Ode to a Nightingale: Stanza 3 - Summary

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Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.


      Lines 21—30. Fade far away, dissolve.....beyond tomorrow: The poet expresses a desire to run away from the fever and fret of life and to escape into the trees where he can forget life’s; sorrows and misfortunes from which the nightingale is quite free. He wishes to forget the fatigue, the depressing and tiresome conditions of life, and the anxieties and cares of the world where people are constantly suffering and withering under the agonies of pain. Old, disappointed, grey-headed men are afflicted with palsy. Young; men decline, wither, grow thin like skeletons and die. The moment a man begins to reflect over life, he is reminded of sorrows and griefs, and he falls into a state of helplessness with lack-luster eyes for ever and the passion of youthful lovers has only a short duration.

      Lines 27—28. Where but to think.....despairs: In this world, merely to think brings sorrow into the heart and we feel so dejected and disappointed that our eyes lack luster and become dull like lead. The least reflection or thinking over life is enough to remind us of all the sorrows and griefs of our existence. A thoughtful mind is deeply conscious of life’s disappointments and misfortunes.

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