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About this Poem 

“What the Thrush Said” was originally written in a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds in 1818 and, at the time, was untitled. The poem was published in The Complete Poetical Works and Letters of John Keats (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899).

What the Thrush Said

O Thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
And the black elm tops ’mong the freezing stars,
To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light
Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night when Phœbus was away,
To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At the thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

John Keats

John Keats

Born in 1795, John Keats was an English Romantic poet and author of three poems considered to be among the finest in the English language.

by this poet

poem
For Fanny Brawne

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!
    Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semitone,
    Bright eyes, accomplished shape, and lang'rous waist!
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
    Faded the sight of beauty from
poem

The poetry of earth is never dead:
  When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
  And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
  In summer luxury,—he has never done
  With his delights; for when

poem
Much have I traveled in the realms of gold
    And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
    Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
    That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
    Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I