Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Fancy

  • 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 forth, and 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 ingle, when
  • 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 there, and send abroad,
  • With a mind self-overaw’d,
  • Fancy, high-commission’d — send her!
  • She has vassals to attend her:
  • She will bring, in spite of frost,
  • Beauties that the earth hath lost;
  • She will bring thee, all 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 still, mysterious 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:
  • And, in the same moment — hark!
  • ’Tis the early April lark,
  • Or the rooks, with busy caw,
  • Foraging for sticks and straw.
  • Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
  • The daisy and the marigold;
  • White-plum’d lilies, and the first
  • Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
  • Shaded hyacinth, alway
  • Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
  • And every leaf, and 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.
  • Oh, sweet 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 eye, however blue,
  • Doth not weary? Where’s the face
  • One would meet in every place?
  • Where’s the voice, however soft,
  • One would hear so very oft?
  • At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
  • Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
  • Let, then, winged 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’s, when her zone
  • Slipt its golden clasp, and down
  • Fell her kirtle to her feet,
  • While she held the goblet sweet,
  • And Jove grew languid. — Break the mesh
  • Of the Fancy’s silken leash;
  • Quickly break her prison-string
  • And such joys as these she’ll bring. —
  • Let the winged Fancy roam,
  • Pleasure never is at home.

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “Fancy.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.5 , University of Victoria, 18 October 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_fancy.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “Fancy,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.5 , last modified 18th October 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_fancy.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “Fancy.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.5 , last modified 18th October 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_fancy.html.