Ode on Melancholy
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NO no! go not to Lethe neither twist
Wolf's-bane tight-rooted for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist
By nightshade ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries 5
Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose 15
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave
Or on the wealth of glob¨¨d peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows
Emprison her soft hand and let her rave
And feed deep deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty¡ªBeauty that must die;
And Joy whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay in the very temple of Delight 25
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
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