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by John Keats


Ever let the fancy roam

Pleasure never is at home:

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;

Then let winged Fancy wander

Through the thought still spread beyond her:

Open wide the mind's cage-door

She'll dart forthand cloudward soar.

O sweet Fancy! let her loose;

Summer's joys are spoilt by use

And the enjoying of the Spring

Fades as does its blossoming;

Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too

Blushing through the mist and dew

Cloys with tasting: What do then?

Sit thee by the inglewhen

The sear faggot blazes bright

Spirit of a winter's night;

When the soundless earth is muffled

And the caked snow is shuffled

From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;

When the Night doth meet the Noon

In a dark conspiracy

To banish Even from her sky.

Sit thee thereand send abroad

With a mind self-overaw'd

Fancyhigh-commission'd:- send her!

She has vassals to attend her:

She will bringin spite of frost

Beauties that the earth hath lost;

She will bring theeall together

All delights of summer weather;

All the buds and bells of May

From dewy sward or thorny spray;

All the heaped Autumn's wealth

With a stillmysterious stealth:

She will mix these pleasures up

Like three fit wines in a cup

And thou shalt quaff it:- thou shalt hear

Distant harvest-carols clear;

Rustle of the reaped corn;

Sweet birds antheming the morn:

Andin the same moment- hark!

'Tis the early April lark

Or the rookswith busy caw

Foraging for sticks and straw.

Thou shaltat one glancebehold

The daisy and the marigold;

White-plum'd lilliesand the first

Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;

Shaded hyacinthalway

Sapphire queen of the mid-May;

And every leafand every flower

Pearled with the self-same shower.

Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep

Meagre from its celled sleep;

And the snake all winter-thin

Cast on sunny bank its skin;

Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see

Hatching in the hawthorn-tree

When the hen-bird's wing doth rest

Quiet on her mossy nest;

Then the hurry and alarm

When the bee-hive casts its swarm;

Acorns ripe down-pattering

While the autumn breezes sing. -

Ohsweet Fancy! let her loose;

Every thing is spoilt by use:

Where's the cheek that doth not fade

Too much gaz'd at? Where's the maid

Whose lip mature is ever new?

Where's the eyehowever blue

Doth not weary? Where's the face

One would meet in every place?

Where's the voicehowever soft

One would hear so very oft?

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.

Letthenwinged Fancy find

Thee a mistress to thy mind:

Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter

Ere the God of Torment taught her

How to frown and how to chide;

With a waist and with a side

White as Hebe'swhen her zone

Slipt its golden claspand down

Fell her kirtle to her feet

While she held the goblet sweet

And Jove grew languid. Mistress fair!

Thou shalt have that tressed hair

Adonis tangled all for spite

And the mouth he would not kiss

And the treasure he would miss;

And the hand he would not press

And the warmth he would distress. -

O the ravishment- the bliss!

Fancy has herthere she is-

Never fulsomeever new

There she steps! and tell me who

Has a mistress so divine?

Be the palate ne'er so fine

She cannot sicken.- Break the mesh

Of the Fancy's silken leash

Where she's tether'd to the heart:

Quickly break her prison-string

And such joys as these she'll bring.-

Let the winged Fancy roam

Pleasure never is at home. - -