John Keats

Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.

Poem – Sleep And Poetry – John Keats

As I lay in my bed slepe full unmete 

Was unto me, but why that I ne might 

Rest I ne wist, for there n’as erthly wight 

[As I suppose] had more of hertis ese 

Than I, for I n’ad sicknesse nor disese. ~ Chaucer 

What is more gentle than a wind in summer? 

What is more soothing than the pretty hummer 

That stays one moment in an open flower, 

And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower? 

What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing 

In a green island, far from all men’s knowing? 

More healthful than the leafiness of dales? 

More secret than a nest of nightingales? 

More serene than Cordelia’s countenance? 

More full of visions than a high romance? 

What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes! 

Low murmurer of tender lullabies! 

Light hoverer around our happy pillows! 

Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows! 

Silent entangler of a beauty’s tresses! 

Most happy listener! when the morning blesses 

Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes 

That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise. 
But what is higher beyond thought than thee? 

Fresher than berries of a mountain tree? 

More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more regal, 

Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen eagle? 

What is it? And to what shall I compare it? 

It has a glory, and naught else can share it: 

The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy, 

Chasing away all worldliness and folly; 

Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder, 

Or the low rumblings earth’s regions under; 

And sometimes like a gentle whispering 

Of all the secrets of some wond’rous thing 

That breathes about us in the vacant air; 

So that we look around with prying stare, 

Perhaps to see shapes of light, aerial limning, 

And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning; 

To see the laurel wreath, on high suspended, 

That is to crown our name when life is ended. 

Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice, 

And from the heart up-springs, rejoice! rejoice! 

Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things, 

And die away in ardent mutterings. 
No one who once the glorious sun has seen, 

And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean 

For his great Maker’s presence, but must know 

What ’tis I mean, and feel his being glow: 

Therefore no insult will I give his spirit, 

By telling what he sees from native merit. 
O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen 

That am not yet a glorious denizen 

Of thy wide heaven- Should I rather kneel 

Upon some mountain-top until I feel 

A glowing splendour round about me hung, 

And echo back the voice of thine own tongue? 

O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen 

That am not yet a glorious denizen 

Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer, 

Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air, 

Smooth’d for intoxication by the breath 

Of flowering bays, that I may die a death 

Of luxury, and my young spirit follow 

The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo 

Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear 

The o’erwhelming sweets, ’twill bring to me the fair 

Visions of all places: a bowery nook 

Will be elysium- an eternal book 

Whence I may copy many a lovely saying 

About the leaves, and flowers- about the playing 

Of nymphs in woods, and fountains; and the shade 

Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid; 

And many a verse from so strange influence 

That we must ever wonder how, and whence 

It came. Also imaginings will hover 

Round my fire-side, and haply there discover 

Vistas of solemn beauty, where I’d wander 

In happy silence, like the clear Meander 

Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot 

Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot, 

Or a green hill o’erspread with chequer’d dress 

Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness, 

Write on my tablets all that was permitted, 

All that was for our human senses fitted. 

Then the events of this wide world I’d seize 

Like a strong giant, and my spirit teaze 

Till at its shoulders it should proudly see 

Wings to find out an immortality. 
Stop and consider! life is but a day; 

A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way 

From a tree’s summit; a poor Indian’s sleep 

While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep 

Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan? 

Life is the rose’s hope while yet unblown; 

The reading of an ever-changing tale; 

The light uplifting of a maiden’s veil; 

A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air; 

A laughing school-boy, without grief or care, 

Riding the springy branches of an elm. 
O for ten years, that I may overwhelm 

Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed 

That my own soul has to itself decreed. 

Then will I pass the countries that I see 

In long perspective, and continually 

Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I’ll pass 

Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass, 

Feed upon apples red, and strawberries, 

And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees; 

Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places, 

To woo sweet kisses from averted faces,- 

Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white 

Into a pretty shrinking with a bite 

As hard as lips can make it: till agreed, 

A lovely tale of human life we’ll read. 

