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ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

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III.

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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 gray 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.

IV.

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.

V.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs ; But, in embalmèd 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.

VI.

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 musèd 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.

VII.

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 alien corn ;

The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

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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 ?

KEATS.

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AUTUMN.

WHEN autumn, bleak and sunburnt, do appear,
With his gold hand gilting the falling leaf,
Bringing up winter to fulfil the year,
Bearing upon his back the riped sheaf;

When all the hills with woody seed are white,
When levying fires, and lemes, do meet from far the sight :

When the fair apple, rudde as even sky,
Do bend the tree unto the fructile ground;
When juicy pears, and berries of black dye,
Do dance in air and call the eyne around;

Then, be the even foul, or even fair,
Methinks
my heartes joy is stained with some care.

CHATTERTON.

EARTH AND HEAVEN.

Hast thou not seen, impatient boy,

Hast thou not read the solemn truth,
That gray experience writes for giddy youth

On every mortal joy ?
Pleasure must be dash'd with pain ;

And yet, with heedless haste,

The thirsty boy repeats the taste,
Nor hearkens to despair, but tries the bowl again.
The rills of pleasure never run sincere :

Earth has no unpolluted spring,
From the cursed soil some dangerous taint they bear;
So roses grow on thorns, and honey wears a sting.

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In vain we seek a heaven below the sky ;

The world has false but flattering charms;
Its distant joys show big in our esteem,
But lessen still as they draw near the eye :

In our embrace the visions die ;
And when we grasp the airy forms,

We lose the pleasing dream.

Earth, with her scenes of gay delight,
Is but a landscape rudely drawn,
With glaring colours and false light :
Distance commends it to the sight,

For fools to gaze upon ;

KINDNESS OF YOUTH.

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But bring the nauseous daubing nigh, Coarse and confused the hideous figures lie, Dissolve the pleasure, and offend the eye.

Look up, my soul, pant toward th'eternal hills ;

Those heavens are fairer than they seem ;
There pleasures all sincere glide on in crystal rills,
There not a dreg of guilt defiles,

Nor grief disturbs the stream.
That Canaan knows no noxious thing,

No cursed soil, no tainted spring,
Nor roses grow on thorns, nor honey wears a sting.

WATTS.

KINDNESS OF YOUTH.

Ah, then, what honest triumph flush'd my breast ! This truth once known-To bless is to be blest ! We led the bending beggar on his way (Bare were his feet, his tresses silver-gray) ; Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt, And on his tale with mute attention dwelt. As in his scrip we dropt our little store, And wept to think that little was no more, He breathed his prayer, “ Long may such goodness live !" 'Twas all he gave, 'twas all he had to give.

ROGERS.

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