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Ode to Psyche

by
O GODDESS! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung 
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, 
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung 
Even into thine own soft-conch¨¨d ear: 
Surely I dream'd to-day, or did I see 5 
The wing¨¨d Psyche with awaken'd eyes? 
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly, 
And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise, 
Saw two fair creatures, couch¨¨d side by side 
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof 10 
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 Tyrian 
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass; 15 
Their arms embrac¨¨d, and their pinions too; 
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu, 
As if disjoin¨¨d by soft-handed slumber, 
And ready still past kisses to outnumber 
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love: 20 
The wing¨¨d boy I knew; 
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove? 
His Psyche true! 

O latest-born and loveliest vision far 
Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy! 25 
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star, 
Or Vesper, 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 30 
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.
35 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 retired 40 From happy pieties, thy lucent fans, Fluttering among the faint Olympians, I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours; 45 Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet From swing¨¨d 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 fane 50 In some untrodden region of my mind, Where branch¨¨d thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain, Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind: Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees Fledge the wild-ridg¨¨d mountains steep by steep; 55 And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees, The moss-lain Dryads 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, 60 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, 65 A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, To let the warm Love in!

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