Saturday, April 18, 2009



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 Provençal 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 toll 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?

~John Keats

9 comments:

Lea said...

How lovely to sit and read that over my coffee. Thank you, Yoli!

Lea
xo

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

I love that little bird in combination with that beautiful penmanship - oh to be able to write with a quill. If I weren't so lazy, I'd learn.

Jeanne said...

Beautiful

Yoli said...

That is actually John Keats penmanship.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I do love Keats.

A Cuban In London said...

I notice that you have chosen a poem that has a deep sad undercurrent. I hope everything is OK with you. I love Keats, but he can be devastating some times. This is just marvellous.

Greetings from London.

Ty said...

Hi Yoli, don't you just love wallpaper? I wasn't sure if you where talking about the strips or the geometric print so here are some of my fave links.

Farrow and Ball always has great stripes: http://www.farrow-ball.com/categorylist.aspx?cid=WP&language=en-GB

Walnut Wallpaper has some beautiful black and white prints: http://walnutwallpaper.com/wallpapers.php?filter=color&type=black&name=Black+%26amp%3B+White&paperID=1045

Twenty2 has this geometric print that I love: http://www.twenty2.net/wallpaper/pages/peekaboo_page.html

I love this stripe from Waverly: http://www.waverly.com/products_information.php?id=578800&productType=2

Hope those help...

All The Best,
Typhanie

Renee said...

Yoli thanks for sharing this with me. I love it and am inspired by it.

Love Renee xoxo

doramitchell said...

My goodness, thank you for sharing that--what an amazing poem! You do find the nicest quotations and pictures...it's always inspiring to stop by and see what beautiful things you've posted...