Mounted on panthers’ furs and lions’ manes,
From rear to van they scour about the plains;
A three days’ journey in a moment done;
And always, at the rising of the sun,
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn.
         On spleenful unicorn.

I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown
         Before the vine-wreath crown !
I saw parch’d Abyssinia rouse and sing
         To the silver cymbals’ ring !
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
         Old Tartary the fierce !
The kings of Ind their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearlàd hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
         And all his priesthood moans,
Before young Bacchus’ eye-wink turning pale.
Into these regions came I, following him,
Sick-hearted, weary—so I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear,
         Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

         Young Stranger !
         I’ve been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime;
         Alas ! ’tis not for me !
         Bewitch’d I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.
         Come then, Sorrow,
         Sweetest Sorrow !
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
         I thought to leave thee,
         And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.
         There is not one,
         No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
         Thou art her mother,
         And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade.

631   Ode to a Nightingale

MY 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:
’Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
   But being too happy in the happiness,
     That thou, light-wingàd Dryad of the trees,
        In some melodious plot
   Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
     Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
   Cool’d a long age in the deep-delvàd 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-stainàd 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;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
   Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
     Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
        And leaden-eyed despairs;
   Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
     Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
   Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
   Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
   And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
     Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
        But here there is no light,
   Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
     Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
   Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmàd darkness, guess each sweet
   Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
   White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
     Fast-fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
        And mid-May’s eldest child,
   The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
     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,
Call’d him soft names in many a musàd rhyme,
   To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
   To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
     While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
        In such an ecstasy!
   Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
     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:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
   Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
     She stood in tears amid the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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