Infomotions, Inc.Ode On Melancholy / Keats, John

Author: Keats, John
Title: Ode On Melancholy
Publisher: Eris Etext Project
Tag(s): melancholy; english literature
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 233 words (really short) Grade range: 16-18 (graduate school) Readability score: 50 (average)
Identifier: keats-ode-495
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                               ODE ON MELANCHOLY
                                 by John Keats


        No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
          Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
        Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
          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.


        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.


        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
          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.

                        THE END


This file was acquired from Eris Etext Project, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts ( by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is keats-ode-495, and it should be available from the following URL:

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