Ode On A Grecian Urn Poem by John Keats

Ode On A Grecian Urn

Rating: 3.8

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, O 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.

O 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
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."

Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 16 February 2015

Beauty is truth and truth beauty the great sayings of great English poet who passed away in his 26th year of age. He had actually having the knowledge of human suffering and woes of human life in family and surroundings of that period which came to read in his Biography. In fact he is the foremost poet of that time whose contribution of poetry is great and his name is not to be written in water but to be carved in golden letters among the poets and a very good poem and I likes the poet very much with tributes.

8 6 Reply
Roisin Murphy 23 May 2012

What a great man. Endless quotes to remember from him. This poem has one of my personal favourites... Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

9 3 Reply
Douglas Scotney 16 February 2015

Eternity's got nothing on form

4 7 Reply
Jane Zhu 05 June 2012

A personal favourite though brings a hint of sadness to me, the urn lovers though immortal- young and in love, they can never be in reach of another as the distance seems never to get any closer. Everything is frozen yet... Seemingly everything is very much alive~ maybe not to the human eye..

6 4 Reply
Kim Barney 16 February 2015

I've often wondered: How much does a Grecian urn, anyway?

6 3 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 24 May 2023

TWO: we shouldn't impatiently go in pursuit of answers which we don't need to have. Implied in these last lines of Keats's poem is the suggestion that we shouldn't attempt to find concrete answers to everything; sometimes the mystery is enough.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 24 May 2023

ONE: In other words, beauty is all we need in order to discover truth, and truth is itself beautiful. This is all we, are mere mortals, know, but it's all we need to know:

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 24 May 2023

The thrice time it is chosen as The Classic Poem Of The Day! Top Marks again

0 0 Reply
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Sylvia Frances Chan 03 December 2022

5 Stars TOP Score for this greatest poet and greatest poem.

1 0 Reply
John Keats

John Keats

London, England
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