And one will teach a tame dove how it best 

May fan the cool air gently o’er my rest; 

Another, bending o’er her nimble tread, 

Will set a green robe floating round her head, 

And still will dance with ever varied ease, 

Smiling upon the flowers and the trees: 

Another will entice me on, and on 

Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon; 

Till in the bosom of a leafy world 

We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl’d 

In the recesses of a pearly shell. 
And can I ever bid these joys farewell? 

Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life, 

Where I may find the agonies, the strife 

Of human hearts: for lo! I see afar, 

O’ersailing the blue cragginess, a car 

And steeds with streamy manes- the charioteer 

Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear: 

And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly 

Along a huge cloud’s ridge; and now with sprightly 

Wheel downward come they into fresher skies, 

Tipt round with silver from the sun’s bright eyes. 

Still downward with capacious whirl they glide; 

And now I see them on the green-hill’s side 

In breezy rest among the nodding stalks. 

The charioteer with wond’rous gesture talks 

To the trees and mountains; and there soon appear 

Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear, 

Passing along before a dusky space 

Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase 

Some ever- fleeting music on they sweep. 

Lo! how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep: 

Some with upholden hand and mouth severe; 

Some with their faces muffled to the ear 

Between their arms; some, clear in youthful bloom, 

Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom; 

Some looking back, and some with upward gaze; 

Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways 

Flit onward- now a lovely wreath of girls 

Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls; 

And now broad wings. Most awfully intent 

The driver of those steeds is forward bent, 

And seems to listen: O that I might know 

All that he writes with such a hurrying glow. 
The visions all are fled- the car is fled 

Into the light of heaven, and in their stead 

A sense of real things comes doubly strong, 

And, like a muddy stream, would bear along 

My soul to nothingness: but I will strive 

Against all doubtings, and will keep alive 

The thought of that same chariot, and the strange 

Journey it went. 

Is there so small a range 

In the present strength of manhood, that the high 

Imagination cannot freely fly 

As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds, 

Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds 

Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all? 

From the clear space of ether, to the small 

Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning 

Of Jove’s large eye-brow, to the tender greening 

Of April meadows? Here her altar shone, 

E’en in this isle; and who could paragon 

The fervid choir that lifted up a noise 

Of harmony, to where it aye will poise 

Its mighty self of convoluting sound, 

Huge as a planet, and like that roll round, 

Eternally around a dizzy void? 

Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy’d 

With honors; nor had any other care 

Than to sing out and sooth their wavy hair. 
Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a schism 

Nurtured by foppery and barbarism, 

Made great Apollo blush for this his land. 

Men were thought wise who could not understand 

His glories: with a puling infant’s force 

They sway’d about upon a rocking horse, 

And thought it Pegasus. Ah dismal soul’d! 

The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll’d 

Its gathering waves- ye felt it not. The blue 

Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew 

Of summer nights collected still to make 

The morning precious: beauty was awake! 

Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead 

To things ye knew not of,- were closely wed 

To musty laws lined out with wretched rule 

And compass vile: so that ye taught a school 

Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit, 

Till, like the certain wands of Jacob’s wit, 

Their verses tallied. Easy was the task: 

A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask 

Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race! 

That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face, 

And did not know it,- no, they went about, 

Holding a poor, decrepid standard out 

Mark’d with most flimsy mottos, and in large 

The name of one Boileau! 
O ye whose charge 

It is to hover round our pleasant hills! 

Whose congregated majesty so fills 

My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace 

Your hallowed names, in this unholy place, 

So near those common folk; did not their shames 

Affright you? Did our old lamenting Thames 

Delight you? Did ye never cluster round 

Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound, 

And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu 

To regions where no more the laurel grew? 

