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II

The air is damp, and hush'd, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose

An hour before death ;
My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves
At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,

And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath,
And the year's last rose.

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its

grave

i' the earth so chilly ;
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

Tennyson.

93

Ode to Autumn

I

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

II

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store ?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers : And sometime like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook ;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

III

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they ?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue ; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft ;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Keats.

94

Hymn to Diana
QUEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,

Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep :

Hesperus entreats thy light,

Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade

Dare itself to interpose ;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close :

Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal-shining quiver ;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever :

Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.

Ben Jonson.

95 The Waning Moon

And like a dying lady, lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky East,
A white and shapeless mass-

Shelley.

96*

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank ! Here will we sit and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears : soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold : There 's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins ; Such harmony is in immortal souls ; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

Shakespeare.

patines] paten (pronounced patten), the Eucharistic dish, hence any small flat circular plate of gold.

97

Westminster Bridge

Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill ;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep !
The river glideth at his own sweet will :
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep ;
And all that mighty heart is lying still !

Wordsworth, 1802.

98

As through the wild green hills of Wyre
The train ran, changing sky and shire,
And far behind, a fading crest,
Low in the forsaken west
Sank the high-rear'd head of Clee,
My hand lay empty on my knee.
Aching on my knee it lay :
That morning half a shire away
So

many an honest fellow's fist
Had well-nigh wrung it from the wrist.
Hand, said I, since now we part
From fields and men we know by heart,
For strangers' faces, strangers' lands,-
Hand, you have held true fellows' hands.

H

Be clean then; rot before you

do
A thing they'd not believe of you.
You and I must keep from shame
In London streets the Shropshire name ;
On banks of Thames they must not say
Severn breeds worse men than they ;
And friends abroad must bear in mind
Friends at home they leave behind.
Oh, I shall be stiff and cold
When I forget you, hearts of gold ;
The land where I shall mind you not
Is the land where all 's forgot.
And if my foot returns no more
To Teme nor Corve nor Severn shore,
Luck, my lads, be with you still
By falling stream and standing hill,
By chiming tower and whispering tree
Men that made a man of me.
About your work in town and farm
Still you 'll keep my head from harm,
Still
you ’ll help me, hands that

gave
A grasp to friend me to the

grave.

A. E. Housman.

99

Song in Absence
GREEN fields of England! wheresoe'er
Across this watery waste we fare,
Your image at our hearts we bear,
Green fields of England, everywhere.

Sweet eyes in England, I must flee
Past where the waves' last confines be,
Ere
your

loved smile I cease to see,
Sweet eyes in England, dear to me!

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