Ode to Psyche by John Keats
"Ode to Psyche" is a poem written by Keats. This ode is considered one of the five great odes written by Keats in 1819. In Greek mythology, "psyche" is meant "the soul". She was a beautiful princes whom Aphrodite was jealous of. The goddess sent her son Eros (Cupid) to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest person on earth. Instead, Eros fell in love with her and the two became lovers. Since she was human, she could not look upon him. Nonetheless, she did and Zeus had to intervene for the two to have eternal happiness.
"Ode to Psyche" contains five stanzas of varying lengths and changing rhyme schemes. The longest stanzas are at the beginning and end while the shortest are in the middle. The different lengths give the reader a different emotional feel. The longer stanza makes the reader feel like it is more important or slower while the shorter stanzas make the reader feel as if it is less important or in a hurry.
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 today, or did I see The winged Psyche with awakened eyes? I wandered 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 hushed, 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 touched 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-regioned star, Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none, Nor altar heaped 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-mouthed 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 retired From happy pieties, thy lucent fans, Fluttering among the faint Olympians, I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired. 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-mouthed 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-clustered trees Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep; And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees, The moss-lain dryads shall be lulled to sleep; And in the midst of this wide quietness A rosy sanctuary will I dress With the wreathed 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! Written in 1819. Published in 1820.
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Romanticism, 18th Century
Ode, Happiness, Love