Or did ye stay to give a welcoming 

To some lone spirits who could proudly sing 

Their youth away, and die? ‘Twas even so: 

But let me think away those times of woe: 

Now ’tis a fairer season; ye have breathed 

Rich benedictions o’er us; ye have wreathed 

Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard 

In many places;- some has been upstirr’d 

From out its crystal dwelling in a lake, 

By a swan’s ebon bill; from a thick brake, 

Nested and quiet in a valley mild, 

Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild 

About the earth: happy are ye and glad. 
These things are doubtless: yet in truth we’ve had 

Strange thunders from the potency of song; 

Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong, 

From majesty: but in clear truth the themes 

Are ugly clubs, the Poets’ Polyphemes 

Disturbing the grand sea. A drainless shower 

Of light is poesy; ’tis the supreme of power; 

‘Tis might half slumb’ring on its own right arm. 

The very archings of her eye-lids charm 

A thousand willing agents to obey, 

And still she governs with the mildest sway: 

But strength alone though of the Muses born 

Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn, 

Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchres 

Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs, 

And thorns of life; forgetting the great end 

Of poesy, that it should be a friend 

To sooth the cares, and lift the thoughts of man. 
Yet I rejoice: a myrtle fairer than 

E’er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds 

Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds 

A silent space with ever sprouting green. 

All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen, 

Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering, 

Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing. 

Then let us clear away the choking thorns 

From round its gentle stem; let the young fawns, 

Yeaned in after times, when we are flown, 

Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown 

With simple flowers: let there nothing be 

More boisterous than a lover’s bended knee; 

Nought more ungentle than the placid look 

Of one who leans upon a closed book; 

Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes 

Between two hills. All hail delightful hopes! 

As she was wont, th’ imagination 

Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone, 

And they shall be accounted poet kings 

Who simply tell the most heart-easing things. 

O may these joys be ripe before I die. 
Will not some say that I presumptuously 

Have spoken? that from hastening disgrace 

‘Twere better far to hide my foolish face? 

That whining boyhood should with reverence bow 

Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach? How! 

If I do hide myself, it sure shall be 

In the very fane, the light of Poesy: 

If I do fall, at least I will be laid 

Beneath the silence of a poplar shade; 

And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven; 

And there shall be a kind memorial graven. 

But off Despondence! miserable bane! 

They should not know thee, who athirst to gain 

A noble end, are thirsty every hour. 

What though I am not wealthy in the dower 

Of spanning wisdom; though I do not know 

The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow 

Hither and thither all the changing thoughts 

Of man: though no great minist’ring reason sorts 

Out the dark mysteries of human souls 

To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls 

A vast idea before me, and I glean 

Therefrom my liberty; thence too I’ve seen 

The end and aim of Poesy. ‘Tis clear 

As anything most true; as that the year 

Is made of the four seasons- manifest 

As a large cross, some old cathedral’s crest, 

Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore should I 

Be but the essence of deformity, 

A coward, did my very eye-lids wink 

At speaking out what I have dared to think. 

Ah! rather let me like a madman run 

Over some precipice; let the hot sun 

Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down 

Convuls’d and headlong! Stay! an inward frown 

Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile. 

An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle, 

Spreads awfully before me. How much toil! 

How many days! what desperate turmoil! 

Ere I can have explored its widenesses. 

Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees, 

I could unsay those- no, impossible! 

For sweet relief I’ll dwell 

On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay 

Begun in gentleness die so away. 

E’en now all tumult from my bosom fades: 

I turn full hearted to the friendly aids 

That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood, 

And friendliness the nurse of mutual good. 

The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet 

Into the brain ere one can think upon it; 

The silence when some rhymes are coming out; 

And when they’re come, the very pleasant rout: 

The message certain to be done to-morrow. 

‘Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow 

Some precious book from out its snug retreat, 

To cluster round it when we next shall meet. 

Scarce can I scribble on; for lovely airs 

Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs; 

Many delights of that glad day recalling, 

When first my senses caught their tender falling. 

And with these airs come forms of elegance 

Stooping their shoulders o’er a horse’s prance, 

Careless, and grand-fingers soft and round 

Parting luxuriant curls;- and the swift bound 

Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye 

Made Ariadne’s cheek look blushingly. 

