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Ode on Melancholy

Written by: John Keats | Biography
 | Quotes (59) |
NO no! go not to Lethe neither twist 
Wolf's-bane tight-rooted for its poisonous wine; 
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist 
By nightshade ruby grape of Proserpine; 
Make not your rosary of yew-berries 5 
Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be 
Your mournful Psyche nor the downy owl 
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries; 
For shade to shade will come too drowsily  
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. 10 

But when the melancholy fit shall fall 
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud  
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all  
And hides the green hill in an April shroud; 
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose 15 
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave  
Or on the wealth of glob¨¨d peonies; 
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows  
Emprison her soft hand and let her rave  
And feed deep deep upon her peerless eyes. 20 

She dwells with Beauty¡ªBeauty that must die; 
And Joy whose hand is ever at his lips 
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh  
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: 
Ay in the very temple of Delight 25 
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine  
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue 
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; 
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might  
And be among her cloudy trophies hung. 30 



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