What is the tone of "Ode on A Grecian Urn"?

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What a great question!  Count how many times "happy" appears in the 3rd stanza, and then count the "never" in stanza 2, and this conflict produces an irony the speaker can't resolve.  He sees this ode to love on the urn, but the urn, too, is a "cold pastoral" because it depicts an ideal that can never be consummated (those lovers will never kiss), a type of love never realized in this our real world. But then the last couplet about Beauty and truth: why would the urn tell us this as the essential knowledge we "need"? I would guess the urn tells us,that we might experience beauty, and through beauty truth, but love will always escape us.  Keats was a Platonist,...

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