Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

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Need explanation of these lines. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already...

Need explanation of these lines.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, 35 And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

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At the beginning of “Ode to a Nightingale” the speaker (undoubtedly Keats himself) is wishing that he had a bottle of wine because he would like to get drunk and escape from reality. The singing of the nightingale has triggered a combination of happy and morbid thoughts. He would be happy to escape the world in which people grow old and die.

Keats was afraid of death because he thought he was going to die of tuberculosis. (He died in Italy in 1821 at the age of only twenty-six.) He didn’t want to think about it. He was developing a fondness for liquor at a very early age. You will note several references to alcohol in the poem, as well as references to hemlock and something like laudanum, which is a combination of opium and alcohol. The most subtle allusion to alcohol is contained in the lines that come later in the poem:

The coming musk-rose, full of dewy...

(The entire section contains 477 words.)

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