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ODE

Bards of Passion and of Mirth,

Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new?
Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon;
With the noise of fountains wond'rous,
And the parle of voices thund'rous;
With the whisper of heaven's trees
And one another, in soft ease
Seated on Elysian lawns

Brows'd by none but Dian's fawns;
Underneath large bluebells tented,
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on earth is not;
Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, tranced thing,
But divine melodious truth;
Philosophic numbers smooth;
Tales and golden histories
Of heaven and its mysteries.

Thus ye live on high, and then

On the earth ye live again;
And the souls ye left behind you
Teach us, here, the way to find you
Where your other souls are joying,
Never slumber'd, never cloying.
Here, your earth-born souls still speak

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To mortals, of their little week;

Of their sorrows and delights;

Of their passions and their spites;

Of their glory and their shame;

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What doth strengthen and what maim. Thus ye teach us, every day,

Wisdom, though fled far away.

Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Ye have souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new!

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"She found me roots of relish sweet, And honey wild, and manna-dew, And sure in language strange she said 'I love thee true.'

"She took me to her elfin grot,

JOHN KEATS

And there she wept and sigh'd full sore, And there I shut her wild, wild eyes, With kisses four.

And there I dream'd

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"And there she lulled me asleep,

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- ah! woe betide!

The latest dream I ever dream'd

On the cold hill's side.

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The poetry of earth is never dead:

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When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;

That is the Grasshopper's - he takes the lead

In summer luxury, he has never done 6 With his delights; for when tired out with fun

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, when the frost 10 Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,

The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

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Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, And seal the hushed casket of my soul.

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When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,

Before high piled books, in charact'ry,

Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain; When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face, 5 Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, 10 Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love! - then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

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Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep; and such are daffodils 15 With the green world they live in; and clear rills

That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose
blooms:

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms 20
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

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"This river does not see the naked sky, 540 Till it begins to progress silverly Around the western border of the wood, Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood Seems at the distance like a crescent moon: And in that nook, the very pride of June, 545 Had I been us'd to pass my weary eyes; The rather for the sun unwilling leaves So dear a picture of his sovereign power, And I could witness his most kingly hour, When he doth tighten up the golden reins, 550 And paces leisurely down amber plains His snorting four. Now when his chariot last Its beams against the zodiac-lion 1 cast,

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much;

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636 Methought I fainted at the charmed touch, Yet held my recollection, even as one Who dives three fathoms where the waters run Gurgling in beds of coral: for anon, I felt upmounted in that region Where falling stars dart their artillery forth, And eagles struggle with the buffeting north That balances the heavy meteor-stone; Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone; But lapp'd and lull'd along the dangerous sky. Soon, as it seem'd, we left our journeying high, And straightway into frightful eddies swoop'd; Such as ay muster where grey time has scoop'd Huge dens and caverns in a mountain's side: There hollow sounds arous'd me, and I sigh'd To faint once more by looking on my bliss I was distracted; madly did I kiss The wooing arms which held me, and did give My eyes at once to death: but 'twas to live, To take in draughts of life from the gold fount Of kind and passionate looks; to count, and

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The moments, by some greedy help that seem'd
A second self, that each might be redeem'd
And plunder'd of its load of blessedness. 660
Ah, desperate mortal! I e'en dar'd to press
Her very cheek against my crowned lip,
And, at that moment, felt my body dip
Into a warmer air: a moment more,
Our feet were soft in flowers. There was store
Of newest joys upon that alp. Sometimes 666
A scent of violets, and blossoming limes,
Loiter'd around us; then of honey cells,
Made delicate from all white-flower bells;
And once, above the edges of our nest, 670
An arch face peep'd, an Oread as I guess'd.

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I have no comfort for thee, no, not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God; 56
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands.
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on : - O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep.'

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