154 famous John Keats Quotes

John Keats was an English poet prominent in the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, although his poems had been published for only four years when he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. They were indifferently received, but his fame grew rapidly after his death. Here are some John Keats Quotes.

“Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”

“The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing, to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.”

“You are always new, the last of your kisses was ever the sweetest.”

“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.”

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.”

“We read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author.”

“My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.”

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.”

John Keats Quotes

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”

“My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.”

“You are always new. The last of your kisses was even the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest.”

“Love is my religion – I could die for it.”

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”

“was it a vision or a waking dream? Fled is that music–do I wake or sleep?”

“If poetry does not come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it better not come at all.”

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”

“With a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.”

“Scenery is fine – but human nature is finer.”

John Keats Quotes

“Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.”

“Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.”

“Dancing music, music sad, Both together, sane and mad”

“Health is my expected heaven.”

“He ne’er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead.”

“Shed no tear – O, shed no tear! The flower will bloom another year. Weep no more – O, weep no more! Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.”

“A man’s life of any worth is a continual allegory, and very few eyes can see the mystery of his life, a life like the scriptures, figurative.”

“The creature has a purpose, and his eyes are bright with it.”

“There is a budding morrow in midnight.”

“it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”

“The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!”

“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore; it’s to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out. It is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.”

“O for a life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!”

“Here are sweet peas, on tiptoe for a flight; With wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white, And taper fingers catching at all things, To bind them all about with tiny rings.”

“Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success…”

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“It ought to come like the leaves to the trees, or it better not come at all.”

“We have woven a web, you and I, attached to this world but a separate world of our own invention.”

“Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain Clings cruelly to us.”

“I wish I was either in your arms full of faith, or that a Thunder bolt would strike me.”

“Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips, bidding adieu”

“Like a mermaid in sea-weed, she dreams awake, trembling in her soft and chilly nest.”

“–then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.”

“O aching time! O moments big as years!”

“When the melancholy fit shall fall Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose.”

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion– I have shuddered at it, I shudder no more. I could be martyred for my religion. Love is my religion and I could die for that. I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet.”

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

“I want a brighter word than bright”

“Life is but a day: A fragile dewdrop on its perilous way From a tree’s summit”

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“On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence.”

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.”

“I think we may class the lawyer in the natural history of monsters.”

“There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.”

“Whatever the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth -whether it existed before or not”

“An extensive knowledge is needful to thinking people-it takes away the heat and fever; and helps, by widening speculation, to ease the burden of the mystery.”

“Nothing ever becomes real till experienced – even a proverb is no proverb until your life has illustrated it”

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,-that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

“Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art– Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite.”

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

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“I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.”

“…I leaped headlong into the Sea, and thereby have become more acquainted with the Soundings, the quicksands, and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore, and piped a silly pipe, and took tea and comfortable advice.”

“We must repeat the often repeated saying, that it is unworthy a religious man to view an irreligious one either with alarm or aversion, or with any other feeling than regret and hope and brotherly commiseration.”

“The world is too brutal for me-I am glad there is such a thing as the grave-I am sure I shall never have any rest till I get there.”

“The excellence of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate, from their being in close relationship with beauty and truth.”

“The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.”

“How astonishingly does the chance of leaving the world improve a sense of its natural beauties upon us. Like poor Falstaff, although I do not ‘babble,’ I think of green fields; I muse with the greatest affection on every flower I have know from my infancy – their shapes and colours are as new to me as if I had just created them with superhuman fancy.”

“O for the gentleness of old Romance, the simple planning of a minstrel’s song!”

“Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that ofttimes hath Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.”

“The uttered part of a man’s life, let us always repeat, bears to the unuttered, unconscious part a small unknown proportion. He himself never knows it, much less do others.”

“Asleep in lap of legends old.”

“I shall soon be laid in the quiet grave – thank God for the quiet grave”

“Their woes gone by, and both to heaven upflown, To bow for gratitude before Jove’s throne.”

“A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.”

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“Many have original minds who do not think it – they are led away by custom!”

“I always made an awkward bow.”

“Call the world if you please “the vale of soul-making.” Then you will find out the use of the world.”

“Give me women, wine and snuff Until I cry out ‘hold, enough!’ You may do so san objection Till the day of resurrection; For bless my beard then aye shall be My beloved Trinity.”

“I don’t need the stars in the night I found my treasure All I need is you by my side so shine forever”

“I equally dislike the favor of the public with the love of a woman – they are both a cloying treacle to the wings of independence.”

“I never can feel certain of any truth, but from a clear perception of its beauty.”

“Nothing is finer for the purposes of great productions than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers.”

“Though the most beautiful creature were waiting for me at the end of a journey or a walk; though the carpet were of silk, the curtains of the morning clouds; the chairs and sofa stuffed with cygnet’s down; the food manna, the wine beyond claret, the window opening on Winander Mere, I should not feel -or rather my happiness would not be so fine, as my solitude is sublime.”

“The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.”

“I love your hills and I love your dales, And I love your flocks a-bleating; but oh, on the heather to lie together, With both our hearts a-beating!”

“It is a flaw In happiness to see beyond our bourn, – It forces us in summer skies to mourn, It spoils the singing of the nightingale.”

“Faded the flower and all its budded charms, Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes, Faded the shape of beauty from my arms, Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise!Vanishd unseasonably”

“Is there another Life? Shall I awake and find all this a dream? There must be we cannot be created for this sort of suffering.”

“This Grave contains all that was Mortal of a Young English Poet Who on his Death Bed in the Bitterness of his Heart at the Malicious Power of his Enemies Desired these words to be engraved on his Tomb Stone “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.””

