Why dost thou, darksome Nightingale,
Sing so distractingly--and here?
Dawn's preludings prick my ear,
Faint light is creeping up the vale,
While on these dead thy rarer
Song falls, dark night-farer.
Were it not better thou shouldst sing
Where the drenched lilac droops her plume,
Spreading frail banners of perfume?
Or where the easeless pines enring
The river-lullèd village
Whose lads the lilac pillage?
Oh, if aught songful these hid bones
Might reach, like the slow subtle rain,
Surely the dead had risen again
And listened, white by the white stones;
Back to rich life song-charmed,
By ghostly joys alarmed.
This may not be. And yet, oh still
Pour like night dew thy richer speech
Some late-lost youth perchance to reach,
Or unloved girl; and stir and fill
Their passionless cold bosoms
Under red wallflower blossoms!