Ode to a Skylark – By: Percy Bysshe Shelley

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!

                     Bird thou never wert –

                 That from Heaven or near it

                       Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

                Higher still and higher

                     From the earth thou springest,

                Like a cloud of fire;

                     The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

                In the golden lightning

                    Of the sunken sun,

                O’er which clouds are bright’ning,

                    Thou dost float and run,

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

                 The pale purple even

                     Melts around thy flight;

                 Like a star of Heaven,

                     In the broad daylight

Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight –

                 Keen as are the arrows

                     Of that silver sphere

                 Whose intense lamp narrows

                     In the white dawn clear,

Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

                 All the earth and air

                    With thy voice is loud,

                 As, when night is bare,

                     From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflowed.

                 What thou art we know not;

                     What is most like thee?

                  From rainbow clouds there flow not

                     Drops so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody: –

                 Like a Poet hidden

                     In the light of thought,

                 Singing hymns unbidden,

                     Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

                 Like a high-born maiden

                     In a palace-tower,

                 Soothing her love-laden

                     Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

                 Like a glow-worm golden

                     In a dell of dew,

                 Scattering unbeholden

                     Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

                   Like a rose embowered

                       In its own green leaves,

                   By warm winds deflowered,

                       Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingéd thieves:

                   Sound of vernal showers

                       On the twinkling grass,

                   Rain-awakened flowers –

                       All that ever was

Joyous and clear and fresh – thy music doth surpass.

                    Teach us, Sprite or Bird,

                        What sweet thoughts are thine:

                     I have never heard

                         Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

                     Chorus hymeneal,

                         Or triumphal chant,

                    Matched with thine would be all

                         but an empty vaunt –

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

                    What objects are the fountains

                        Of thy happy strain?

                    What fields, or waves, or mountains?

                        What shapes of sky or plain?

What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

                     With thy clear keen joyance

                          Languor cannot be:

                     Shadow of annoyance

                         Never came near thee:

Thou lovest, but ne’er knew love’s sad satiety.

                     Waking or asleep,

                         Thou of death must deem

                     Things more true and deep

                         Than we mortals dream,

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

                     We look before and after,

                         And pine for what is not:

                     Our sincerest laughter

                         With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

                     Yet, if we could scorn

                        Hate and pride and fear,

                     If we were things born

                         Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

                     Better than all measures

                         Of delightful sound,

                     Better than all treasures

                         That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

                     Teach me half the gladness

                         That thy brain must know;

                     Such harmonious madness

                         From my lips would flow,

The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

________________________

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How far can a person go to fulfill the dream’s of someone else?

Read Dream’s Sake to find out. Click on the picture for reviews and free preview of the novel

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