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He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And ʼmid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
YOUTH AND AGE
VERSE, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
When I was young ?--Ah, woful when!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands
How lightly then it flash'd along:
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
0! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here.
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be, that Thou art gone !
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on
To make believe that Thou art gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this alter'd size:
But Springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes !
Life is but Thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are housemates still.
Dew-drops are' the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve
When we are old:
_That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest
That may not rudely be dismist,
Yet hath out-stay'd his welcome while.
And tells the jest without the smile.
ALL thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve !
She lean'd against the arméd man,
The statue of the arméd knight;
She stood and listen'd to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope ! my joy! my Genevieve !
She loves me best, whene'er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a fitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love
Interpreted my own.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face !
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade
There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!
And that unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land;
And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees;
And how she tended him in vain;
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;
And that she nursed him in a cave,
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay;