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Ode to a Nightingale

Ode to a Nightingale


My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

Part of this poem was featured in last weeks’ episode of Penny Dreadful. The devil – or some entity like – whispered part of this poem to Eva Green’s character, Vanessa Ives. The poetry beguiles her and she proceeds to sleep with the devil.
A few choice words are enough to convince anyone to do almost anything. I want to be so beguiled.

The Tomb

The Tomb

By Thomas Stanley (1625–1678)

WHEN, cruel fair one, I am slain
By thy disdain,
And as a trophy of thy scorn
To some old tomb am borne,
Thy fetters must their power bequeath
To those of Death;
Nor can thy flame immortal burn
Like monumental fires within an urn.
Thus freed from thy proud empire, I shall prove
There is more liberty in Death than Love.

And when forsaken lovers come
To see my tomb,
Take heed thou mix not with the crowd
And as a victor, proud
To view the spoils thy beauty made,
Press near my shade!
Lest thy too cruel breath, or name,
Should fan my ashes back into a flame,
And thou, devour’d by this revengeful fire.
His sacrifice, who died as thine, expire.

Or should my dust thy pity move
That could not, love,
Thy sighs might wake me, and thy tears
Renew my life and years;
Or should thy proud insulting scorn
Laugh at my urn,
Kindly deceiv’d by thy disdain,
I might be smil’d into new life again.
Then come not near: since both thy love and hate
Have equal power to kill or animate.

But if cold earth or marble must
Conceal my dust,
Whilst, hid in some dark ruins, I
Dumb and forgotten lie,
The pride of all thy victory
Will sleep with me;
And they who should attest thy glory
Will or forget, or not believe this story.
Then, to increase thy triumph, let me rest,
(Since by thine eye slain,) buried in thy breast!

The line “liberty in death” was just vaguely mentioned in episode 2 of Season 2 of Sherlock, the BBC series. I decided to look it up and it seems many Sherlock fans took great interest in that particular phrase as well. It originates from this poem I presume.

“There is more Liberty in Death than Love.” This line particularly strongly resounds with my ideas about Port from The Sheltering Sky. I almost wish I had heard this line whilst I was reading the novel. I think it captures his unspoken life mantra. The only true freedom is death.

While I entirely and completely disagree with Port’s mentality it is an interesting juxtaposition to my own present-day ruminations on life, meaning, and existential quandaries. I’ve been very confused as of late because for the first time I am exploring meaning in my life. I think up until recently that sort of thing didn’t exactly matter… just living was enough. In a way it still is enough, but the WAY in which I live seems to matter now.

Crush Worth Noting

Every time I see his beautiful smile or those baby blues I lose my breath. There’s a sweet loss of air and an extra heart palpitation to try to restore functioning to my body. I always go after the unattainable guy. Brb, fanning myself.

Matt Lanter plays Liam in the new 90210.



He can do the whole messy/preppy look and the clean/sexy look. I’ll take him any which way~ It’s very difficult to express the appeal without getting speechlessness caught in my throat. I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say I can hardly breathe just looking at him. Now… who knows what his personality is like? Hahahaha.


Known for my love of pushups, I have decided to take the 100 Pushup Challenge. Quite randomly Edgar decided to tell me about this challenge that he started up on Tuesday and I have joined him, starting today. It will take approximately six weeks, but by the end of it I should (hopefully) be able to do one hundred consecutive push-ups. It sounds like a dream come true, right? Just thinking about it makes me happy inside. *giggles* I’m eager to get started on this.

Admittedly, my core body strength is probably at an all-time low given how many push-ups I did during the initial test. Uhm, that number will remain confidential because otherwise I’ll feel endless shame. I take this sort of stuff seriously. I’ve done my pushups for today. I think this first week I’m going to do them on consecutive days so that I don’t throw off my weeks by splitting them in half (because I’m starting on a Thursday and you should do it every other day).

Today is my mother’s 38th birthday. Considering I’m 19, she’s still pretty darn young. I love that about her, though. I actually got to experience the years of my mother’s youth. I saw her youthful beauty, got to see her live her life, and we actually got to do stuff. I mean parents that are currently about 50 something had their children in their 30s and well by that age, you’re just sort of tired and done having fun or somethin’.

So, I’ve been making it a point to watch TV. Hah… So, I’m watching 90210, ANTM, (maybe Privileged), Fringe, and (maybe) True Blood. Thank goodness for DVR! I can’t watch them all at the same time yannoe. And usually I’m busy at night exercising and stuff so it’s good to come back and watch those shows while you’re dripping in sweat. Well okay so I don’t sweat that intensely, but it feels better sitting down in front of the TV ~after~ working out. Makes it feel less unhealthy. (:

New task: I need to learn to be happy for others without thinking how it affects me.