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ADONAIS

An Elegy on the Death of John Keats

(1821)

I

Those spheres instinct with it become the

same, Touch, mingle, are transfigured; ever

still Burning, yet ever inconsumable, In one another's substance finding food, 580 Like flames too pure and light and un

imbued To nourish their bright lives with baser

prey, Which point to Heaven and cannot pass

away: One hope within two wills, one will

beneath Two overshadowing minds, one life, one

death, One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality, And one annihilation. Woe is me! The winged words on which my

soul would pierce Into the height of love's rare Universe, Are chains of lead around its fight of

fire I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!

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And say:

Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when

he lay, When thy son lay, pierced by the shaft

which flies In darkness? where was lorn Urania When Adonais died? With veiled eyes, 'Mid listening Echoes, in her Paradise She sate, while one, with soft enamoured

breath, Rekindled all the fading melodies With which, like Aowers that mock the

corse beneath, He had adorned and hid the coming bulk

of death.

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Weak Verses, go, kneel at your Sovereign's feet,

"We are the masters of thy

slave; What wouldest thou with us and ours and

thine?Then call your sisters from Oblivion's

cave, All singing loud: “Love's very pain is

sweet, But its reward is in the world divine Which, if not here, it builds beyond the

grave.” So shall ye live when I am there. Then

haste Over the hearts of men, until

ye meet Marina, Vanna, Primus, and the rest, And bid them love each other and be blest; And leave the troop which errs, and which

reproves, And come and be my guest, — for I am

Love's.

III

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() weep for Adonais - he is dead! Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and

weep! Yet wherefore? Quench within their

burning bed Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart

keep, Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep; For he is gone where all things wise and

fair

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IV

VII

a

away!

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V

VIII

Descend. Oh, dream not that the amorous Most musical of mourners, weep anew! 50 Deep

Thy extreme hope, the loveliest and the Will yet restore him to the vital air;

last, Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs The bloom, whose petals, nipped before at our despair.

they blew, Died on the proonise of the fruit, is waste;

The broken lily lies the storm is overMost musical of mourners, weep again!

past. Lament anew, Urania! — He died, Who was the sire of an immortal strain, 30 To that high Capital where kingly Death 55 Blind, old, and lonely, when his country's Keeps his pale court in beauty and decay, pride

He came; and bought, with price of purest The priest, the slave, and the liberticide

breath, Trampled and mocked with many A grave among the eternal. — Come

loathèd rite Of lust and blood; he went, unterrified, Haste, while the vault of blue Italian day Into the gulf of death: but his clear

Is yet his fitting charnel-roof! while Sprite

still Yet reigns o'er earth, the third among the He lies, as if in dewy sleep he lay: sons of light.

Awake him not! surely he takes his fill

Of deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill. Most musical of mourners, weep anew!. Not all to that bright station dared to climb:

He will awake no more, oh never more! And happier they their happiness who Within the twilight chamber spreads knew,

apace Whose tapers yet burn through that night The shadow of white Death; and at the of time

door In which suns perished, - others more Invisible Corruption waits to traces sublime,

His extreme way to her dim dwellingStruck by the envious wrath of man

place, God,

The eternal Hunger sits, but pity and awe Have sunk, extinct in their refulgent Soothe her pale rage, nor dares she to prime;

deface And some yet live, treading the thorny So fair a prey, till darkness and the law road,

Of change shall o'er his sleep the mortal Which leads, through toil and hate, to

curtain draw. Fame's serene abode.

O
weep

for Adonais! The quick

Dreams, But now, thy youngest, dearest one has The passion-winged ministers of thought, perished,

Who were his flocks, whom near the living The nursling of thy widowhood, who grew streams Like a pale flower by some sad maiden Of his young spirit he fed, and whom he cherished

taught And fed with true-love tears instead of The love which was its music, wander

not,

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or

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VI

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dew:

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Or amorous birds perched on the young The ants, the bees, the swallows, regreen spray,

appear; Or herdsman's horn, or bell at closing day; Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead Since she can mimic not his lips, more dear Seasons' bier; Than those for whose disdain she pined The amorous birds now pair in every away

brake, Into a shadow of all sounds: a drear And build their mossy homes in field and Murmur, between their songs, is all the brere; woodmen hear.

And the green lizard and the golden snake,
Like unimprisoned Aames, out of their

trance awake. Grief made the young Spring wild, and she

threw down Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were,

Through wood and stream and field and Or they dead leaves: since her delight is

hill and Ocean, flown,

A quickening life from the Earth's heart For whom should she have waked the

has burst, sullen year?

As it has ever done, with change and To Phæbus was not Hyacinth so dear, 140

motion, Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both

From the great morning of the world Thou, Adonais: wan they stand and sere

when first Amid the faint companions of their youth,

God dawned on Chaos: in its stream With dew all turned to tears, - odor, to

immersed, sighing ruth.

The lamps of Heaven Aash with a softer

light; Thy spirit's sister, the lorn nightingale, 145 All baser things pant with life's sacred Mourns not her mate with such melodious

thirst, pain;

Diffuse themselves, and spend in love's Not so the eagle — who like thee could delight scale

The beauty and the joy of their renewed Heaven, and could nourish in the sun's

might. domain Her mighty youth with morning – doth complain,

The leprous corpse touched by this spirit Soaring and screaming round her empty

tender

Exhales itself in Alowers of gentle breath: nest, As Albion wails for thee: the curse of

Like incarnations of the starswhen Cain

splendor Light on his head who pierced thy innocent

Is changed to fragrance, they illumine breast,

death And scared the angel soul that was its

And mock the merry worm that wakes carthly guest!

beneath. Naught we know, dies. Shall that alone

which knows Ah, woe is me! Winter is come and gone,

Be as a sword consumed before the sheath But grief returns with the revolving | By sightless lightning? the intense atom year

glows The airs and streams renew their joyous A moment, then is quenched in a most cold tone;

repose.

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XVIII

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scene

mean

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Of stormy mist; so swept her on her way Alas! that all we loved of him should be,

Even to the mournful place where Adonais But for our grief, as if it had not been,

lay. And grief itself be mortal! Wee is me! Whence are we, and why are we? of what

Out of her secret Paradise she sped,

Through camps and cities rough with The actors or spectators? Great and

stone, and steel,

And human hearts which, to her aery Meet massed in death, who lends what life

tread

210 must borrow.

Yielding not, wounded the invisible As long as skies are blue and fields are

Palms of her tender feet where'er they green,

fell; Evening must usher night, night urge the

And barbed tongues, and thoughts more morrow,

sharp than they, Month follow month with woe, and year Rent the soft Form they never could repel, wake year to sorrow.

Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of May,

215 Paved with eternal flowers that unde

serving way. He will awake no more, oh never more! “Wake thou,” cried Misery, "childless

XXV Mother, rise Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart's In the death-chamber for a moment Death, core,

Shamed by the presence of that living A wound more fierce than his, with tears Might, and sighs.”

Blushed to annihilation; and the breath And all the Dreams that watched Urania's Revisited those lips, and life's pale light 220 eyes,

Flashed through those limbs, so late her And all the Echoes whom their sister's dear delight. song

“Leave me not wild and drear and comHad held in holy silence, cried, "Arise!"

fortless, Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory As silent lightning leaves the starless stung,

night! From her ambrosial the fading | Leave me not!” cried Urania; her distress Splendor sprung:

Roused Death; Death rose and smiled, and

met her vain caress.

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rest

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