top of page

my heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

my sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

one minute past, and lethe-wards had sunk:

tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

but being too happy in thine happiness,—

              that thou, light-winged dryad of the tree

  in some melodious plot

 of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

singest of summer in full-throated ease.


fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

what thou among the leaves hast never known,

the weariness, the fever, and the fret

where, where men sit and hear each other groan;

where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,

 where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;

where but to think is to be full of sorrow

and leaden-eyed despairs,

where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,

or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow.


away! away! for I will fly to thee,

not charioted by bacchus and his pards,

but on the viewless wings of poesy,

though the dull brain perplexes and retards:

already with thee! tender is the night,

and haply the queen-moon is on her throne,

cluster'd around by all her starry fays;

but here there is no light,

through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

darkling I listen; and, for many a time

i have been half in love with easeful death,

call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,

to take into the air my quiet breath;

now more than ever seems it rich to die,

to cease upon the midnight with no pain,

while thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

in such an ecstasy!

still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—

to thy high requiem become a sod.


forlorn! the very word is like a bell

to toll me back from thee to my sole self!

adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well

as she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.

adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades

past the near meadows, over the still stream,

up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep

in the next valley-glades:

was it a vision, or a waking dream?

fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?

bottom of page