Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Ode to Psyche

  • O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
  • By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
  • And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
  • Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
  • Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
  • The winged Psyche with awaken’d eyes?
  • I wander’d in a forest thoughtlessly,
  • And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
  • Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
  • In deepest grass, beneath the whisp’ring roof
  • Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
  • A brooklet, scarce espied:
  • Mid hush’d, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
  • Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
  • They lay calm-breathing, on the bedded grass;
  • Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
  • Their lips touch’d not, but had not bade adieu,
  • As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
  • And ready still past kisses to outnumber
  • At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
  • The winged boy I knew;
  • But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
  • His Psyche true!
  • O latest born and loveliest vision far
  • Of all Olympus’ faded hierarchy!
  • Fairer than Phoebe’s sapphire-region’d star,
  • Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
  • Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
  • Nor altar heap’d with flowers;
  • Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
  • Upon the midnight hours;
  • No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
  • From chain-swung censer teeming;
  • No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
  • Of pale-mouth’d prophet dreaming.
  • O brightest! though too late for antique vows,
  • Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
  • When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
  • Holy the air, the water, and the fire;
  • Yet even in these days so far retir’d
  • From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
  • Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
  • I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspir’d.
  • So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
  • Upon the midnight hours;
  • Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
  • From swinged censer teeming;
  • Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
  • Of pale-mouth’d prophet dreaming.
  • Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
  • In some untrodden region of my mind,
  • Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
  • Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
  • Far, far around shall those dark-cluster’d trees
  • Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
  • And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
  • The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull’d to sleep;
  • And in the midst of this wide quietness
  • A rosy sanctuary will I dress
  • With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain,
  • With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
  • With all the gardener Fancy e’er could feign,
  • Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
  • And there shall be for thee all soft delight
  • That shadowy thought can win,
  • A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
  • To let the warm Love in!

× Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “Ode to Psyche.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.26 , University of Victoria, 12 July 2023.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “Ode to Psyche,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.26 , last modified 12th July 2023.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “Ode to Psyche.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.26 , last modified 12th July 2023.