Ah, Circe, Circe! in the wood we cried;
Ah, Circe, Circe! but no voice replied;
No voice from bowers o'ergrown and ruinous
As fallen rocks upon the mountain side.
There was no sound of singing in the air;
Faded or fled the maidens that were fair,
No more for sorrow or joy were seen of us,
No light of laughing eyes, or floating hair.
The perfume, and the music, and the flame
Had passed away; the memory of shame
Alone abode, and stings of faint desire,
And pulses of vague quiet went and came.
Ah, Circe! in thy sad changed fairy place,
Our dead youth came and looked on us a space,
With drooping wings, and eyes of faded fire.
And wasted hair about a weary face.
Why had we ever sought the magic isle
That seemed so happy in the days erewhile?
Why did we ever leave it, where we met
A world of happy wonders in one smile?
Back to the westward and the waning light
We turned, we fled; the solitude of night
Was better than the infinite regret,
In fallen places of our dead delight.
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