Ode To A Nightingale Poem by John Keats

Ode To A Nightingale

Rating: 3.9


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.

O 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!
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 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,
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?

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Brenna Franklin 13 January 2016

One of my favorite poems, it catches you and won't let go. The text is I think old English, but has a bit of modern day. I will forever pick this poem apart.

43 29 Reply
Seema Jayaraman 10 September 2015

This poem I remember from my high school days, I will need to read and reread a few more times...

41 30 Reply
Tom Billsborough 19 May 2016

If I was to list my ten favourite poems in English at least four of them would be by John Keats. This is one of them for sure. If we count Shakespeare best for plays I think we should leave the field with just one contender for the position of best ever pure poet. Keats.

24 35 Reply
Ufuk Erdem 16 December 2004

In this poem Keats wants to be in the world of the nightingale.This is the world where death, sadness does not exist.The poet, because of his brother's death, cannot be happy and see the beauties of nature in front of him.He wants to hear merry notes of the nightingale.Keats, like his brother, died of tuberculosis at a very young age.

33 14 Reply
Susan Jecker 16 December 2021

I think of this poem often in the spring, when mockingbirds sing all night

1 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 07 December 2020

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: We studied this poem in the literature class. wonderful poem of Keats. tony

0 1 Reply
Will.i.End 20 July 2020

Im still reading this poem.....its sooooo long....hehe XD

1 0 Reply
Radhuga Sreekumar Geetha 31 December 2019

Those lovely lines by my lovely poet

7 0 Reply
Tommy 05 November 2019

Why my pee pee hurt? ? ?

9 9 Reply
Chandler 21 May 2020

really man you had to?

0 0 Reply
BEST POEMS
BEST POETS
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Close
Error Success