Ode on Melancholy Summary
The speaker warns the reader not to try to relieve the pain of melancholy with poisons like "wolf's-bane." Instead, he suggests that the reader contemplate the sad shortness of life. Joy, he says, is always brief, and beauty never lasts forever. Melancholy is always attached somehow to joy and pleasure, since joy and pleasure are always temporary. In order to experience joy, we have to allow ourselves to experience grief and pain. That's just the way it goes, Shmoopers.