Thus I remember all the pleasant flow 

Of words at opening a portfolio. 
Things such as these are ever harbingers 

To trains of peaceful images: the stirs 

Of a swan’s neck unseen among the rushes: 

A linnet starting all about the bushes: 

A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted, 

Nestling a rose, convuls’d as though it smarted 

With over pleasure- many, many more, 

Might I indulge at large in all my store 

Of luxuries: yet I must not forget 

Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet: 

For what there may be worthy in these rhymes 

I partly owe to him: and thus, the chimes 

Of friendly voices had just given place 

To as sweet a silence, when I ‘gan retrace 

The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease. 

It was a poet’s house who keeps the keys 

Of pleasure’s temple. Round about were hung 

The glorious features of the bards who sung 

In other ages- cold and sacred busts 

Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts 

To clear Futurity his darling fame! 

Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim 

At swelling apples with a frisky leap 

And reaching fingers, ‘mid a luscious heap 

Of vine-leaves. Then there rose to view a fane 

Of liny marble, and thereto a train 

Of nymphs approaching fairly o’er the sward: 

One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward 

The dazzling sun-rise: two sisters sweet 

Bending their graceful figures till they meet 

Over the trippings of a little child: 

And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild 

Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping. 

See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping 

Cherishingly Diana’s timorous limbs;- 

A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims 

At the bath’s edge, and keeps a gentle motion 

With the subsiding crystal: as when ocean 

Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o’er 

Its rocky marge, and balances once more 

The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam 

Feel all about their undulating home. 
Sappho’s meek head was there half smiling down 

At nothing; just as though the earnest frown 

Of over thinking had that moment gone 

From off her brow, and left her all alone. 
Great Alfred’s too, with anxious, pitying eyes, 

As if he always listened to the sighs 

Of the goaded world; and Kosciusko’s worn 

By horrid suffrance- mightily forlorn. 

Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green, 

Starts at the sight of Laura; nor can wean 

His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they! 

For over them was seen a free display 

Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone 

The face of Poesy: from off her throne 

She overlook’d things that I scarce could tell. 

The very sense of where I was might well 

Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came 

Thought after thought to nourish up the flame 

Within my breast; so that the morning light 

Surprised me even from a sleepless night; 

And up I rose refresh’d, and glad, and gay, 

Resolving to begin that very day 

These lines; and howsoever they be done, 

I leave them as a father does his son. 

Poem – Robin Hood – John Keats

To A Friend 

NO! those days are gone away, 

And their hours are old and gray, 

And their minutes buried all 

Under the down-trodden pall 

Ofthe leaves of many years: 

Many times have winter’s shears, 

Frozen North, and chilling East, 

Sounded tempests to the feast 

Of the forest’s whispering fleeces, 

Since men knew nor rent nor leases. 
No, the bugle sounds no more, 

And the twanging bow no more; 

Silent is the ivory shrill 

Past the heath and up the hill; 

There is no mid-forest laugh, 

Where lone Echo gives the half 

To some wight, amaz’d to hear 

Jesting, deep in forest drear. 
On the fairest time of June 

You may go, with sun or moon, 

Or the seven stars to light you, 

Or the polar ray to right you; 

But you never may behold 

Little John, or Robin bold; 

Never one, of all the clan, 

Thrumming on an empty can 

Some old hunting ditty, while 

He doth his green way beguile 

To fair hostess Merriment, 

Down beside the pasture Trent; 

For he left the merry tale, 

Messenger for spicy ale. 
Gone, the merry morris din; 

Gone, the song of Gamelyn; 

Gone, the tough-belted outlaw 

Idling in the ‘grene shawe’; 

All are gone away and past! 

And if Robin should be cast 

Sudden from his turfed grave, 

And if Marian should have 

Once again her forest days, 

She would weep, and he would craze: 

He would swear, for all his oaks, 

Fall’n beneath the dockyard strokes, 

Have rotted on the briny seas; 

She would weep that her wild bees 

Sang not to her- -strange! that honey 

Can’t be got without hard money! 
So it is; yet let us sing 

Honour to the old bow-string! 

Honour to the bugle-horn! 

Honour to the woods unshorn! 

Honour to the Lincoln green! 

Honour to the archer keen! 

Honour to tight little John, 

And the horse he rode upon! 

