alien corn;
        The same that ofttimes hath
   Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
     Of perilous seas, in faery 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.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
   Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
     Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
        In the next valley-glades:
   Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
     Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?

632   Ode on a Grecian Urn

THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,
   Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
   A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
   Of deities or mortals, or of both,
     In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
        What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
   What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
     What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
   Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
   Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
   Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
     Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
        Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
   She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
     For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
   Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unweariàd,
   For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
   For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
     For ever panting and for ever young;
        All breathing human passion far above,
   That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
     A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
   To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
   And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
   Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
     Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
        And, little town, thy streets for evermore
   Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
     Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O 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 woe
        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.’

633   Ode to Psyche

O 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-conchàd ear:
Surely I dream’d to-day, or did I see
   The wingàd Psyche with awaken’d eyes?
     I wander’d in a forest thoughtlessly,
    And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couchàd side by side
   In deepest grass, beneath the whisp’ring roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
       A brooklet, scarce espied:
’Mid hush’d, cool-rooted flowers fragrant-eyed,
    Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
    Their arms embracàd, and their pinions too;
    Their lips touch’d not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoinàd by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
    At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
        The wingàd boy I knew;
    But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
        His Psyche true!

O latest-born and loveliest vision far
   Of all Olympus’ faded hierarchy!
Fairer than Phœbe’s sapphire- region’d star,
   Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
       Nor altar heap’d with flowers;
Nor Virgin-choir to make delicious moan
      Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
   From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
   Of pale-mouth’d prophet dreaming.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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