John Keats Quotes

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I compare human life to a large mansion of many apartments, two of which I can only describe, the doors of the rest being as yet shut upon me.

John Keats (Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 1818)

Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest man shows a grace in his quarrel.

John Keats (Letter to George & Georgiana Keats, 1819)

I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute.

John Keats (Letter to Fanny Brawne, 1819)

The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing - to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.

John Keats (Letter to George & Georgiana Keats, 1819)

I shall soon be laid in the quiet grave, thank God for the quiet grave. O! I can feel the cold earth upon me, the daisies growing over me. O for this quiet it will be my first.

John Keats

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses: we read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author.

John Keats (Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 1818)

In spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

John Keats (Endymion, 1818)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.

John Keats (Endymion - Book I, 1818)

For to bear all naked truths,
And to envisage circumstance, all calm,
That is the top of sovereignty.

John Keats (Hyperion - Book II, 1819)

He never is crowned
With immortality, who fears to follow
Where airy voices lead.

John Keats (Endymion - Book II, 1818)

Stop and consider! life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree's summit.

John Keats (Sleep and Poetry)

Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir.

John Keats (Hyperion - Book I, 1819)

Many have original minds who do not think it - they are led away by custom - Now it appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own citadel.

John Keats (Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 1818)

I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of Imagination. What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth - whether it existed before or not.

John Keats (Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 1817)

The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.

John Keats (Endymion - Preface, 1818)

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on,
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.

John Keats (Ode on a Grecian Urn)

After dark vapours have oppress'd our plains
For a long dreary season, comes a day
Born of the gentle South, and clears away
From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.

John Keats (After Dark Vapours)

Love in a hut, with water and a crust,
Is - Love, forgive us! - cinders, ashes, dust;
Love in a palace is perhaps at last
More grievous torment than a hermit's fast.

John Keats (Lamia)

When through the old oak forest I am gone,
Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed in the fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.

John Keats

My spirit is too weak - mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.

John Keats

O! let me have thee
whole, all all be mine!
That shape, the fairness, that sweet minor zest
Of love, your kiss, - those hands, those eyes divine,
That warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast.

John Keats

Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with essence; till we shine,
Full alchemiz’d, and free of space. Behold
The clear religion of heaven!

John Keats (Endymion - Book I, 1818)

Ah! why dearest girl should we lose all these blisses?
That mortal's a fool who such happiness misses:
So smile acquiescence, and give me thy hand,
With love-looking eyes, and with voice sweetly bland.

John Keats (Stanzas to Miss Wylie)

Everything is spoilt by use:
Where's the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at? Where's the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?
Where's the eye, however, blue,
Doth not weary? Where's the face
One would meet in every place?

John Keats (Fancy)

Who, of men, can tell
That flowers would bloom, or that green fruit would swell
To melting pulp, that fish would have bright mail, 
The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale,
The meadows runnels, runnels pebble-stones, 
The seed its harvest, or the lute its tones,
Tones ravishment, or ravishment its sweet,
If human souls did never kiss and greet?

John Keats (Endymion, 1818)

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom overcast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.

John Keats (Endymion - Book I, 1818)

Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, 
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
Unweave a rainbow.

John Keats (Lamia, 1820)

Ghosts of melodious prophesyings rave
Round every spot where trod Apollo's foot;
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit,
Where long ago a giant battle was;
And, from the turf, a lullaby doth pass
In every place where infant Orpheus slept.
Feel we these things? — that moment have we stept
Into a sort of oneness, and our state
Is like a floating spirit's. But there are
Richer entanglements, enthralments far
More self-destroying, leading, by degrees,
To the chief intensity: the crown of these
Is made of love and friendship, and sits high
Upon the forehead of humanity.

John Keats (Endymion - Book I, 1818)

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John Keats Biography

Born: October 31, 1795
Died: February 21, 1821

John Keats was an English poet. He was one of the great poets of the Romantic movement. Although his poetry wasn't so well received during his time, he later got alot of recognition and appraisal.

Notable Works

Sleep and Poetry (1816)