To images of the majestic past, That paused within his passive being now,