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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
509. The Invitation
 
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
 
BEST and Brightest, come away,
Fairer far than this fair day,
Which, like thee, to those in sorrow
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough year just awake        5
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon morn
To hoar February born;        10
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kiss’d the forehead of the earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,        15
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strew’d flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, Dear.        20
 
  Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs—
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music, lest it should not find        25
An echo in another’s mind,
While the touch of Nature’s art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
 
  I leave this notice on my door
For each accustomed visitor:—        30
“I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields;—
Reflection, you may come to-morrow,
Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.—
You with the unpaid bill, Despair,—        35
You tiresome verse-reciter, Care,—
I will pay you in the grave,—
Death will listen to your stave.
Expectation too, be off!
To-day is for itself enough;        40
Hope, in pity mock not Woe
With smiles, nor follow where I go;
Long having lived on thy sweet food,
At length I find one moment’s good
After long pain—with all your love,        45
This you never told me of.”
 
  Radiant Sister of the Day
Awake! arise! and come away!
To the wild woods and the plains,
To the pools where winter rains        50
Image all their roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green, and ivy dun,
Round stems that never kiss the sun,
Where the lawns and pastures be,        55
And the sandhills of the sea,
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets,
And wind-flowers and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue        60
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dim and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous        65
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal Sun.
 

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