Ever let the Fancy roam,
    Pleasure never is at home:
    At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
    Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
    Then let winged Fancy wander
    Through the thought still spread beyond her:
    Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
    She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
    O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
    Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
    And the enjoying of the Spring
    Fades as does its blossoming;
    Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,
    Blushing through the mist and dew,
    Cloys with tasting: What do then?
    Sit thee by the ingle, when
    The sear faggot blazes bright,
    Spirit of a winter’s night;
    When the soundless earth is muffled,
    And the caked snow is shuffled
    From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon;
    When the Night doth meet the Noon
    In a dark conspiracy
    To banish Even from her sky.
    Sit thee there, and send abroad,
    With a mind self-overaw’d,
    Fancy, high-commission’d: send her!
    She has vassals to attend her:
    She will bring, in spite of frost,
    Beauties that the earth hath lost;
    She will bring thee, all together,
    All delights of summer weather;
    All the buds and bells of May,
    From dewy sward or thorny spray;
    All the heaped Autumn’s wealth,
    With a still, mysterious stealth:
    She will mix these pleasures up
    Like three fit wines in a cup,
    And thou shalt quaff it: thou shalt hear
    Distant harvest-carols clear;
    Rustle of the reaped corn;
    Sweet birds antheming the morn:
    And, in the same moment, hark!
    ’Tis the early April lark,
    Or the rooks, with busy caw,
    Foraging for sticks and straw.
    Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
    The daisy and the marigold;
    White-plum’d lillies, and the first
    Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
    Shaded hyacinth, alway
    Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
    And every leaf, and every flower
    Pearled with the self-same shower.
    Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
    Meagre from its celled sleep;
    And the snake all winter-thin
    Cast on sunny bank its skin;
    Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
    Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
    When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest
    Quiet on her mossy nest;
    Then the hurry and alarm
    When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
    Acorns ripe down-pattering,
    While the autumn breezes sing.

    Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
    Every thing is spoilt by use:
    Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,
    Too much gaz’d 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?
    Where’s the voice, however soft,
    One would hear so very oft?
    At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
    Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
    Let, then, winged Fancy find
    Thee a mistress to thy mind:
    Dulcet-ey’d as Ceres’ daughter,
    Ere the God of Torment taught her
    How to frown and how to chide;
    With a waist and with a side
    White as Hebe’s, when her zone
    Slipt its golden clasp, and down
    Fell her kirtle to her feet,
    While she held the goblet sweet
    And Jove grew languid. Break the mesh
    Of the Fancy’s silken leash;
    Quickly break her prison-string
    And such joys as these she’ll bring. 
    Let the winged Fancy roam,
    Pleasure never is at home. 


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Fancy to your own personal library.

Return to the John Keats Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Fill For Me A Brimming Bowl

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson