ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

- By John Keats
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John Keats (/kiːts/; 31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was an English Romantic poet. He was prominent in the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, though his poems were in publication for only four years before he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25.[1] They were not generally well received by critics in his lifetime, but his fame grew after his death,[2] and by the end of the century he had become one of the best beloved English poets, with a strong influence on many writers. Jorge Luis Borges called his first encounter with Keats' work an experience that he felt all of his life.[3] It had a style "heavily loaded with sensualities", notably in the series of odes. It was typical of the Romantics to accentuate extreme emotion through emphasis on natural imagery. Today his poems and letters remain among the most popular and analysed in English literature. Especially acclaimed are "Ode to a Nightingale", "Sleep and Poetry" and the famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer". John Keats was born in Moorgate, London, on 31 October 1795 to Thomas Keats and his wife, Frances Jennings. There is little evidence of his exact birthplace. Although Keats and his family seem to have marked his birthday on 29 October, baptism records give the date as the 31st.[4][5] He was the eldest of four surviving children; his younger siblings were George (1797–1841), Thomas (1799–1818), and Frances Mary "Fanny" (1803–1889) who eventually married Spanish author Valentín Llanos Gutiérrez.[6] Another son was lost in infancy. His father first worked as a hostler[7] at the stables attached to the Swan and Hoop Inn, an establishment he later managed, and where the growing family lived for some years. Keats believed that he was born at the inn, a birthplace of humble origins, but there is no evidence to support his belief.[5] The Globe pub now occupies the site (2012), a few yards from the modern-day Moorgate station.[8] He was baptised at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, and sent to a local dame school as a child.[4][9]

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

"Attic red – figured stamnos" by Tilemahos Efthimiadis is licensed under CC by 2.0.

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

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Additional Information:

Rating: B

Words: 385

Unique Words : 231

Sentences : 21

Reading Time : 1:42

Noun : 154

Conjunction : 40

Adverb : 22

Interjection : 1

Adjective : 36

Pronoun : 28

Verb : 43

Preposition : 34

Letter Count : 1,646

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral

Difficult Words : 126

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