'How far less blest am I than them!
Daily to pine and waste with care!
Like the poor plant, that, from its stem
Divided, feels the chilling air.

'My spirits flag-my hopes decay-
Still that dread death-bell smites my ear:
And many a boding seems to say,
Countess, prepare, thy end is near !'

Thus sore and sad that Lady grieved
In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear ;
And many a heartfelt sigh she heaved,
And let fall many a bitter tear.

And ere the dawn of day appear'd,
In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear,
Full many a piercing scream was heard,
And many a cry of mortal fear.

The death-bell thrice was heard to ring;
An aerial voice was heard to call,
And thrice the raven flapp'd its wing
Around the towers of Cumnor Hall.

The mastiff howl'd at village door,
The oaks were shatter'd on the green;
Woe was the hour-for never more
That hapless Countess e'er was seen!

And in that manor now no more

Is cheerful feast and sprightly ball: For ever since that dreary hour

Have spirits haunted Cumnor Hall.

The village maids, with fearful glance,
Avoid the ancient moss-grown wall;
Nor ever lead the merry dance

Among the groves of Cumnor Hall.

Full many a traveller oft hath sigh'd,
And pensive wept the Countess' fall.
As wand'ring onwards they've espied
The haunted towers of Cumnor Hall.


To a Skylark

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert-
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest:
Like a cloud of fire,

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run,

Like an embodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;

Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight,

Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere

Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,

Until we hardly see, we feel, that it is there.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,

As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see


As from thy presence showers a rain of melody :

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,

Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love which overflows her bower :

Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view :

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,
Till the scent it gives

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

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken'd 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 chaunt,

Match'd 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!


The Nightingale

As it fell upon a day

In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade,
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring,
Everything did banish moan

Save the nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast against a thorn,
And there sung the dolefullest ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereu, tereu, by-and-by:

That to hear her so complain

Scarce I could from tears refrain ;
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon mine own.

-Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain :

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee:

King Pandion, he is dead,

All thy friends are lapp'd in lead:
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.


The Sleeper

AT midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon :
An opiate vapour, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim;
And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
Upon the quiet mountain top,
Steals drowsily and musically
Into the universal valley.

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