21 September 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 3

To Solitude

O solitude! If I must with thee dwell,

   Let it not be among the jumbled heap

   Of murky buildings;—climb with me the steep,

Nature's Observatory—whence the dell,

Its flowery slopes—its rivers crystal swell,

   May seem a span: let me thy vigils keep

   'Mongst boughs pavilioned; where the Deer's swift leap

Startles the wild Bee from the Fox-glove bell.

Ah! fain would I frequent such scenes with thee;

   But the sweet converse of an innocent mind,

   Whose words are images of thoughts refin'd,

Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be

   Almost the highest bliss of human kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

About the author:

1795-1821. John Keats, orphaned at 14, was an apprentice and subsequently licensed apothecary, but he pursued his passion for poetry. "To Solitude" was his first published poem, appearing in The Examiner on May 5, 1816. His third book, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, includes his Miltonic blank-verse epic, "Hyperion," as well as his deservedly famous odes, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode to Melancholy," and "Ode to a Nightingale." This third book received great praise and includes poetry considered among the finest in the English language. Keats was only twenty-four years old.

Learn more about John Keats at Wikipedia.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by John Keats at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 3, where "To Solitude" ran on September 21, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, sonnet, rhyme.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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