Honour to bold Robin Hood, 

Sleeping in the underwood! 

Honour to maid Marian, 

And to all the Sherwood clan! 

Though their days have hurried by 

Let us two a burden try.

Poem – Dawlish Fair – John Keats

Over the hill and over the dale, 

And over the bourn to Dawlish– 

Where gingerbread wives have a scanty sale 

And gingerbread nuts are smallish. 

Rantipole Betty she ran down a hill 

And kicked up her petticoats fairly; 

Says I I’ll be Jack if you will be Gill– 

So she sat on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody coming, here’s somebody coming! 

Says I ’tis the wind at a parley; 

So without any fuss any hawing and humming 

She lay on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody here and here’s somebody there! 

Says I hold your tongue you young Gipsey; 

So she held her tongue and lay plump and fair 

And dead as a Venus tipsy. 
O who wouldn’t hie to Dawlish fair, 

O who wouldn’t stop in a Meadow, 

O who would not rumple the daisies there 

And make the wild fern for a bed do!


Poem – His Last Sonnet – John Keats

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! – 

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night, 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask 

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors – 

No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 

Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

Poem – An Extempore – John Keats

When they were come into Faery’s Court 

They rang — no one at home — all gone to sport 

And dance and kiss and love as faerys do 

For Faries be as human lovers true — 

Amid the woods they were so lone and wild 

Where even the Robin feels himself exil’d 

And where the very books as if affraid 

Hurry along to some less magic shade. 

‘No one at home’! the fretful princess cry’d 

‘And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride 

And all for nothing my new diamond cross 

No one to see my persian feathers toss 

No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool 

Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule. 

Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there 

Burst the door open, quick — or I declare 

I’ll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.’ 

The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape 

Star’d at the Fool, the Fool was all agape 

The Princess grasp’d her switch but just in time 

The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme. 

‘O mighty Princess did you ne’er hear tell 

What your poor servants know but too too well 

Know you the three great crimes in faery land 

The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand 

I made a whipstock of a faery’s wand 

The next is snoring in their company 

The next the last the direst of the three 

Is making free when they are not at home. 

I was a Prince — a baby prince — my doom 

You see, I made a whipstock of a wand 

My top has henceforth slept in faery land. 

He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince 

But he has never been a King’s son since 

He fell a snoring at a faery Ball 

Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing 

But ape — so pray your highness stay awhile 

‘Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow — 

Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow — 

While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite 

Peal’d the brown hazel twig to lilly white 

Clench’d her small teeth, and held her lips apart 

Try’d to look unconcerned with beating heart. 

They saw her highness had made up her mind 

And quaver’d like the reeds before the wind 

And they had had it, but O happy chance 

The Ape for very fear began to dance 

And grin’d as all his uglyness did ache– 

She staid her vixen fingers for his sake 

He was so very ugly: then she took 

Her pocket mirror and began to look 

First at herself and [then] at him and then 

She smil’d at her own beauteous face again. 

Yet for all this — for all her pretty face 

She took it in her head to see the place. 

Women gain little from experience 

Either in Lovers, husbands or expense. 

The more their beauty the more fortune too 

Beauty before the wide world never knew. 

So each fair reasons — tho’ it oft miscarries. 

She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries. 

‘My darling Ape I wont whip you today 

Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play.’ 

They all three wept but counsel was as vain 

As crying cup biddy to drops of rain. 

Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw 

The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw. 

The Princess took it and dismounting straight 

Trip’d in blue silver’d slippers to the gate 

And touch’d the wards, the Door full courteously 

Opened — she enter’d with her servants three. 

Again it clos’d and there was nothing seen 

But the Mule grasing on the herbage green. 

End of Canto xii. 
Canto the xiii. 

The Mule no sooner saw himself alone 

Than he prick’d up his Ears — and said ‘well done! 

At least unhappy Prince I may be free — 

No more a Princess shall side saddle me 

O King of Othaiete — tho’ a Mule 

‘Aye every inch a King’ — tho’ ‘Fortune’s fool.’ 

