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Best Famous John Keats Poems

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by John Keats | |

When I have Fears that I may cease to be

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be 
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain  
Before high pil`d books in charact'ry  
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain; 
When I behold upon the night's starr'd face 5 
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance  
And feel that I may never live to trace 
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance; 
And when I feel fair creature of an hour! 
That I shall never look upon thee more 10 
Never have relish in the faery power 
Of unreflecting love;¡ªthen on the shore 
Of the wide world I stand alone and think  
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.


by John Keats | |

To Sleep

O SOFT embalmer of the still midnight! 
Shutting with careful fingers and benign 
Our gloom-pleased eyes embower'd from the light  
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine; 
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee close 5 
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes  
Or wait the amen ere thy poppy throws 
Around my bed its lulling charities; 
Then save me or the pass¨¨d day will shine 
Upon my pillow breeding many woes; 10 
Save me from curious conscience that still lords 
Its strength for darkness burrowing like a mole; 
Turn the key deftly in the oil¨¨d wards  
And seal the hush¨¨d casket of my soul.


by John Keats | |

Last Sonnet

BRIGHT Star! would I were steadfast as thou art¡ª 
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 priest-like task 5 
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores  
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors¡ª 
No¡ªyet still steadfast still unchangeable  
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast 10 
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¡ªor else swoon to death.


by John Keats | |

Stanzas

IN a drear-nighted December  
Too happy happy tree  
Thy branches ne'er remember 
Their green felicity: 
The north cannot undo them 5 
With a sleety whistle through them; 
Nor frozen thawings glue them 
From budding at the prime.
In a drear-nighted December Too happy happy brook 10 Thy bubblings ne'er remember Apollo's summer look; But with a sweet forgetting They stay their crystal fretting Never never petting 15 About the frozen time.
Ah! would 'twere so with many A gentle girl and boy! But were there ever any Writhed not at pass¨¨d joy? 20 To know the change and feel it When there is none to heal it Nor numb¨¨d sense to steal it Was never said in rhyme.


by John Keats | |

On first looking into Chapmans Homer

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold  
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 
Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5 That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; 10 Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific¡ªand all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise¡ª Silent upon a peak in Darien.


by James Henry Leigh Hunt | |

On Receiving a Crown of Ivy from John Keats

 It is a lofty feeling, yet a kind, 
Thus to be topped with leaves;--to have a sense 
Of honour-shaded thought,--an influence 
As from great nature's fingers, and be twined 
With her old, sacred, verdurous ivy-bind, 
As though she hallowed with that sylvan fence 
A head that bows to her benevolence, 
Midst pomp of fancied trumpets in the wind.
It is what's within us crowned.
And kind and great Are all the conquering wishes it inspires, Love of things lasting, love of the tall woods, Love of love's self, and ardour for a state Of natural good befitting such desires, Towns without gain, and hunted solitudes.


by Amy Lowell | |

To John Keats

 Great master! Boyish, sympathetic man!
Whose orbed and ripened genius lightly hung
From life's slim, twisted tendril and there swung
In crimson-sphered completeness; guardian
Of crystal portals through whose openings fan
The spiced winds which blew when earth was young,
Scattering wreaths of stars, as Jove once flung
A golden shower from heights cerulean.
Crumbled before thy majesty we bow.
Forget thy empurpled state, thy panoply Of greatness, and be merciful and near; A youth who trudged the highroad we tread now Singing the miles behind him; so may we Faint throbbings of thy music overhear.


by Dorothy Parker | |

A Pigs-Eye View Of Literature

 The Lives and Times of John Keats,
Percy Bysshe Shelley, and
George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron

Byron and Shelley and Keats
Were a trio of Lyrical treats.
The forehead of Shelley was cluttered with curls, And Keats never was a descendant of earls, And Byron walked out with a number of girls, But it didn't impair the poetical feats Of Byron and Shelley, Of Byron and Shelley, Of Byron and Shelley and Keats.


by Robert William Service | |

What Kisses Had John Keats?

