Sonnet: If By Dull Rhymes Our English Must Be Chain'd


    If by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd,
    And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
    Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness;
    Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd,
    Sandals more interwoven and complete
    To fit the naked foot of poesy;
    Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
    Of every chord, and see what may be gain'd
    By ear industrious, and attention meet:
    Misers of sound and syllable, no less
    Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
    Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown;
    So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
    She will be bound with garlands of her own.


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Return to the John Keats Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Sonnet III: Written On The Day That Mr Leigh Hunt Left Prison

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