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John Keats (1795-1821)

To One who has been Long in City Pent


              1To one who has been long in city pent,
              2      'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
              3      And open face of heaven,--to breathe a prayer
              4Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
              5Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
              6      Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
              7      Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
              8And gentle tale of love and languishment?
              9Returning home at evening, with an ear
            10      Catching the notes of Philomel,--an eye
            11Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
            12      He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
            13E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
            14      That falls through the clear ether silently.

Notes

1] Compare Paradise Lost, IX, 445: "As one who long in populous City pent...."

12] Philomel: the nightingale.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: John Keats, Poems (1817).
First publication date: 1817
RPO poem editor: J. R. MacGillivray
RP edition: 3RP 2.620.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/28

Composition date: June 1816
Form: Italian Sonnet (variant)
Rhyme: abbaabbacdcede
Form note: Keats varies the rhyme scheme of the sestet from the traditional 'cdecde' or 'cdcdcd'.


Other poems by John Keats