Well done — for by what Mr. Dwarfy said 

I would not give a sixpence for her head.’ 

Even as he spake he trotted in high glee 

To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree 

And rub’d his sides against the mossed bark 

Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark 

Except his Bridle — how get rid of that 

Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait. 

At last it struck him to pretend to sleep 

And then the thievish Monkies down would creep 

And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away. 

No sooner thought of than adown he lay 

Sham’d a good snore — the Monkey-men descended 

And whom they thought to injure they befriended. 

They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough 

And off he went run, trot, or anyhow–

Poem – A Galloway Song – John Keats

Ah! ken ye what I met the day 

Out oure the Mountains 

A coming down by craggi[e]s grey 

An mossie fountains — 

A[h] goud hair’d Marie yeve I pray 

Ane minute’s guessing — 

For that I met upon the way 

Is past expressing. 

As I stood where a rocky brig 

A torrent crosses 

I spied upon a misty rig 

A troup o’ Horses — 

And as they trotted down the glen 

I sped to meet them 

To see if I might know the Men 

To stop and greet them. 

First Willie on his sleek mare came 

At canting gallop — 

His long hair rustled like a flame 

On board a shallop. 

Then came his brother Rab and then 

Young Peggy’s Mither 

And Peggy too — adown the glen 

They went togither — 

I saw her wrappit in her hood 

Fra wind and raining — 

Her cheek was flush wi’ timid blood 

‘Twixt growth and waning — 

She turn’d her dazed head full oft 

For there her Brithers 

Came riding with her Bridegroom soft 

And mony ithers. 

Young Tam came up an’ eyed me quick 

With reddened cheek — 

Braw Tam was daffed like a chick — 

He coud na speak — 

Ah Marie they are all gane hame 

Through blustering weather 

An’ every heart is full on flame 

Ah! Marie they are all gone hame 

Fra happy wedding, 

Whilst I — Ah is it not a shame? 

Sad tears am shedding.

Poem – Lines – John Keats

UNFELT unheard, unseen, 

I’ve left my little queen, 

Her languid arms in silver slumber lying: 

Ah! through their nestling touch, 

Who—who could tell how much 

There is for madness—cruel, or complying? 
Those faery lids how sleek! 

Those lips how moist!—they speak, 

In ripest quiet, shadows of sweet sounds: 

Into my fancy’s ear 

Melting a burden dear, 

How “Love doth know no fulness, nor no bounds.” 
True!—tender monitors! 

I bend unto your laws: 

This sweetest day for dalliance was born! 

So, without more ado, 

I’ll feel my heaven anew, 

For all the blushing of the hasty morn. 

Poem – Fancy – John Keats 

Ever let the Fancy roam, 

Pleasure never is at home: 

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, 

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth; 

Then let winged Fancy wander 

Through the thought still spread beyond her: 

Open wide the mind’s cage-door, 

She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar. 

O sweet Fancy! let her loose; 

Summer’s joys are spoilt by use, 

And the enjoying of the Spring 

Fades as does its blossoming; 

Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too, 

Blushing through the mist and dew, 

Cloys with tasting: What do then? 

Sit thee by the ingle, when 

The sear faggot blazes bright, 

Spirit of a winter’s night; 

When the soundless earth is muffled, 

And the caked snow is shuffled 

From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon; 

When the Night doth meet the Noon 

In a dark conspiracy 

To banish Even from her sky. 

Sit thee there, and send abroad, 

With a mind self-overaw’d, 

Fancy, high-commission’d:–send her! 

She has vassals to attend her: 

She will bring, in spite of frost, 

Beauties that the earth hath lost; 

She will bring thee, all together, 

All delights of summer weather; 

All the buds and bells of May, 

From dewy sward or thorny spray; 

All the heaped Autumn’s wealth, 

With a still, mysterious stealth: 

She will mix these pleasures up 

Like three fit wines in a cup, 

And thou shalt quaff it:–thou shalt hear 

Distant harvest-carols clear; 

Rustle of the reaped corn; 

Sweet birds antheming the morn: 

And, in the same moment, hark! 

