If By Dull Rhymes Our English Must Be Chain'd

By John Keats 1795–1821 John Keats
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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Poet John Keats 1795–1821

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Music, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Alliteration, Allusion

 John  Keats

Biography

John Keats, who died at the age of twenty-five, had perhaps the most remarkable career of any English poet. He published only fifty-four poems, in three slim volumes and a few magazines. But at each point in his development he took on the challenges of a wide range of poetic forms from the sonnet, to the Spenserian romance, to the Miltonic epic, defining anew their possibilities with his own distinctive fusion of earnest energy, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Alliteration, Allusion

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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