Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell

  • Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell:
  • No god, no demon of severe response,
  • Deigns to reply from heaven or from hell.
  • Then to my human heart I turn at once —
  • Heart! thou and I are here sad and alone;
  • Say, wherefore did I laugh? O mortal pain!
  • O darkness! darkness! ever must I moan,
  • To question heaven and hell and heart in vain!
  • Why did I laugh? I know this being’s lease —
  • My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads:
  • Yet could I on this very midnight cease,
  • And the world’s gaudy ensigns see in shreds.
  • Verse, fame, and beauty are intense indeed,
  • But death intenser — death is life’s high meed.

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell.” 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_why_did_i_laugh_tonight.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_why_did_i_laugh_tonight.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_why_did_i_laugh_tonight.html.