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Thou who hast follow'd far with eyes of love
The shy and virgin sights of Spring to-day,
Sad soul, what dost thou in this happy grove?
Hast thou no pipe to touch, no strain to play,
Where Nature smiles so fair and seems to ask a lay?
Ah! she needs none! she is too beautiful.
How should I sing her? for my heart would tire,
Seeking a lovelier verse each time to cull,
In striving still to pitch my music higher:
Lovelier than any muse is she who gives the fire!
No impulse I beseech; my strains are vile:
To escape thee, Nature, restless here I rove.
Look not so sweet on me, avert thy smile!
O cease at length this fever'd breast to move!
I have loved thee in vain; I cannot speak my love.
Here sense with apathy seems gently wed:
The gloom is starr'd with flowers; the unseen trees
Spread thick and softly real above my head;
And the far birds add music to the peace,
In this dark place of sleep, where whispers never cease.
Hush, then, my pipe; vain is thy passion here;
Vain is the burning bosom of desire!
Forever hush'd, let me this silence hear,
As a sad Muse in the melodious choir
Hushes her voice, to catch the happier voices by her.
Deep-shaded will I lie, and deeper yet
In night, where not a leaf its neighbour knows;
Forget the shining of the stars, forget
The vernal visitation of the rose;
And, far from all delights, prepare my heart's repose.
Strive how I may, I cannot slumber so:
Still burns that sleepless beauty on the mind;
Still insupportable those visions glow;
And hark! my spirit's aspirations find
An answer in the leaves, a warning on the wind.
'O crave not silence thou! too soon, too sure,
Shall Autumn come, and through these branches weep:
Soon birds shall cease, and flowers no more endure;
And thou beneath the mould unwilling creep,
And silent soon shalt be in that eternal sleep.
'Green still it is, where that fair goddess strays;
Then follow, till around thee all be sere.
Lose not a vision of her passing face;
Nor miss the sound of her soft robes, that here
Sweep over the wet leaves of the fast-falling year.'
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