Keats, John

There is a budding morrow in midnight.

Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings.

Poems:

Hither, hither, love
Hither hither, love—
‘Tis a shady mead—
Hither, hither, love!
Let us feed and feed!

Hither, hither, sweet—
‘Tis a cowslip bed—
Hither, hither, sweet!
‘Tis with dew bespread!

Hither, hither, dear
By the breath of life,
Hither, hither, dear!—
Be the summer’s wife!

Though one moment’s pleasure
In one moment flies—
Though the passion’s treasure
In one moment dies;—

Yet it has not passed—
Think how near, how near!—
And while it doth last,
Think how dear, how dear!

Hither, hither, hither
Love its boon has sent—
If I die and wither
I shall die content!


La Belle Dame Sans Merci
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.


(Hush, hush! tread softly!…)
I.
Hush, hush! tread softly! hush, hush, my dear!
All the house is asleep, but we know very well
That the jealous, the jealous old bald-pate may hear,
Tho’ you’ve padded his night-cap — O sweet Isabel!
Tho’ your feet are more light than a Faery’s feet,
Who dances on bubbles where brooklets meet, —
Hush, hush! soft tiptoe! hush, hush, my dear!
For less than a nothing the jealous can hear.
II.
No leaf doth tremble, no ripple is there
On the river, — all’s still, and the night’s sleepy eye
Closes up, and forgets all its Lethean care,
Charm’d to death by the drone of the humming May-fly;
And the moon, whether prudish or complaisant
Has fled to her bower, well knowing I want:
No light in the dusk, no torch in the gloom,
But my Isabel’s eyes, and her lips pulp’d with bloom.
III.
Lift the latch! ah gently! ah tenderly — sweet!
We are dead if that latchet gives one little clink!
Well done — now those lips, and a flowery seat —
The old man may sleep, and the planets may wink;
The shut rose shall dream of our loves and awake
Full-blown, and such warmth for the morning take,
The stock-dove shall hatch his soft twin-eggs and coo,
While I kiss to the melody, aching all through!

I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love!
To Fanny.
I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love!
Merciful love that tantalises not
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love,
Unmask’d, and being seen—without a blot!
O! let me have thee whole,—all—all—be mine!
That shape, that fairness, that sweet minor zest
Of love, your kiss,—those hands, those eyes divine,
That warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast,—
Yourself—your soul—in pity give me all,
Withhold no atom’s atom or I die,
Or living on, perhaps, your wretched thrall,
Forget, in the mist of idle misery,
Life’s purposes,—the palate of my mind
Losing its gust, and my ambition blind!

Modern Love
And what is love? It is a doll dress’d up
For idleness to cosset, nurse, and dandle;
A thing of soft misnomers, so divine
That silly youth doth think to make itself
Divine by loving, and so goes on
Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss’s comb is made a pearl tiara,
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Then Cleopatra lives at number seven,
And Antony resides in Brunswick Square.
Fools! if some passions high have warm’d the world,
If Queens and Soldiers have play’d deep for hearts,
It is no reason why such agonies
Should be more common than the growth of weeds.
Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The Queen of Egypt melted, and I’ll say
That ye may love in spite of beaver hats.


Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ — that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know — Ode to a Grecian Urn.

The poetry of the earth is never dead.

O for a life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!