Ode to a Nightingale
Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot (lines 7-8)
Nature has some seriously magical qualities in this poem. Here, the nightingale is compared with a spirit of the woods, a "dryad." Nature casts a big magic spell on the imagination, and this idea will develop throughout the poem.
O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green, (line 13)
Wouldn't it be awesome if you just found a random bottle buried in the dirt in your backyard, and when you drank it you felt like you were partying on the Mediterranean? That's kind of the feeling that the speaker wants to have in these lines. For him, nature is an intoxicant that blows regular wine out of the water.
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. (lines 36-40)
As soon as the speaker enters the nightingale's world, the images of magic return. A fay, like a Dryad, is a small magical being, a fairy. The moon and stars turn into a heavenly fairy kingdom, and the forest is a dark, lush, mysterious wonderland.