Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Extracts from an Opera

  • O were I one of the Olympian twelve,
  • Their godships should pass this into a law;
  • That when a man doth set himself in toil
  • After some beauty veiled far-away,
  • Each step he took should make his lady’s hand
  • More soft, more white, and her fair cheek more fair;
  • And for each briar-berry he might eat,
  • A kiss should bud upon the tree of love,
  • And pulp, and ripen, richer every hour,
  • To melt away upon the traveller’s lips.
  • *******
  • 1
  • The sun, with his great eye,
  • Sees not so much as I;
  • And the moon, all silver proud,
  • Might as well be in a cloud.
  • 2
  • And O the spring — the spring!
  • I lead the life of a king!
  • Couch’d in the teeming grass,
  • I spy each pretty lass.
  • 3
  • I look where no one dares,
  • And I stare where no one stares,
  • And when the night is nigh,
  • Lambs bleat my lullaby.
  • *******
  • When wedding fiddles are a playing,
  • Huzza for folly O!
  • And when maidens go a maying,
  • Huzza etc.
  • When a mil-pail is upset,
  • Huzza etc.
  • And the clothes left in the wet,
  • Huzza etc.
  • When the barrel’s set abroach,
  • Huzza etc.
  • When Kate Eyebrow keeps a coach,
  • Huzza etc.
  • When the pig is overroasted,
  • Huzza etc.
  • And teh cheese is overtoasted,
  • Huzza etc.
  • When Sir Snap is with his lawyer,
  • Huzza, etc.
  • And Miss Chip has kiss’d the sawyer,
  • Huzza, etc.
  • *******
  • O, I am frighten’d with most hateful thoughts!
  • Perhaps her voice is not a nightingale’s,
  • Perhaps her teeth are not the fairest pearl;
  • Her eye-lashes may be, for ought I know,
  • Not longer than the May-fly’s small fan-horns;
  • There may not be one dimple on her hand,
  • And freckles many; ah! a careless nurse,
  • In haste to teach the little thing to walk,
  • May have crumpt up a pair of Dian’s legs,
  • And warpt the ivory of a Juno’s neck.
  • *******
  • SONG
  • 1
  • The stranger lighted from his steed,
  • And ere he spake a word,
  • He seiz’d my lady’s lily hand,
  • And kiss’d it all unheard.
  • 2
  • The stranger walk’d into the hall,
  • And ere he spake a word,
  • He kiss’d my lady’s cherry lips,
  • And kiss’d ’em all unheard.
  • 3
  • The stranger walk’d into the bower, —
  • But my lady first did go, —
  • Aye hand in hand into the bower,
  • Where my lord’s roses blow.
  • 4
  • My lady’s maid had a silken scarf,
  • And a golden ring had she,
  • And a kiss from the stranger as off he went
  • Again on his fair palfrey.
  • *******
  • Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl,
  • And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
  • And let me call heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
  • And let me breathe into the happy air,
  • That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
  • Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
  • My sudden adoration, my great love!

× Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “Extracts from an Opera.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.25 , University of Victoria, 29 May 2023.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “Extracts from an Opera,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.25 , last modified 29th May 2023.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “Extracts from an Opera.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.25 , last modified 29th May 2023.