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Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,
Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingéd thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened 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,

Matched 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?

With thy clear, keen joyance
Languor cannot be :

Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:

Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.


Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem

Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream;

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought,

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;

If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound;

Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.



To the Cuckoo.

HAIL, beauteous stranger of the grove!

Thou messenger of Spring! Now heaven repairs thy rural seat, And woods thy welcome sing.

Soon as the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear.
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year?

Delightful visitant! with thee

I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers.

The school-boy, wandering through the wood
To pull the primrose gay,

Starts, thy most curious voice to hear,
And imitates thy lay.

What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,

An annual guest in other lands,
Another Spring to hail.

Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;

Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year!

Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Attendants on the Spring.


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Yes! where are the cities.
Of Thebes and of Tyre?—
Swept from the nations,

Like sparks from the fire!
The glory of Athens,

The splendor of Rome,
Dissolved-and forever--
Like dew in thy foam !

But thou art almighty

Twin-brother of Time!
Fleets, tempests, nor nations
Thy glory can bow;

As the stars first beheld thee,
Still chainless art thou!

But hold! when thy surges
No longer shall roll,
And that firmament's length

Is drawn back like a scroll;
Then--then shall the spirit
That sighs by thee now,
Be more mighty, more lasting,
More chainless than thou!


The Beautiful River.


IKE a foundling in slumber, the summer-day lay
On the crimsoning threshold of even,

And I thought that the glow through the azure-arched way Was a glimpse of the coming of Heaven.

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