Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
532. Ode to Psyche
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-conchèd ear:
Surely I dream’d to-day, or did I see        5
  The wingèd Psyche with awaken’d eyes?
I wander’d in a forest thoughtlessly,
  And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couchèd 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 Phœbe’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 mind,
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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