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Like a rose embowered
In its own green leaves,
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingéd thieves.
Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
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.
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
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:
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,
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
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,
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
The school-boy, wandering through the wood
Starts, thy most curious voice to hear,
What time the pea puts on the bloom,
An annual guest in other lands,
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
Yes! where are the cities.
Like sparks from the fire!
The splendor of Rome,
But thou art almighty
As the stars first beheld thee,
But hold! when thy surges
Is drawn back like a scroll;
JOHN AUGUSTUS SHEA.
The Beautiful River.
IKE a foundling in slumber, the summer-day lay
And I thought that the glow through the azure-arched way Was a glimpse of the coming of Heaven.