10 Famous Poems by John Keats

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10 Famous Poems by John Keats



John Keats and His Famous Poems – John Keats was born in Moorgate, near London, 31 of October 1795. He is one of the major poets of the English romantic movement. He is famous by his songs, romances, epistolary poems, epics, hymns, ballads, odes, sonnets.

John was the oldest of Thomas and Frances Keats’ (born Jennings) four children: George, Thomas and Frances Mary (Fanny). His father first worked as a hostler and then was a stable keeper.

In the summer of 1803, Keats was sent to board at John Clarke’s school in Enfield Town – the small school, where Keats discovered an interest in classic literature and history. John Keats had lost both of his parents at an early age – his father died in April 1804 when John was eight, his mother died of tuberculosis in March 1810 when John was 14. Children were in the care of their grandmother, Alice Jennings, at the Edmonton. In 1811, when he was sixteen, he was apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary Dr. Hammond, in Edmonton, near Enfield. In October 1815, Keats entered Guy’s Hospital for further training, but soon he gave up his medical work to be a poet, not a surgeon. First appearance in print of Keats’s poetry was in May 1816 – his sonnet “O Solitude”, published in his magazine “The Examiner”.

His productive years between 1818 and 1820 yielded some of his masterworks, including “Lamia,” “The Eve of St. Agnes“, “Ode on a Grecian Urn“. In 1819, with his friend Charles Brown, Keats moved in the Hampstead, neighborhood of London. There, he met Fanny Brawne and by the end of the year, they were engaged.

In February 1820, Keats had a hemorrhage in his lungs – the first symptom of the tuberculosis. Soon, after his last volume of poetry was published in July 1820, Keats travelled to Italy with his close friend, painter Joseph Severn. John Keats dies of tuberculosis at the age of 25 in Rome on 23 February 1821. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery.



Here, you can read 10 famous poems by John Keats:


Daisy's Song

I
The sun, with his great eye,
Sees not so much as I;
And the moon, all silver-proud,
Might as well be in a cloud.

II
And O the spring- the spring
I lead the life of a king!
Couch'd in the teeming grass,
I spy each pretty lass.

III
I look where no one dares,
And I stare where no one stares,
And when the night is nigh,
Lambs bleat my lullaby



To a Cat

Cat! who has pass'd thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? How many tit-bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick

Those velvet ears - but prythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and tell me all thy frays,
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick;
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists, -

For all the wheezy asthma - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is thy fur as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass-bottled wall.



Imitation of Spenser

Now Morning from her orient chamber came,
And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill;
Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame,
Silv'ring the untainted gushes of its rill;
Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distill,
And after parting beds of simple flowers,
By many streams a little lake did fill,
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers,
And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.

There the king-fisher saw his plumage bright
Vieing with fish of brilliant dye below;
Whose silken fins, and golden scales' light
Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow:
There saw the swan his neck of arched snow,
And oar'd himself along with majesty;
Sparkled his jetty eyes; his feet did show
Beneath the waves like Afric's ebony,
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.

Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle
That in that fairest lake had placed been,
I could e'en Dido of her grief beguile;
Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen:
For sure so fair a place was never seen,
Of all that ever charm'd romantic eye:
It seem'd an emerald in the silver sheen
Of the bright waters; or as when on high,
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the coerulean sky.

And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
Slopings of verdure through the glossy tide,
Which, as it were in gentle amity,
Rippled delighted up the flowery side;
As if to glean the ruddy tears, it tried,
Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem!
Haply it was the workings of its pride,
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
Outviewing all the buds in Flora's diadem.



Two or Three

Two or three Posies
With two or three simples--
Two or three Noses
With two or three pimples--
Two or three wise men
And two or three ninny's--
Two or three guineas--
Two or three raps
At two or three doors--
Two or three naps
Of two or three hours--
Two or three Cats
And two or three mice--
Two or three sprats
At a very great price--
Two or three sandies
And two or three tabbies--
Two or three dandies
And two Mrs.------
Two or three Smiles
And two or three frowns--
Two or three Miles
To two or three towns--
Two or three pegs
For two or three bonnets--
Two or three dove eggs
To hatch into sonnets.



Written Before Re-Reading King Lear

O golden-tongued Romance with serene lute!
Fair plumed Syren! Queen of far away!
Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
Shut up thine olden pages, and be mute.
Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute
Betwixt damnation and impassioned clay
Must I burn through; once more humbly assay
The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearian fruit.
Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
When through the old oak Forest I am gone,
Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed in the Fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.



On A Dream

As Hermes once took to his feathers light
When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon'd and slept,
So on a Delphic reed my idle spright
So play'd, so charm'd, so conquer'd, so bereft
The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes,
And, seeing it asleep, so fled away:
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,
Nor unto Tempe where Jove griev'd a day;
But to that second circle of sad hell,
Where 'mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss'd, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.



To Byron

Byron! how sweetly sad thy melody! 
Attuning still the soul to tenderness,
As if soft Pity, with unusual stress,
Had touch'd her plaintive lute, and thou, being by,
Hadst caught the tones, nor suffer'd them to die.
O'ershadowing sorrow doth not make thee less
Delightful: thou thy griefs dost dress
With a bright halo, shining beamily,
As when a cloud the golden moon doth veil,
Its sides are ting'd with a resplendent glow,
Through the dark robe oft amber rays prevail,
And like fair veins in sable marble flow;
Still warble, dying swan! still tell the tale,
The enchanting tale, the tale of pleasing woe.



Ode on Melancholy

1.
No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
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.


2.
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,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed 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.


3.
She dwells with Beauty - Beauty 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
Veiled 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.



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 pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove 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.



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 where it sometime fell.
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.
Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs 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 quired!


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