Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

’Tis the “witching time of night”

  • ’Tis the “witching time of night”—
  • Orbed is the moon and bright,
  • And the stars they glisten, glisten,
  • Seeming with bright eyes to listen.
  • For what listen they?
  • For a song and for a charm —
  • See they glisten in alarm,
  • And the moon is waxing warm
  • To hear what I shall say.
  • Moon! keep wide thy golden ears;
  • Hearken, stars! and hearken, spheres;
  • Hearken, thou eternal sky —
  • I sing an infant’s lullaby,
  • A pretty lullaby!
  • Listen, listen, listen, listen,
  • Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
  • And hear my lullaby!
  • Though the rushes that will make
  • Its cradle still are in the lake;
  • Though the linen then that will be
  • Its swathe is on the cotton tree;
  • Though the woollen that will keep
  • It warm, is on the silly sheep;
  • Listen, starlight, listen, listen,
  • Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
  • And hear my lullaby!
  • Child, I see thee! Child, I’ve found thee,
  • Midst of the quiet all around thee!
  • Child, I see thee! Child, I spy thee!
  • And thy mother sweet is nigh thee!
  • Child, I know thee! Child no more,
  • But a Poet evermore!
  • See, see, the lyre, the lyre,
  • In a flame of fire,
  • Upon the little cradle’s top
  • Flaring, flaring, flaring,
  • Past the eyesight’s bearing.
  • Awake it from its sleep,
  • And see if it can keep
  • Its eyes upon the blaze —
  • Amaze, amaze!
  • It stares, it stares, it stares,
  • It dares what no one dares!
  • It lifts its little hand into the flame
  • Unharm’d, and on the strings
  • Paddles a little tune, and sings,
  • With dumb endeavour sweetly —
  • Bard art thou completely!
  • Little child
  • ’Tis now free to stupid face,
  • To cutters, and to fashion boats,
  • To cravats and to petticoats —
  • The great sea shall war it down,
  • For its fame shall not be blown
  • At each farthing quadrille dance.
  • O’ th’ western wild,
  • Bard art thou completely!
  • Sweetly with dumb endeavour,
  • A Poet now or never,
  • Little child
  • O’ th’ western wild,

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “’Tis the ‘witching time of night’.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.3 , University of Victoria, 5 September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_tis_the_witching_time_of_night.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “’Tis the ‘witching time of night’,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_tis_the_witching_time_of_night.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “’Tis the ‘witching time of night’.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_tis_the_witching_time_of_night.html.