O Solitude If I Must With Thee Dwell

0 Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,

Let it not be among the jumbled heap

Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,—

Nature's observatory—whence the dell,

In flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,

May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep

'Mongst boughs pavilioned, where the deer's swift leap

Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.

But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,

Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,

Whose words are images of thoughts refined,

Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be

Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

John Keats


Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Have ye souls in heaven too, Double lived in regions new? Yes, and those of heaven commune With the spheres of sun and moon; With the noise of fountains wound'rous, And the parle of voices thund'rous; With the whisper of heaven's trees And one another, in soft ease.

Seated on Elysian lawns Brows'd by none but Dian's fawns; Underneath large blue-bells tented, Where the daisies are rose-scented, And the rose herself has got Perfume which on earth is not; Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, tranced thing, But divine melodious truth; Philosophic numbers smooth; Tales and golden histories Of heaven and its mysteries.

Thus ye live on high, and then On the earth ye live again; And the souls ye left behind you Teach us, here, the way to find you, Where your other souls are joying, Never slumber'd, never cloying. Here, your earth-born souls still speak To mortals, of their little week; Of their sorrows and delights; Of their passions and their spites; Of their glory and their shame; What doth strengthen and what maim. Thus ye teach us, every day, Wisdom, though fled far away.

Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Ye have souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new!

John Keats

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


Ode On A Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both,

In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied,

For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above,

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

To what green altar, 0 mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

0 Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!

When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

John Keats

Ode On Indolence

ONE morn before me were three figures seen,

I With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-faced; And one behind the other stepp'd serene,

In placid sandals, and in white robes graced; They pass'd, like figures on a marble urn, When shifted round to see the other side;

They came again; as when the urn once more Is shifted round, the first seen shades return; And they were strange to me, as may betide With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore.

How is it, Shadows! that I knew ye not?

How came ye muffled in so hush a masque? Was it a silent deep-disguised plot

To steal away, and leave without a task My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy hour; The blissful cloud of summer-indolence

Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less; Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower: 0, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense Unhaunted quite of all but-—nothingness?

A third time came they by;—-alas! wherefore?

My sleep had been embroider'd with dim dreams; My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er

With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams: The morn was clouded, but no shower fell,

Tho' in her lids hung the sweet tears of May; The open casement press'd a new-leav'd vine, Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay; 0 Shadows! 'twas a time to bid farewell!

Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine.

A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, turn'd

Each one the face a moment whiles to me; Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd

And ached for wings, because I knew the three; The first was a fair maid, and Love her name; The second was Ambition, pale of cheek, And ever watchful with fatigued eye; The last, whom I love more, the more of blame Is heap'd upon her, maiden most unmeek,— I knew to be my demon Poesy.

They faded, and, forsooth! I wanted wings:

0 folly! What is Love! and where is it? And for that poor Ambition—-it springs

From a man's little heart's short fever-fit; For Poesy!—-no,—-she has not a joy,—-

At least for me,-—so sweet as drowsy noons, And evenings steep'd in honied indolence; 0, for an age so shelter'd from annoy,

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


That I may never know how change the moons, Or hear the voice of busy common-sense!

So, ye three Ghosts, adieu! Ye cannot raise

My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass; For I would not be dieted with praise, A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce! Fade sofdy from my eyes, and be once more In masque-like figures on the dreamy urn; Farewell! I yet have visions for the night, And for the day faint visions there is store; Vanish, ye Phantoms! from my idle spright, Into the clouds, and never more return!

John Keats

Ode on Melancholy

No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist

Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine; Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;

For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave, Or on the wealth of globed peonies; Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty — Beauty that must die;

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips; Ay, in the very temple of delight

Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue

Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,

And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

John Keats

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


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 thy 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.

0 for a draught of vintage, that hath been

Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance, and Provencal song, and sun-burnt mirth! 0 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 tomorrow.

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, Clustered 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 covered up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child,

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


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, Called 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 Charmed 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 famed 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?

John Keats

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


Ode To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers; And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft, And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


Ode to Fanny

Physician Nature! Let my spirit blood!

0 ease my heart of verse and let me rest; Throw me upon thy Tripod, till the flood

Of stifling numbers ebbs from my full breast. A theme! a theme! great nature! give a theme; Let me begin my dream.

1 come — I see thee, as thou standest there, Beckon me not into the wintry air.

Ah! dearest love, sweet home of all my fears, And hopes, and joys, and panting miseries, --To-night, if I may guess, thy beauty wears A smile of such delight, As brilliant and as bright, As when with ravished, aching, vassal eyes, Lost in soft amaze, I gaze, I gaze!

Who now, with greedy looks, eats up my feast?

What stare outfaces now my silver moon!

Ah! keep that hand unravished at the least;

But pr'ythee, do not turn

The current of your heart from me so soon.

0! save, in charity,

The quickest pulse for me.

Save it for me, sweet love! though music breathe

Voluptuous visions into the warm air;

Though swimming through the dance's dangerous wreath,

Be like an April day,

Smiling and cold and gay,

A temperate lilly, temperate as fair;

Then, Heaven! there will be

A warmer June for me.

Why, this, you'll say, my Fanny! is not true: Put your soft hand upon your snowy side, Where the heart beats: confess -- 'tis nothing new — Must not a woman be A feather on the sea,

Sway'd to and fro by every wind and tide? Of as uncertain speed As blow-ball from the mead?

I know it -- and to know it is despair

To one who loves you as I love, sweet Fanny!

Whose heart goes fluttering for you every where,

Nor, when away you roam,

Dare keep its wretched home,

Love, love alone, his pains severe and many:

Then, loveliest! keep me free,

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


From torturing jealousy.

Ah! if you prize my subdued soul above The poor, the fading, brief, pride of an hour; Let none profane my Holy See of love, Or with a rude hand break The sacramental cake:

Let none else touch the just new-budded flower; If not -- may my eyes close, Love! on their lost repose.

John Keats

Ode To Psyche

0 Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,

And pardon that thy secrets should be sung

Even into thine own soft-conched ear: Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?

1 wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,

And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise, Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran A brooklet, scarce espied:

Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,

Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian, They lay calm-breathing, on the bedded grass; Their arms embraced, and their pinions too; Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu, As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber, And ready still past kisses to outnumber At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love: The winged boy I knew; But who wast thou, 0 happy, happy dove? His Psyche true!

0 latest born and loveliest vision far

Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy! Fairer than Ph{oe}be's sapphire-region'd star, Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,

Nor altar heap'd with flowers; Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan

Upon the midnight hours; No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet

From chain-swung censer teeming; No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.

0 brightest! though too late for antique vows, Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,

When holy were the haunted forest boughs,

Holy the air, the water, and the fire; Yet even in these days so far retir'd From happy pieties, thy lucent fans, Fluttering among the faint Olympians,

1 see, and sing, by my own eyes inspir'd. So let me be thy choir, and make a moan

Upon the midnight hours; Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet

From swinged censer teeming; Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat

www.PoemHunter.com - The World's Poetry Archive


Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane In some untrodden region of my mind, Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,

Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind: Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees

Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep; And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,

The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep; And in the midst of this wide quietness A rosy sanctuary will I dress With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain, With buds, and bells, and stars without a name, With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,

Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same: And there shall be for thee all soft delight

That shadowy thought can win, A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, To let the warm Love in!

John Keats

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment