Analysis of Ode On A Grecian Urn
John Keats 1795 (Moorgate) – 1821 (Rome)
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
|Scheme||XAXABXCXBX CXCXDEFDFE CCCXGCHGCH XCXCIJXIJX CCCCXCKCXK|
|Poetic Form||Tetractys (20%)
|Metre||11111100 1101110011 10010011101 010011101101 1111010111 1100110111 01010111 1111111101 1101110101 110111100 1100111101 110111111 11010011101 1101010111 1101011111 1111011111 1101010111 1101011111 1101111111 1101110111 1101011101 1111010101 01011 1101011101 1101110101 1101011101 1101001101 1101010101 1101110001 010100011 111101010 11110101001 11111010101 010101111 1101110111 110111010 1101111101 010111110 1101010111 11110011001 110111011 110101001 1101000101 1101111111 1101001100 111110101 1101011101 110011111111 1011110111 1111011111|
|Closest metre||Iambic pentameter|
|Stanza Lengths||10, 10, 10, 10, 10|
|Letters per line (avg)||33|
|Words per line (avg)||7|
|Letters per stanza (avg)||329|
|Words per stanza (avg)||74|
Submitted on May 13, 2011
- 1:55 min read
- 285 Views
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"Ode On A Grecian Urn" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem-analysis/23403/ode-on-a-grecian-urn>.
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