Penguin Crossing
"Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats

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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-words had sunk:

'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot

But being too happy in thy happiness

That though, 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 Provenšal 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 fact

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan:

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,

Where youth grows pale, and apectre-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;

While 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



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! they plaintive anthem fades

Past the near meadows, over the still stream,

Up the hil-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?