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At this, with madden'd stare, . And lifted hands, and trembling lips he stood, Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood, Or blind Orion hungry for the morn.
CIRCE AND HER VICTIMS.
Fierce, wan, And tyrannizing was the lady's look, As over them a gnarlèd staff she shook. Ofttimes upon the sudden she laugh'd out, And from a basket emptied to the rout Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick And roar'd for more, with many a hungry lick About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow, Anon she took a branch of misletoe, And emptied on 't a black dull-gurgling phial : Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial. Were sharpening for their pitiable bones. She lifted up the charm : appealing groans From their poor breasts went suing to her ear In vain: remorseless as an infants bier, She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil; Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil, Increasing gradual to a tempest rage, Shrieks, yells, and groans, of torture pilgrimage. A BETTER ENCHANTRESS IMPRISONED IN THE SHAPE
OF A SERPENT.
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale,
THE VOICE OF A MELANCHOLY GODDESS SPEAKING
As when upon a trancèd summer-night
A FALLEN GOD.
The bright Titan, frenzied with new woes,
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.18
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk.
In some melodious plot
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
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;
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards;
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
And mid-May's eldest child,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time,
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;
In such an ecstacy !
To thy high requiem become a sod.
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;
The same that ofttimes hath
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 19
Forlorn ! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
In the next valley-glades?
Fled is that music? Do I wake or sleep ?