Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


What the Thrush Said

O Thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
And the black elm tops ’mong the freezing stars,
To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light
Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night when Phœbus was away,
To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At the thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem


“What the Thrush Said” was originally written in a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds in 1818 and, at the time, was untitled. The poem was published in The Complete Poetical Works and Letters of John Keats (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899).

Author


John Keats

Born in 1795, John Keats was an English Romantic poet and author of three poems considered to be among the finest in the English language

Date Published: 2015-12-19

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/what-thrush-said