Why did I laugh tonight? by John Keats

Why did I laugh tonight?

Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will tell;
No God, no Demon of severe response,
Deigns to reply from Heaven or from Hell:
Then to my human heart I turn at once. —
Heart! Thou and I are here sad and alone;
I say, why did I laugh? O mortal pain!
O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan,
To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain.
Why did I laugh? I know this Being’s lease,
My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads;
Yet would I on this very midnight cease,
And the world’s gaudy ensigns see in shreds;
Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indeed,
But Death intenser — Death is Life’s high meed.


This is the poem I first selected for the game preliminarily. I liked it immediately. However, Keats’s other poems seem to be more famous and liked. For example, the ”Ode to a Nightingale”, ”To Autumn”, ”Bright Star” and so forth. So I started to become insecure about my decision. The strange thing is that I felt so certain that this poem is what represents Keats best. However, the more I read the other poems over and over again, I become uncertain of my choice. Keats has written so many masterpieces.

What to do? I would really appreciate an honest opinion.

Portrait of John Keats

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