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As the flames of sacrifice
Noon descends around me now; 'Tis the noon of autumn's glow, When a soft and purple mist, Like a vaporous amethyst, Or an air-dissolved star, Mingling light and fragrance, far From the curv'd horizon's bound To the point of heaven's profound, Fills the overflowing sky; And the plains that silent lie Underneath ; leaves unsodden, Where the infant frost has trodden With his morning-wingéd feet, Whose bright print is gleaming yet; And the red and golden vines, Piercing with their trellised lines The rough dark skirted wilderness ; The dim and bladed grass, no less, Pointing from this hoary tower In the windless air; the flower Glimmering at my feet; the line Of the olive-sandalled Apennine, In the south dimly islanded ; And the Alps, whose snows are spread High between the clouds and sun; And of living things each one; And my spirit, which so long Darkened this swift stream of song, Interpenetrated lie By the glory of the sky; Be it love, light, harmony, Odour, or the soul of all, Which from heaven like dew doth fall, Or the mind which feeds this verse Peopling the lone universe.
John Keats. 1796-1821. (Manual, p. 443.)
300. FROM ODE TO AUTUMN.' Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store ?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind ;
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers : And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook ;
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours. Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barréd clouds bloom the soft dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river shallows, borne aloft,
Or sinking, as the light wind lives or dies ;
Hedge-crickets sing ; and now, with treble soft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
301. FROM HYPERION.'
As with us mortal men, the laden heart
There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines
like organ, that begins anew
grew it up—“Not in my own sad breast, Which is its own great judge and searcher out, Can I find reason why ye should be thus : Not in the legends of the first of days, Studied from that old spirit-leaved book Which starry Uranus with finger bright Sav'd from the shores of darkness, when the waves Low-ebb'd still hid it up in shallow gloom ;And the which book ye know I ever kept For my firm-based footstool :-Ah, infirm! Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent Of element, earth, water, air, and fire, At war, at peace, or inter-quarreling One against one, or two, or three, or all Each several one against the other three, As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods Drown both, and press them both against earth's face, Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath Unhinges the poor world ;—not in that strife, Wherefrom I take strange lore, and read it deep, Can I find reason why ye should be thus : No, nowhere can unriddle, though I search, And pore on Nature's universal scroll Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities, The first-born of all shap'd and palpable Gods, Should cower beneath what, in comparison, Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here, O’erwhelm'd, and spurn'd, and batter'd, ye are here! O Titans, shall I say 'Arise!'-Ye groan : Shall I say · Crouch !'~Ye groan. What can I then ? O Heaven wide! O unseen parent dear! What can I ? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods,
How we can war, how engine our great wrath!
302. 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-fring’d 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;
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
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 ;
For ever piping songs for ever new;
For ever panting, and for ever young;
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
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,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn ?
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. O Attic shape ! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is all
303. FROM ‘ENDYMION.'
Eterne Apollo! that thy sister fair