John Keats

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

Ode To A Nightingale

Poem by John Keats

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?

Form: Ode


Comments about Ode To A Nightingale by John Keats

  • Radhuga Sreekumar Geetha (12/31/2019 8:44:00 AM)

    Those lovely lines by my lovely poet(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Tommy (11/5/2019 4:26:00 PM)

    Why my pee pee hurt? ? ?(Report)Reply

    Chandler(5/21/2020 1:49:00 PM)

    really man you had to?

    8 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Bruno Mars (5/21/2019 3:09:00 PM)

    This mireda is pure bro this poem is so bad it makes me want to throw up.(Report)Reply

    Richard Ponsonby(1/18/2020 6:28:00 PM)

    If you want to vomit or empty your bowels just read Robert Frost, the moron who on his inheritance wandered around turning his banal experiences into mock epic events, or spoilt boy Leonard Cohen with money, but no talent self-promoted like PT Barnum

    Richard Ponsonby(1/18/2020 6:25:00 PM)

    If you need to vomit, just read the megalomaniacal versifier, Robert Frost, who turns small events in his mundane life into pseudo epics, or if you're constipated, just read Leonard Cohen whose ego and lack of talent guarantees a sudden evacuation.

    4 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (12/16/2018 9:41:00 PM)

    Most loved one...this poem made my world...(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran NairParameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair (9/24/2018 6:10:00 AM)

    Keats, the immortal nightingale is still singing for us(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Qaisy (8/23/2018 4:23:00 AM)

    It’s a nice ode and it has a lot of lines and verses(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • Cristobal BenjumeaCristobal Benjumea (8/2/2018 5:56:00 PM)

    KEATS The KING, giving hope to the world, and beauty, uninhibited tenderness(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • biswambar panda (7/15/2018 12:06:00 PM)

    Lovely and beautiful line by line I drank words born of melody filled syllables sung into sense(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (5/30/2018 10:41:00 PM)

    Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

    ........

    Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain- -
    To thy high requiem become a sod

    ..........

    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(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • sania (5/24/2018 12:20:00 PM)

    shorter plz this is no(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Saniya (5/22/2018 11:42:00 PM)

    I want short poem(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Saniya (5/22/2018 11:41:00 PM)

    I want short poem(Report)Reply

    Florence(8/23/2019 12:55:00 AM)

    Read Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost - they tend to be short!

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Saniya (5/22/2018 11:40:00 PM)

    I want short poem not want long poem(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Diógenes Pereira de Araújo (5/20/2018 9:09:00 AM)

    Impressive JOHN KEATS die with 25 years!(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Alam Singh Rawat (5/15/2018 3:51:00 AM)

    Can not reveal mydepth hunger for the poet.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Taodhg (5/4/2018 3:51:00 PM)

    such a rich life in posy, the real stuff could only disappoint. More disease and sorrow here than the elfy groves where one can hide. But for a while one can, and he did. for a short while...short, like all whiles, but better than absinthe, when poesy flows.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • SylvaOnyema (4/20/2018 11:40:00 AM)

    ...the very word is like a bell. Nicely written.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • feddf (4/18/2018 4:51:00 PM)

    da is this? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • jeffy (3/5/2018 3:50:00 PM)

    why is jeffy so awesome cause of his song why(Report)Reply

    Unanimous(5/29/2018 8:41:00 AM)

    You a Weirdo. Why u do dat! Y u so dum

    9 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • bill disikeveje (2/6/2018 2:38:00 PM)

    i hate it too much words(Report)Reply

    14 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
Read all 50 comments »




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Read poems about / on: sad, summer, happy, song, green, magic, purple, sick, ode, happiness, death, dance, sorrow, music, light, rose, tree, moon, child, beauty



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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