printable version button.
vintage wine poems dot com logo
We are sooo ... social!!
FaceBook   Twitter    Google Plus    YouTube Channel  Pinterest  please "like" or "follow" or . . . "whatever"


The Vintage Wine Poems
YouTube Channel

Ode To A Nightingale
John Keats (1795-1821)

The Rhyme Maker
John Keats 1795 to 1821.
John Keats

Theme:  Wine Musings

Special Rhyme List:  Videos

Ode To A Nightingale is one of my favorite poems here at  John Keats wrote it shortly after his brother’s death, a very troubling time for the young poet.  Spotting a nightingale, Keats wishes for a magical wine that would allow him to join the bird, and escape his deep sorrow.  He finds this magic, but not with “Bacchus and his pards”, but "on the viewless wings of poesy”.  Enjoy the flight!

1. Lethe: a river in Hades, whose water would make the drinker forget the past.

2. Dryad: tree fairies of the forest.

3. Keats describes the wine he desires.  Flora: Roman goddess of flowers.  Provencal Song: the love songs of the medieval troubadours of S. France. South: wine of the south.  Hippocrene: a spring favored by the Muses, inspirers of poetry.

4. Bacchus is often depicted in a chariot being drawn by two leopards (“pards”)

5. Hawthorn and eglantine refer to types of roses.

6. Ruth, from Hebrew scripture, was a non-Jew who adopted Israel and their god as her own.
- S. H. Bass 

more  John Keats at

A Draft Of Sunshine
Fill Me A Brimming Bowl
Give me wine, women, and snuff  A/V
Lines On The Mermaid Tavern  A/V

JOHN KEATS at Amazon:

 The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)

Project Gutenberg LogoFree E-Books at Project Gutenberg

Free Audio Book at


Stop Button Clutter!

Ode To A Nightingale                             reading of Keats' Ode To A Nightingale
John Keats (1795-1821), English poet

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-wards had sunk: 1
’Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, 2
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draft of vintage! that hath been 3
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provecal 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 fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and specter-thin, and
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, 4
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

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;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; 5
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.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain,
To thy high requiem become a sod.

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, 6
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! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-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?

from Poems Published In 1820 (1909)

| HOME |
| By Theme | Now That's Funny! | Videos | Copyrighted Poetry |
 | The Book Store | The Art Gallery |
 | Resources, Partners, and Links |
| Contact |
A Note from the Webmaster: S. H. Bass
What is a Wine Poem?

Promoting Wine With Poetry
Copyright and the Public Domain

For Wine Writers and Bloggers
A Word On Words

 2013 - 2016 Stephen H. Bass