Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
Ode to Psyche
By John Keats (1795–1821)
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-conched ear;
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see        5
  The wingèd Psyche with awaken’d eyes?
I wander’d in a forest thoughtlessly,
  And, on a sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched 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 embracèd, and their pinions too;
  Their lips touch’d not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoinèd by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
  At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:        20
        The wingèd 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 swingèd 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 kind,
Where branchèd 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-ridgèd 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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