WRITTEN IN DISGUST OF VULGAR SUPERSTITION
The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More hearkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some black spell; seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys, and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crown'd,
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp, --
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp;
That 'tis their sighing, wailing ere they go
Into oblivion; -- that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.
(Keats wrote this poem in 15 minutes. In other poems he was capable of conventional religious views, but he's great here. Is he saying that religion is dying in this poem? I share his disgust; would that I shared his talent!)