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‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’: A Poem by John Keats

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’: this, the words on John Keats’s Grecian urn proclaim, is all we know, and all we need to know. ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is one of the most celebrated poetic achievements of the Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821), so is perfect for our next stop on this poetry odyssey, Post A Poem A Day, which sees us sharing some of our favourite classic poems. And ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is classic in more than one sense.

‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ by John Keats

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
       Of deities or mortals, or of both,
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

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