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John Keats : Ode to Psyche

O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung1
	By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
	Even into thine own soft-conched2 ear:
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
	The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
	And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
	In deepest grass beneath the whisp'ring roof
	Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there
					ran
		A brooklet, scarce espied: 

'Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
	Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian3,
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
	Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
	Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
	At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
		The winged boy I knew;
	But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
		His Psyche true!

O latest born and loveliest vision far
	Of all Olympus'4 faded hierarchy!
Fairer than Phbe's5 sapphire-region'd star,
	Or Vesper6, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
		Nor altar heap'd with flowers;
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
		Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
	From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
	Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming. 

O brightest! though too late for antique vows,
	Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
	Holy the air, the water, and the fire:
Yet even in these days so far retir'd
	From happy pieties, thy lucent fans7,
	Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspir'd.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
		Upon the midnight hours;
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
	From swinged censer teeming;
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
	Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming. 

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane8
	In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant 					pain,
	Instead of pines shall murmur the in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees
	Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs9, streams, and birds, and bees,
	The moss-lain Dryads10 shall be lull'd to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain,
	With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
	Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
	That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
	To let the warm Love in!

John Keats (1795-1821)	P. 1820

 
FOOTNOTES
1 In Greek mythology, Eros and the mortal Psyche were secretely lovers who were separated until Zeus took pity on them and reunited them, making Psyche immortal. Psyche is often associated with the soul. 2 shell-shaped; 3 famous purple dye from ancient Tyre; 4 mountain, home of the Greek gods ; 5 i.e. the moon; 6 Venus, the evening star; 7 wings; 8 temple; 9 breeze; 10 nymphs of the woods
 

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