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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?

Comments about Ode To A Nightingale by John Keats

  • Rookie - 46 Points Brenna Franklin (1/13/2016 2:36:00 PM)

    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. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 13,854 Points Seema Jayaraman (9/10/2015 1:05:00 PM)

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

  • Rookie - 333 Points Fred Scott (8/20/2015 6:45:00 PM)

    Simply superb and enchanting. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

Poems About Ode

  1. 1. Ode To A Nightingale , John Keats
  2. 2. Ode On Intimations Of Immortality From R.. , William Wordsworth
  3. 3. Bki:Xiv The Ship Of State , Horace
  4. 4. Ode To The Confederate Dead , Allen Tate
  5. 5. Ode To Aphrodite , Sappho
  6. 6. To His Young Mistress , Pierre de Ronsard
  7. 7. Ode To Sir William Sydney, On His Birthday , Ben Jonson
  8. 8. Ode To The West Wind , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  9. 9. Ode On A Grecian Urn , John Keats
  10. 10. Alexander's Feast; Or, The Power Of Music , John Dryden
  11. 11. Ode On Periods , Bernadette Mayer
  12. 12. Ode To My Socks , Pablo Neruda
  13. 13. America , Robert Creeley
  14. 14. Ode To Spring , Frederick Seidel
  15. 15. Ode On Solitude , Alexander Pope
  16. 16. Homage To My Hips , Lucille Clifton
  17. 17. The Bard , Thomas Gray
  18. 18. To The Immortal Memory And Friendship Of.. , Ben Jonson
  19. 19. Ode To Autumn , John Keats
  20. 20. Ode To A Large Tuna In The Market , Pablo Neruda
  21. 21. To A Skylark , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  22. 22. An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return F.. , Andrew Marvell
  23. 23. Bki:Xxx Ode To Venus , Horace
  24. 24. The Progress Of Poesy , Thomas Gray
  25. 25. For The Fallen , Robert Laurence Binyon
  26. 26. Ode To Sadness , Pablo Neruda
  27. 27. The Grasse-Hopper , Richard Lovelace
  28. 28. Sapphics , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  29. 29. An Ode To Himself , Ben Jonson
  30. 30. Ode To Liberty , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  31. 31. Dejection: An Ode , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  32. 32. Ode To Psyche , John Keats
  33. 33. Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Eton College , Thomas Gray
  34. 34. Ode To The Book , Pablo Neruda
  35. 35. Ode On St. Cecilia's Day , Alexander Pope
  36. 36. To Coleridge , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  37. 37. On The Death Of Richard West , Thomas Gray
  38. 38. Ode , John Donne
  39. 39. Ode To Wine , Pablo Neruda
  40. 40. Ode To Heaven , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  41. 41. Ode On Melancholy , John Keats
  42. 42. Ode To Sara, In Answer To A Letter From .. , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  43. 43. A Pindaric Ode , Ben Jonson
  44. 44. Ode On The Spring , Thomas Gray
  45. 45. Ode To Naples , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  46. 46. The Quaker Graveyard In Nantucket , Robert Lowell
  47. 47. Ode To Salt , Pablo Neruda
  48. 48. Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow.. , Thomas Gray
  49. 49. Ode To Broken Things , Pablo Neruda
  50. 50. A Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor , Ogden Nash
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