Ode to a Nightingale

John Keats, 1795 – 1821

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 thine 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  
  Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,  
Tasting of Flora and the country green,  
  Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt 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 to-morrow.

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,  
    Cluster’d 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 cover’d 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,  
Call’d 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  
  Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam  
    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.   

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell  
  To toil me back from thee to my sole self!  
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well  
  As she is fam’d 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?

CCLV. Ode to Autumn

J. Keats
CCLV. Ode to Autumn
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,	 
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;	 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless	 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;	 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,	         5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;	 
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells	 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,	 
And still more, later flowers for the bees,	 
Until they think warm days will never cease;	  10
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.	 
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?	 
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find	 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,	 
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;	  15
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,	 
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook	 
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:	 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep	 
Steady thy laden head across a brook;	  20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,	 
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.	 
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?	 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—	 
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day	  25
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;	 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn	 
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft	 
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;	 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;	  30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft	 
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;	 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.