Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PHILOMELA, by MATTHEW ARNOLD



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PHILOMELA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hark! Ah, the nightingale
Last Line: Eternal pain!
Subject(s): Animals; Birds; Nightingales


HARK! ah, the nightingale!
The tawny-throated!
Hark! from that moonlit cedar what a burst!
What triumph! hark, -- what pain!
O wanderer from a Grecian shore,
Still, -- after many years, in distant lands, --
Still nourishing in thy bewildered brain
That wild, unquenched, deep-sunken, Old-world pain, --
Say, will it never heal?
And can this fragrant lawn,
With its cool tree, and night,
And the sweet, tranquil Thames,
And the moonshine, and the dew,
To thy racked heart and brain
Afford no balm?
Dost thou to-night behold,
Here, through the moonlight on this English grass,
The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild?
Dost thou again peruse,
With hot cheeks and seared eyes,
The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's shame?
Dost thou once more essay
Thy flight; and feel come over thee,
Poor fugitive! the feathery change
Once more; and once more make resound,
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
Lone Daulis, and the high Cephisian vale?
Listen, Eugenia, --
How thick the bursts come crowding through the leaves!
Again -- thou hearest!
Eternal passion!
Eternal pain!




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