“On Fame”
John Keats

Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees,
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;
She is a Gipsey,—will not speak to those
Who have not learnt to be content without her;
A Jilt1, whose ear was never whisper’d close,
Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her;
A very Gipsey2 is she, Nilus3-born,
Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;
Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;
Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.


Copyright 1819

1 Jilt: a woman who loves without care; a woman who has “stood up” a man
2 Gypsy
3 In Greek mythology, Nilus was a son of Oceanus and Tethys. He was the god of the Nile River, equivalent to the Egyptian god Hapy.
4 An officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard that purchased Joseph as a slave.


  1. Create hyperlinks within "On Fame" to help explain the more difficult words and allusions. Your group must add at least 5 hyperlinks.
  2. How is this poem an example of Romanticism? How is this poem an example of an ode? this is an example of romanticism because it deals with ideas instead of reason or tangilbe objects. it does this by personifing fame into a woman that does stuff to people based on their opinion of her. another reason why this is an example of romanticism is because it was written during the 1820s which is considered the start of the romanticism period. the third reason. this is not an example of an ode because it does not have complex stanza forms its short and it isnt glorifying anything it is almost like the opposite of an ode.
  3. What have you learned about Keats that helps you understand this poem in a new way?
  4. What are some of the purposes of this poem? Why did Keats write it in the first place?
  • show how intricate people are and how easy some people are attracted
  • redemption in the eyes of a Gipsey
  • show the feeble-ity of men toward attractive women
  • comparing the influence powers of women to that of gods
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