Select Poems by John Keats


On The Sea

IT keeps eternal whisperings around

Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell

Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell

Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.

Often ’tis in such gentle temper found,

That scarcely will the very smallest shell

Be mov'd for days from where it sometime fell,

When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.

Oh, ye!  who have your eye-balls vex’d and tir’d,

Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;

Oh ye!  whose ears are dinn'd with uproar rude,

Or fed too much with cloying melody—

Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth, and brood

Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quir'd!

John Keats, 1820

Transcribed and formatted exactly as printed in the first Modern Library (Random House, Inc.) edition of The Complete Poetical Works of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.