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ODE TO THE WEST WIND

199

You're left here to lament
Your poor estates alone.

ROBERT HERRICK

ODE TO THE WEST WIND

(1) O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,

Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,

Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,

Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill

(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, oh, hear!

(2) Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commo

tion, Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean. Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread

On the blue surface of thine airy surge, Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge

Of the horizon to the zenith's height, The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night

Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: oh, hear!

(3) Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams

The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baia's bay,

And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers

So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below

The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

ODE TO THE WEST WIND

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Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh, hear!

(4)
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;

If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free

Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,

As then, when to outstrip thy skyey speed Scarce seemed a vision, I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.

Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

(5) Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:

What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,

Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe

Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawakened earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

ODE TO AUTUMN

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves

run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;

For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS HOUSE 203

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers; And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, – thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John KEATS

A THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS

HOUSE

LORD, Thou hast given me a cell

Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof

Is weatherproof;
Under the spars of which I lie

Both soft and dry.
Where Thou, my chamber for to ward,

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