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and weary

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Into those holy groves that silent are Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee; Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yon, Laughing at the clear stream and setting At Vesper's earliest twinkle they are

sun, gone

As though they jests had been: nor had he But once, once, once again —' At this he done press'd

His laugh at nature's holy countenance, His hands against his face, and then did Until that grove appear’d, as if perchance, rest

And then his tongue with sober seemlihed His head upon a mossy

hillock
green,

Gave utterance as he enter'd: Ha !' I And so remain'd as he a corpse had been

said, All the long day; save when he scantly King of the butterflies; but by this gloom, lifted

And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom, His eyes abroad, to see how shadows shifted This dusk religion, pomp of solitude, With the slow move of time, — sluggish And the Promethean clay by thief endued,

By old Saturnus' forelock, by his head Until the poplar tops, in journey dreary, Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed Had reach'd the river's brim. Then up he Myself to things of light from infancy; rose,

And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die, And, slowly as that very river flows, Is sure enough to make a mortal man обо Walk'd towards the temple grove with this Grow impious.' So he inwardly began lament:

On things for which no wording can be • Why such a golden eve? The breeze is

found; sent

Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall Beyond the reach of music: for the choir Before the serene father of them all

Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough Bows down his summer head below the

brier west.

Nor muffling thicket interposed to dull Now am I of breath, speech, and speed The vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full, possest,

Through the dark pillars of those sylvan But at the setting I must bid adieu

aisles. To her for the last time. Night will.strew He saw not the two maidens, nor their On the damp grass myriads of lingering

smiles, leaves,

Wan as primroses gather'd at midnight 970 And with them shall I die; nor much it By chilly-finger'd spring. Unhappy wight! grieves

Endymion !' said Peona, 'we are here ! To die, when summer dies on the cold What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on sward.

bier ?' Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord Then he embraced her, and his lady's hand Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly po- Press’d, saying: “Sister, I would have comsies,

mand, Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour- If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate.' roses;

At which that dark-eyed stranger stood My kingdom 's at its death, and just it is

elate That I should die with it: so in all this And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love, We miscall grief, bale, sorrow, heart-break, To Endymion's amaze: "By Cupid's dove, woe,

And so thou shalt ! and by the lily truth What is there to plain of ? By Titan's foe Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved I am but rightly served.' So saying, he

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came

And as she spake, into her face there Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook'd

for change Light, as reflected from a silver flame: Be spiritualized. Peona, we shall range Her long black hair swellid ampler, in dis- These forests, and to thee they safe shall be play

As was thy cradle; hither shalt thou flee Full golden; in her eyes a brighter day To meet us many a time.' Next Cynthia Dawn'd blue, and full of love. Aye, he bright beheld

Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good Phæbe, his passion ! joyous she upheld

night: Her lucid bow, continuing thus: “ Drear, Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown drear

Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon. Has our delaying been; but foolish fear She

gave

her fair hands to him, and behold, Withheld me first; and then decrees of Before three swiftest kisses he had told, fate;

They vanish'd far away ! - Peona went And then 't was fit that from this mortal Home through the gloomy wood in wonstate

derment.

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990

THE POEMS OF 1818-1819

The most pregnant year of Keats's genius and closing with Lamia, includes, besides was that which dates roughly from the those

poems

and The Eve of St. Agnes, the spring of 1818 to the spring of 1819, as great Odes, Fancy, and some of the notable one may readily see who scans the titles of Sonnets. The division, besides being a conthe poems included in this division. The venient one, seems almost logical and not group here given, beginning with Isabella merely chronological.

II

ISABELLA, OR THE POT OF They could not sit at meals but feel how BASIL

well

It soothed each to be the other by;
A STORY FROM BOCCACCIO

They could not, sure, beneath the same

roof sleep Keats and Reynolds projected a volume of

But to each other dream, and nightly weep. metrical tales translated from or based on Boccaccio. Apparently, Keats began Isabella, which was to be one of his contributions, some

With every morn their love grew tenderer, time before he went to Teignmouth, where he

With every eve deeper and tenderer still; finished Endymion. At any rate, from that place April 27, 1818, he wrote to Reynolds,

He might not in house, field, or garden who was then quite ill: 'I have written for my

stir, folio Shakespeare, in which there are the first

But her full shape would all his seeing few stanzas of my Pot of Basil. I have the

fill; rest here finished, and will copy the whole out

And his continual voice was pleasanter fairly shortly, and George will bring it you To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill; The compliment is paid by us to Boccace, Her lute-string gave an echo of his name, whether we publish or no: so there is content She spoilt her half-done broidery with the in this world — mine is short — you must be deliberate about yours; you must not think of it till many months after you are quite well: then put your passion to it, and I shall be He knew whose gentle hand was at the bound up with you in the shadows of Mind, as

latch, we are in our matters of human life.' Keats

Before the door had given her to his did not wait for Reynolds, but published his

eyes; Isabella in the volume entitled Lamia, Isabella,

And from her chamber-window he would The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems issued

catch in the summer of 1820.

Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;

And constant as her vespers would be Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel !

watch, Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye ! Because her face was turn’d to the same They could not in the self-same mansion skies; dwell

And with sick longing all the night outWithout some stir of heart, some mal

wear, ady;

To hear her morning-step upon the stair.

same.

III

I

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So once more he had waked and anguished

A dreary night of love and misery, If Isabel's quick eye had not been wed

To every symbol on his forehead high: She saw it waxing very pale and dead, And straight all flush’d; so, ped ten

derly,

All close they met again, before the dusk Had taken from the stars its pleasant

veil, All close they met, all eves, before the dusk Had taken from the stars its pleasant

veil,

ху

woe.

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XIII

Close in a bower of hyacinth and musk, Unknown of any, free from whispering tale.

For them the Ceylon diver held his breath, Ah! better had it been for ever so,

And went all naked to the hungry shark;
Than idle ears should pleasure in their For them his ears gush'd blood; for them

in death
The seal on the cold ice with piteous

bark
Were they unhappy then ? - It cannot | Lay full of darts; for them alone did
be

seethe Too many tears for lovers have been A thousand men in troubles wide and shed,

dark: Too many sighs give we to them in fee, Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,

Too much of pity after they are dead, That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and Too many doleful stories do we see,

peel. Whose matter in bright gold were best

be read; Except in such a page where Theseus' | Why were they proud ? Because their spouse

marble founts Over the pathless waves towards him bows. Gush'd with more pride than do a

wretch's tears ?

Why were they proud ? Because fair But, for the general award of love,

orange-mounts The little sweet doth kill much bitter- Were of more soft ascent than lazar ness;

stairs ?. Though Dido silent is in under-grove, Why were they proud ? Because redAnd Isabella's was a great distress,

lined accounts Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian Were richer than the songs of Grecian clove

years ?Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the Why were they proud ? again we ask less

aloud, Even bees, the little almsmen of spring- Why in the name of Glory were they

bowers, Know there is richest juice in poisonflowers.

Yet were these Florentines as self-retired

In hungry pride and gainful cowardice, With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt, As two close Hebrews in that land inspired,

Enriched from ancestral merchandise, Paled in and vineyarded from beggarAnd for them many a weary hand did swelt

spies; In torched mines and noisy factories, The hawks of ship-mast forests — the unAnd many once proud-quiver'd loins did

tired melt

And pannier'd mules for ducats and old In blood from stinging whip;

with

lies

Quick cat’s-paws on the generous strayMany all day in dazzling river stood,

away, To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood. Great wits in Spanish, Tuscan, and Malay.

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proud ?

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hollow eyes

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