By John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
ConspiringConspiring Working together; literally, to conspire is “to breathe together” (OED) with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-evesthatch-eves Thatch-eaves, the edge of thatched roofs run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowingwinnowing Separating the wheat from the chaff, the heavy from the light wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hookhook Scythe
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleanergleaner One who gathers the remaining food after the reaper has harvested the field thou dost keep
Steady thy ladenladen Loaded down head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?Where are they? Rhetorical convention known as ubi sunt, often appearing in poems that meditate on the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death.
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloombloom “to colour with a soft warm tint or glow” (OED) the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plainsstubble-plains Fields made up of stubble, the remaining stumps of grain left after reaping with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallowssallows Willow trees, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croftgarden-croft A croft is a small enclosed field;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
John Keats was born in London, where he was raised by a merchant after his father died when he was 10, and his mother died when he was 15. Before Keats’s tragically early death at age 25, he was already celebrated as one of the prominent Romantic poets. He produced some of the most memorable poems of his time, including “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and the epic “Hyperion.”
More By This Poet
La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone ?
When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
More Poems about Activities
Vagrants and Loiterers
You got that clean waistcoat,
the bright white of a well-tailored
shirt, you got those loose-as-sacks
slacks and some spit-polished shoes,
and you know, whether you are looking
like money, or about to take a stroll,
to tilt that hat like you own
the world; yeah, smoke...
When I was “in despair” (the dark days
when I actually used such terms)
I noticed the behavior of animals —
sleep when tired, eat when hungry
That made a lot of sense to me
and yet I felt different
More Poems about Nature
What Women Are Made Of
We are all ventricle, spine, lung, larynx, and gut.
Clavicle and nape, what lies forked in an open palm;
we are follicle and temple. We are ankle, arch,
sole. Pore and rib, pelvis and root
and tongue. We are wishbone and gland and molar
Of Tribulation, these are They,
Denoted by the White.
— Emily Dickinson
in the split geode
a Santa’s grotto
every surface —
like sea urchins’ —
in the doorways
sleepers from the womb
to make of anything succulent