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One morn before me were three figures seen,
With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-fac'd ;
In placid sandals, and in white robes grac'd ;
They came again ; as when the urn once more
With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.
How is it, Shadows ! that I knew ye not?
How came ye muffled in so hush a mask ? Was it a silent deep-disguised plot
To steal away, and leave without a task My idle days ? Ripe was the drowsy hour ; The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb'd my eyes ; my pulse grew less and less ; Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower : O, why did ye not melt, and leave me sense
Unhaunted quite of all but — nothingness?
A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, turn'd
Each one the face a moment whiles to me ; Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd
And ach'd for wings, because I knew the three;
The first was a fair maid, and Love her name;
And ever watchful with fatigued eye ;
I knew to be my demon Poesy.
They faded, and, forsooth! I wanted wings :
O folly! What is Love? and where is it? And for that poor. Ambition ! it springs
From a man's little heart's short fever-fit; For Poesy ! — no,
-she has not a joy, –
And evenings steep'd in honeyed indolence;
Or hear the voice of busy common-sense !
5. And once more came they by ; - alas! wherefore ?
My sleep had been embroider’d with dim dreams ; My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er
With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams : The morn was clouded, but no shower fell,
45 Tho' in her lids hung the sweet tears of May;
The open casement press’d a new-leav'd vine,
Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine.
So, ye three Ghosts, adieu ! Ye cannot raise
My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass;
For I would not be dieted with praise,
A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce !
Farewell ! I yet have visions for the night,
Into the clouds, and never more return !
Hush, hush! tread softly! hush, hush, my dear!
Tho' your feet are more light than a Fairy's feet,
Who dances on bubbles where brooklets meet,
No leaf doth tremble, no ripple is there
On the river, — all's still, and the night's sleepy eye Closes up, and forgets all its Lethean care, Charm'd to death by the drone of the humming May-fly;
And the Moon, whether prudish or complaisant,
Was fled to her bower, well knowing I want
it the latch! ah gently! ah tenderly — sweet!
We are dead if that latchet gives one little clink! vell done now those lips, and a flowery seat The old man may sleep, and the planets may wink;
The shut rose shall dream of our loves, and awake
Full blown, and such warmth for the morning's take, The stock-dove shall hatch her soft brace and shall coo, While I kiss to the melody, aching all through!
"I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery's child; Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
5. "I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone ; She look'd at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.
"She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gaz'd and sighed deep, And there I shut her wild wild eyes,
So kiss'd to sleep.
" And there we slumber'd on the moss,
And there I dream'd ah! woe betide !-The latest dream I ever dream'd
On the cold hill's side.