 I scanned two lines with some surmise
As over Keats I chanced to pore:
'And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
 With kisses four.
' Says I: 'Why was it only four, Not five or six or seven? I think I would have made it more,-- Even eleven.
'Gee! If she'd lured a guy like me Into her gelid grot I'd make that Belle Dame sans Merci Sure kiss a lot.
'Them poets have their little tricks; I think John counted kisses for, Not two or three or five or six To rhyme with "sore.
"'


by George (Lord) Byron | |

John Keats

 Who killed John Keats? 
'I,' says the Quarterly, 
So savage and Tartarly; 
''Twas one of my feats.
' Who shot the arrow? 'The poet-priest Milman (So ready to kill man), Or Southey or Barrow.
'


by John Keats | |

The Human Seasons

 Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
 There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
 Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
 Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
 Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
 He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness--to let fair things
 Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, Or else he would forego his mortal nature.


by John Keats | |

Written On A Summer Evening

 The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs, And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp, A chill as from a tomb, did I not know That they are dying like an outburnt lamp,— That 'tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go Into oblivion—that fresh flowers will grow, And many glories of immortal stamp.


by John Keats | |

The Day Is Gone And All Its Sweets Are Gone

 The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!
Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semitone,
Bright eyes, accomplished shape, and lang'rous waist!
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,
Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise— 
Vanished unseasonably at shut of eve,
When the dusk holiday—or holinight
Of fragrant-curtained love begins to weave
The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight;
But, as I've read love's missal through today,
He'll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray.


by John Keats | |

To Solitude

 O solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
 Let it not be among the jumbled heap
 Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature's observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
 May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
 'Mongst boughs pavillion'd, where the deer's swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee, Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind, Whose words are images of thoughts refin'd, Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be Almost the highest bliss of human-kind, When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.


by John Keats | |

In Drear-Nighted December

 In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
 From budding at the prime.
In drear-nighted December, Too happy, happy brook, Thy bubblings ne'er remember Apollo's summer look; But with a sweet forgetting, They stay their crystal fretting, Never, never petting About the frozen time.
Ah! would 'twere so with many A gentle girl and boy! But were there ever any Writhed not at passed joy? The feel of not to feel it, When there is none to heal it Nor numbed sense to steel it, Was never said in rhyme.


by John Keats | |

To A Friend Who Sent Me Some Roses

 As late I rambled in the happy fields,
What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew
From his lush clover covert;—when anew
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields;
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw
Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew
As is the wand that Queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy, I thought the garden-rose it far excelled; But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me, My sense with their deliciousness was spelled: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea Whispered of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquelled.


by John Keats | |

Happy Is England! I Could Be Content

 Happy is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent;
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters; Enough their simple loveliness for me, Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging; Yet do I often warmly burn to see Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.


by John Keats | |

On The Grasshopper And Cricket

 The poetry of earth is never dead:
 When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
 And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
 In summer luxury,—he has never done
 With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never: On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.


by John Keats | |

On Leaving Some Friends At An Early Hour

 Give me a golden pen, and let me lean
On heaped-up flowers, in regions clear, and far;
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 'tis seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And let there glide by many a pearly car
Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,
And half-discovered wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears, And as it reaches each delicious ending, Let me write down a line of glorious tone, And full of many wonders of the spheres: For what a height my spirit is contending! 'Tis not content so soon to be alone.


by John Keats | |

To My Brothers

 Small, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,
And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while for rhymes I search around the poles, Your eyes are fixed, as in poetic sleep, Upon the lore so voluble and deep, That aye at fall of night our care condoles.
This is your birthday, Tom, and I rejoice That thus it passes smoothly, quietly: Many such eves of gently whispering noise May we together pass, and calmly try What are this world's true joys,—ere the great Voice From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.


by John Keats | |

On The Sea

 It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found, That scarcely will the very smallest shell Be moved for days from whence it sometime fell, When last the winds of heaven were unbound.
Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vexed and tired, Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea; Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody,— Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs choired!


by John Keats | |

To My Brother George

 Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;— 
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write, Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping So scantly, that it seems her bridal night, And she her half-discovered revels keeping.
But what, without the social thought of thee, Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?


by John Keats | |

Why Did I Laugh Tonight? No Voice Will Tell

 Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell:
No God, no Demon of severe response,
Deigns to reply from Heaven or from Hell.
Then to my human heart I turn at once.
Heart! Thou and I are here, sad and alone; I say, why did I laugh? O mortal pain! O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan, To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain.
Why did I laugh? I know this Being's lease, My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads; Yet would I on this very midnight cease, And the world's gaudy ensigns see in shreds; Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indeed, But Death intenser—Death is Life's high meed.


by John Keats | |

Bright Star Would I Were Steadfast As Thou Art

 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,
 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.


by John Keats | |

On Fame

 Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees,
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;
She is a Gypsy,—will not speak to those
Who have not learnt to be content without her;
A Jilt, whose ear was never whispered close,
Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her;
A very Gypsy is she, Nilus-born,
Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;
Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;
Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!
Makeyour best bow to her and bid adieu,
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.