“I have loved the principle of beauty in all things.”

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“The thought, the deadly thought of solitude.”

“O Solitude! If I must with thee dwell, Let it not be among the jumbled heap of murky buildings”

“Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, self-destructive one!”

“Are there not thousands in the world who love their fellows even to the death, who feel the giant agony of the world, and more, like slaves to poor humanity, labor for mortal good?”

“O magic sleep! O comfortable bird, That broodest o’er the troubled sea of the mind Till it is hush’d and smooth!”

“It can be said of him, when he departed he took a Man’s life with him. No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of Time.”

“I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving…”

“I would jump down Etna for any public good – but I hate a mawkish popularity.”

“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 not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.”

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“What is there in thee, Moon! That thou should’st move My heart so potently?”

“What occasions the greater part of the world’s quarrels? Simply this: Two minds meet and do not understand each other in time enough to prevent any shock of surprise at the conduct of either party.”

“Deep in the shady sadness of a vale Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn, Far from the fiery noon and eve’s one star, Sat gray-haired Saturn, quiet as a stone, Still as the silence round about his lair.”

“The grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead.”

“The poppies hung Dew-dabbled on their stalks.”

“Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Have ye souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new?”

“No stir of air was there, Not so much life as on a summer’s day Robs not one light seed from the feather’d grass, But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.”

“Dry your eyes O dry your eyes, For I was taught in Paradise To ease my breast of melodies.”

“I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried- “La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!”

“Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.”

“I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet.”

“I stood tip-toe upon a little hill, The air was cooling, and so very still, That the sweet buds which with a modest pride Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside, Their scantly leaved, and finely tapering stems, Had not yet lost those starry diadems Caught from the early sobbing of the morn.”

“A poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence; because he has no identity he is continually informing and filling some other body.”

“Young playmates of the rose and daffodil, Be careful ere ye enter in, to fill Your baskets high With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines Savory latter-mint, and columbines.”

“I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death.”

“I have nothing to speak of but my self-and what can I say but what I feel”

“A moment’s thought is passion’s passing knell.”

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“The genius of Shakespeare was an innate university.”

“Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong, And doubly sweet a brotherhood in song.”

“I came to feel how far above All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood, All earthly pleasure, all imagined good, Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss.”

“Death is Life’s high meed.”

“How sad it is when a luxurious imagination is obliged in self defense to deaden its delicacy in vulgarity, and riot in things attainable that it may not have leisure to go mad after things that are not.”

“I find that I can have no enjoyment in the world but the continual drinking of knowledge. I find there is no worthy pursuit but the idea of doing some good for the world.”

“You might curb your magnanimity, and be more of an artist, and load every rift of your subject with ore.”

“I myself am pursuing the same instinctive course as the veriest human animal you can think of I am, however young, writing at random straining at particles of light in the midst of a great darkness without knowing the bearing of any one assertion, of any one opinion. Yet may I not in this be free from sin?”

“Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop From low hung branches; little space they stop; But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek; Then off at once, as in a wanton freak: Or perhaps, to show their black, and golden wings Pausing upon their yellow fluttering’s.”

“But the rose leaves herself upon the brier, For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.”

“I had a dove and the sweet dove died; And I have thought it died of grieving: O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied, With a silken thread of my own hands’ weaving.”

“Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold.”

“Where soil is, men grow, Whether to weeds or flowers.”

“Soft closer of our eyes! Low murmur of tender lullabies!”

“Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, tranced thing, But divine melodious truth.”

“Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown.”

“No, no, I’m sure, My restless spirit never could endure To brood so long upon one luxury, Unless it did, though fearfully, espy A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.”

“O for ten years, that I may overwhelm / Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed / That my own soul has to itself decreed.”

“In a drear-nighted December, Too happy, happy brook, Thy bubblings ne’er remember Apollo’s summer look; But with a sweet forgetting, They stay their crystal fretting, Never, never petting About the frozen time.”

“I do think better of womankind than to suppose they care whether Mister John Keats five feet high likes them or not.”

“Why employ intelligent and highly paid ambassadors and then go and do their work for them? You don’t buy a canary and sing yourself.”

“Even bees, the little almsmen of spring bowers, know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.”

“Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me.”

“How beautiful, if sorrow had not made Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty’s self.”

“O, sorrow! Why dost borrow Heart’s lightness from the merriment of May?”

“So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours.”

“I am certain I have not a right feeling towards women — at this moment I am striving to be just to them, but I cannot. Is it because they fall so far beneath my boyish imagination? When I was a schoolboy I thought a fair woman a pure Goddess; my mind was a soft nest in which some one of them slept, though she knew it not.”

“The opinion I have of the generality of women–who appear to me as children to whom I would rather give a sugar plum than my time, forms a barrier against matrimony which I rejoice in.”

“A long poem is a test of invention which I take to be the Polar star of poetry, as fancy is the sails, and imagination the rudder.”

“I shall soon be laid in the quiet grave–thank God for the quiet grave–O! I can feel the cold earth upon me–the daisies growing over me–O for this quiet–it will be my first.”

“My spirit is too weak–mortality Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep, And each imagin’d pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.”

“Touch has a memory. O say, love say, What can I do to kill it and be free In my old liberty?”

“The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft; and gathering swallows twitter in the skies.”

“He who saddens at thought of idleness cannot be idle, / And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.”

“Every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”

“And shade the violets, That they may bind the moss in leafy nets.”

“There is a budding tomorrow in midnight.”

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“The poetry of earth is never dead When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide I cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.”

“There is an old saying “well begun is half done”-’tis a bad one. I would use instead-Not begun at all ’til half done.”

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