shabd-logo

Ode to a Nightingale

16 June 2023

22 Viewed 22

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?

More Books by John Keats

20
Articles
Best Poems of John Keats
5.0
A collection of best and most famous poems written by the famous English writer John Keats.
1

Ode To Psyche

11 April 2023
0
0
0

 O 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-da

2

Ode To Melancholy

11 April 2023
0
0
0

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist  Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;  Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd  By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;  Make not your rosar

3

To Autumn

11 April 2023
0
0
0

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-eves run;  To bend with app

4

Bright Star

29 April 2023
0
0
0

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—           Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night  And watching, with eternal lids apart,           Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,  Th

5

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

29 April 2023
0
0
0

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,  And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;  Round many western islands have I been  Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.  Oft of one wide expanse had

6

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!

14 June 2023
0
0
0

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone! Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast, Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone, Bright eyes, accomplish’d shape, and lang’rous wai

7

The Eve of St. Agnes

14 June 2023
0
0
0

St. Agnes' Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!        The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;        The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,        And silent was the flock in woolly fold:

8

Hyperion

14 June 2023
0
0
0

Deep in the shady sadness of a vale Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn, Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star, Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone, Still as the silence round ab

9

Fancy

15 June 2023
0
0
0

Ever let the Fancy roam, Pleasure never is at home: At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, Like to bubbles when rain pelteth; Then let winged Fancy wander Through the thought still spread beyond her:

10

The Human Seasons

15 June 2023
0
0
0

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;      There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear      Takes in all beauty with an easy span: He has his Summer,

11

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

15 June 2023
0
0
0

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,        Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake,        And no birds sing. O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,        So haggard an

12

If By Dull Rhymes Our English Must Be Chain'd

15 June 2023
0
0
0

If by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd,    And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness; Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd,    Sandals more interwo

13

Ode on Indolence

16 June 2023
0
0
0

One morn before me were three figures seen,     With bowèd necks, and joinèd hands, side-faced; And one behind the other stepp’d serene,     In placid sandals, and in white robes graced;         T

14

On a Dream

16 June 2023
0
0
0

As Hermes once took to his feathers light, When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept, So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright So play’d, so charm’d, so conquer’d, so bereft The dragon-world of a

15

Ode on a Grecian Urn

16 June 2023
0
0
0

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-f

16

Ode to a Nightingale

16 June 2023
0
0
0

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

17

To Fanny

17 June 2023
0
0
0

I cry your mercy—pity—love! Aye, love! Merciful love that tantalizes not, One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love, Unmasked, and being seen—without a blot! O! let me have thee whole,—all—al

18

Robin Hood

17 June 2023
0
0
0

TO A FRIEND No! those days are gone away And their hours are old and gray, And their minutes buried all Under the down-trodden pall Of the leaves of many years: Many times have winter's shears,

19

To Sleep

17 June 2023
1
0
0

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,       Shutting, with careful fingers and benign, Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,       Enshaded in forgetfulness divine: O soothest Sleep!

20

To Homer

17 June 2023
0
0
0

Standing aloof in giant ignorance,    Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades, As one who sits ashore and longs perchance    To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas. So thou wast blind;—but then the veil w

---