Pleasurable themes of poignant thoughts

Release energy, cleansing my soul

Of worldly debris from nature’s bowl

Gladdening folds of my beating heart

From whence fate’s errant quill doth scribe

Sacred melodies of minstrels’ tribe

Alive with rhymes elegantly wrought

Penned under guise of therapy

Poised to instil my unstinting part

‘Shoulder to wheel,’ pushing this cart

To wit – in vogue of praise, sweetly

Absolve the realms – shooting Poesy’s dart

Through love’s romance, confidently.


Though there were untold numbers of romantic poets, exceptional notables were acutely aware of each other, and; the heights their brilliant works surpassed.  Keats wrote ‘How Many Bards’ in acknowledgement, of the fierce competition existing between his illustrious contemporaries.  He commends – without naming – the poets who impressed him most, paying tribute to the ones who had an unmistakeable effect on him, and; the sublime quality of their work which, far from hindering his thought processes, inspired him to fulfil his own personal potential.  The poet gives praise where he thinks it is undoubtedly due; ‘How many Bards,’ – a delightful offering – pays homage to the skilful achievement of his peers and contemporaries.


Sonnet: How Many Bards …. by John Keats.


How many bards gild the lapses of time!

A few of them have ever been the food

Of my delighted fancy – I could brood

Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime

And often, when I sit down to rhyme

These will in throngs before my mind intrude

But no confusion, no disturbance rude

Do they occasion; ’tis a pleasing chime

So the unnumbered sounds that evening store;

The songs of birds, the whispering leaves

The voice of the waters – the great bell that heaves

With solemn sound – and thousand others more

That distance of recognizance bereaves

Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.