A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
   From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
   Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
   Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
   And loves, and weeps, and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.

O write no more the tale of Troy,
   If earth Death’s scroll must be—
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
   Which dawns upon the free,
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,
   And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
   The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.

Saturn and Love their long repose
   Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
   Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.

O cease! must hate and death return?
   Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
   Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past—
O might it die or rest at last!

615   To a Skylark

           HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
              Bird thou never wert—
           That from heaven or near it
              Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

           Higher still and higher
              From the earth thou springest,
           Like a cloud of fire;
              The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
           In the golden light’ning
              Of the sunken sun,
           O’er which clouds are bright’ning,
              Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
           The pale purple even
              Melts around thy flight;
           Like a star of heaven,
              In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight—
           Keen as are the arrows
              Of that silver sphere
           Whose intense lamp narrows
              In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
           All the earth and air
              With thy voice is loud,
           As, when night is bare,
              From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow’d
           What thou art we know not;
              What is most like thee?
           From rainbow clouds there flow not
              Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody:—
           Like a poet hidden
              In the light of thought,
           Singing hymns unbidden,
              Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

           Like a high-born maiden
              In a palace tower,
           Soothing her love-laden
              Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

           Like a glow-worm golden
              In a dell of dew,
           Scattering unbeholden
              Its aëerial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

           Like a rose embower’d
              In its own green leaves,
           By warm winds deflower’d,
              Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingàd thieves:

           Sound of vernal showers
              On the twinkling grass,
           Rain-awaken’d flowers—
              All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh—thy music doth surpass.

           Teach us, sprite or bird,
              What sweet thoughts are thine:
           I have never heard
              Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

           Chorus hymeneal,
              Or triumphal chant,
           Match’d with thine would be all
              But an empty vaunt—
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

           What objects are the fountains
              Of thy happy strain?
           What fields, or waves, or mountains?
              What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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