Friday, November 25, 2005

Verdurous glooms

Thinking about Samuel Palmer’s night landscapes reminds me of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale (1819):
... tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
There is an excellent set of readings from Keats’ poems at the website for the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association. The version of Ode to the Nightingale bears repeated listening and I do enjoy the hint of Withnail in the narrator’s “O for a draught of vintage!”

1 comment:

JMHO said...

Interesting Blog