Poem of the day

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 today, or did I see
      The wingèd Psyche with awakened eyes?
I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly,
      And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
      In deepest grass, beneath the whispering roof
      Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
                  A brooklet, scarce espied:

’Mid hushed, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
      Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
      Their arms embracèd, and their pinions too;
      Their lips touched not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
      At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
                  The winged 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!
Fairer than Phoebe’s sapphire-regioned star,
      Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
                  Nor altar heaped with flowers;
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
                  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-mouthed prophet dreaming.

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
      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;
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
      From swinged censer teeming;
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
      Of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming.

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
      In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
      Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-clustered trees
      Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
      The moss-lain dryads shall be lulled to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreathed trellis of a working brain,
      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,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
      To let the warm Love in!

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