John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

To G.A.W.


Nymph of the downward smile and sidelong glance!
In what diviner moments of the day
Art thou most lovely?—when gone far astray
Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance,
Or when serenely wandering in a trance
Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance?
Haply 'tis when thy ruby lips part sweetly,
And so remain, because thou listenest:
But thou to please wert nurtured so completely
That I can never tell what mood is best;
I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more neatly
Trips it before Apollo than the rest.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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