‘Tis the early April lark, 

Or the rooks, with busy caw, 

Foraging for sticks and straw. 

Thou shalt, at one glance, behold 

The daisy and the marigold; 

White-plum’d lillies, and the first 

Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst; 

Shaded hyacinth, alway 

Sapphire queen of the mid-May; 

And every leaf, and every flower 

Pearled with the self-same shower. 

Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep 

Meagre from its celled sleep; 

And the snake all winter-thin 

Cast on sunny bank its skin; 

Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see 

Hatching in the hawthorn-tree, 

When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest 

Quiet on her mossy nest; 

Then the hurry and alarm 

When the bee-hive casts its swarm; 

Acorns ripe down-pattering, 

While the autumn breezes sing. 
Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose; 

Every thing is spoilt by use: 

Where’s the cheek that doth not fade, 

Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid 

Whose lip mature is ever new? 

Where’s the eye, however blue, 

Doth not weary? Where’s the face 

One would meet in every place? 

Where’s the voice, however soft, 

One would hear so very oft? 

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth 

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth. 

Let, then, winged Fancy find 

Thee a mistress to thy mind: 

Dulcet-ey’d as Ceres’ daughter, 

Ere the God of Torment taught her 

How to frown and how to chide; 

With a waist and with a side 

White as Hebe’s, when her zone 

Slipt its golden clasp, and down 

Fell her kirtle to her feet, 

While she held the goblet sweet 

And Jove grew languid.–Break the mesh 

Of the Fancy’s silken leash; 

Quickly break her prison-string 

And such joys as these she’ll bring.– 

Let the winged Fancy roam, 

Pleasure never is at home.

Poem – Bright Star – John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art– 

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors– 

No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 

Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

Poem – A Party of Lovers – John Keats

Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes, Nibble their toast, and cool their tea with sighs, 

Or else forget the purpose of the night, 

Forget their tea — forget their appetite. 

See with cross’d arms they sit — ah! happy crew, 

The fire is going out and no one rings 

For coals, and therefore no coals Betty brings. 

A fly is in the milk-pot — must he die 

By a humane society? 

No, no; there Mr. Werter takes his spoon, 

Inserts it, dips the handle, and lo! soon 

The little straggler, sav’d from perils dark, 

Across the teaboard draws a long wet mark. 

Arise! take snuffers by the handle, 

There’s a large cauliflower in each candle. 

A winding-sheet, ah me! I must away 

To No. 7, just beyond the circus gay. 

‘Alas, my friend! your coat sits very well; 

Where may your tailor live?’ ‘I may not tell. 

O pardon me — I’m absent now and then. 

Where might my tailor live? I say again 

I cannot tell, let me no more be teaz’d — 

He lives in Wapping, might live where he pleas’d.’

Poem – A Draught of Sunshine – John Keats. 

Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port, Away with old Hock and madeira, 

Too earthly ye are for my sport; 

There’s a beverage brighter and clearer. 

Instead of a piriful rummer, 

My wine overbrims a whole summer; 

My bowl is the sky, 

And I drink at my eye, 

Till I feel in the brain 

A Delphian pain – 

Then follow, my Caius! then follow: 

On the green of the hill 

We will drink our fill 

Of golden sunshine, 

Till our brains intertwine 

With the glory and grace of Apollo! 

God of the Meridian, 

And of the East and West, 

To thee my soul is flown, 

And my body is earthward press’d. – 

It is an awful mission, 

A terrible division; 

And leaves a gulph austere 

To be fill’d with worldly fear. 

Aye, when the soul is fled 

To high above our head, 

Affrighted do we gaze 

After its airy maze, 

As doth a mother wild, 

When her young infant child 

Is in an eagle’s claws – 

And is not this the cause 

Of madness? – God of Song, 

Thou bearest me along 

Through sights I scarce can bear: 

O let me, let me share 

With the hot lyre and thee, 

The staid Philosophy. 

Temper my lonely hours, 

And let me see thy bowers 

More unalarm’d!