Imatges de pÓgina
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There are no ears to hear, or eyes to That night the Baron dreamt of many a see,

woe, Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy And all his warrior-guests, with shade mead:

and form Awake! arise ! my love, and fearless be, Of witch, and demon, and large coffinFor o'er the southern moors I have a home

worm, for thee.'

Were long be-nightmared. Angela the

old

Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face She hurried at his words, beset with deform; fears,

The Beadsman, after thousand aves told, For there were sleeping dragons all For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes around,

cold. At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready

spears · Down the wide stairs a darkling way they Y ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

found. In all the house was heard no human Lemprière's classical dictionary made Keats sound.

acquainted with the names and attributes of the A chain-droop'd lamp was flickering by

inhabitants of the heavens in the ancient world, each door;

and the Shakesperean Chapman introduced

him to Homer, but his acquaintance with the The arras, rich with horseman, hawk,

subtlest spirit of Greece was by a more direct and hound,

means. Keats did not read Greek, and he had Flutter'd in the besieging wind's up

no scholar's knowledge of Greek art, but he roar;

had the poetic divination which scholars someAnd the long carpets rose along the gusty times fail to possess, and when he strolled into loor.

the British Museum and saw the Elgin marbles,
the greatest remains in continuous series of per-

haps the greatest of Greek sculptures, he saw They glide, like phantoms, into the wide them as an artist of kindred spirit with their hall;

makers. He saw them also with the complex Like phantoms to the iron porch they

emotion of a modern, and read into them his glide,

own thoughts. The result is most surely read

in his longer poem of Hyperion, but the spirit Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,

evoked found its finest expression in this ode. With a huge empty flagon by his side:

The ode appears to have been composed in The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook

the spring of 1819 and first published in Januhis hide,

ary, 1820, in Annals of the Fine Arts. There are But his sagacious eye an inmate owns: then about four years in time between the sonBy one, and one, the bolts full

net, ‘On first looking into Chapman's Homer,' slide:

easy

and this ode; if the former suggests a Balboa, The chains lie silent on the footworn this suggests a Magellan who has traversed the stones;

Pacific. It is not needful to find any single The key turns, and the door upon its hinges

piece of ancient sculpture as a model for the

poem, although there is at Holland House, groans.

where Keats might have seen it, an urn with

just such a scene of pastoral sacrifice as is deXLII

scribed in the fourth stanza. The ode was And they are gone: aye, ages long ago included by Keats in Lamia, Isabella, The Eve These lovers fled away into the storm. of St. Agnes and other Poems.

XLI

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All breathing human passion far above, Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and Thou foster-child of Silence and slow

cloy'd, Time,

A burning forehead, and a parching Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

tongue. A flowery tale more sweetly than our

rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy Who are these coming to the sacrifice ? shape

To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Of deities or mortals, or of both,

Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady ? And all her silken flanks with garlands What men or gods are these ? what

drest? maidens loth ?

What little town by river or sea shore, What mad pursuit ? What struggle to es- Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Ys emptied of this folk, this pious What pipes and timbrels? What wild

morn ?
ecstasy ?

And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

Why thou art desolate, can e'er re> Heard melodies are sweet, but those un

turn. heard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

O Attic shape! Fair attitude ! with brede Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: With forest branches and the trodden weed; Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of not leave

thought Thy song, nor ever can those trees be As doth eternity : Cold Pastoral ! bare;

When old age shall this generation waste, Bold Lover, never, never canst thou Thou shalt remain, in midst of other

kiss, Though winning near the goal — yet, do Than ours, a friend to man, to whom not grieve;

thou say'st, She cannot fade, though thou hast not • Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' – that is thy bliss,

all For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair ! Ye know on earth, and all ye need to

know.

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III

ODE ON INDOLENCE

‘They toil not, neither do they spin.'

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot

shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring

adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied,

For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy

love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,

For ever panting, and for ever young;

Published in Life, Letters and Literary Remains. In a letter to George and Georgiana Keats, dated March 19, 1819, Keats uses language which shows this poem to have been just then in his mind: “This morning I am in a sort of temper, indolent and supremely careless

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- I long after a stanza or two of Thomson's The blissful cloud of summer-indolence Castle of Indolence — my passions are all Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew asleep, from my having slumbered till nearly

less and less; eleven, and weakened the animal fibre all over

Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath me, to a delightful sensation, about three de

no flower: grees on this side of faintness. If I had teeth

O, why did ye not melt, and leave my of pearl and the breath of lilies I should call it languor, but as I am I must call it laziness. In this state of effeminacy the fibres of the

Unhaunted quite of all but — nothingbrain are relaxed in common with the rest of

ness ? the body, and to such a happy degree that pleasure has no show of enticement and pain no unbearable power.

Neither Poetry, nor A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, Ambition, nor Love have any alertness of

turn'd countenance as they pass by me; they seem Each one the face a moment whilos to rather like figures on a Greek vase - a man

me; and two women whom no one but myself could

Then faded, and to follow them I burn'd distinguish in their disguisement. This is the

And ached for wings, because I knew only happiness, and is a rare instance of the

the three; advantage of the body overpowering the Mind.'

The first was a fair Maid, and Love her

name; One morn before me were three figures The second was Ambition, pale of cheek, seen,

And ever

watchful with fatigued With bowed necks, and joined hands,

eye; side-faced;

The last, whom I love more, the more of And one behind the other stepp'd serene,

blame In placid sandals, and in white robes Is heap'd upon her, maiden most ungraced;

meek, They pass’d, like figures on a marble urn, I knew to be

my

demon Poesy. When shifted round to see the other

side; They came again; as when the urn They faded, and, forsooth ! I wanted

wings: Is shifted round, the first seen shades re- O folly! What is Love? and where is turn;

it ? And they were strange to me, as may And for that poor Ambition ! it springs betide

From a man's little heart's short fever-
With vases, to one deep in Phidian fit;
lore.

For Poesy ! no, she has not a joy, —
At least for me, so sweet as drowsy

noons,
How is it, Shadows ! that I knew ye And evenings steep'd in honied indo-
not?

lence; How came ye muffled in so hush a mask ? 0, for an age so shelter'd from annoy, Was it a silent deep-disguised plot

That I may never know how change the To steal away, and leave without a task

moons, My idle days ? Ripe was the drowsy Or hear the voice of busy commonhour;

sense !

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once more

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pages (of his letter) and ask yourselves whether And once

more came they by; — alas ! I have not that in me which will bear the bufwherefore ?

fets of the world. It will be the best comment My sleep had been embroider'd with dim on my sonnet; it will show you that it was

written with no Agony but that of ignorance ; dreams;

with no thirst of anything but Knowledge My soul had been a lawn besprinkled

when pushed to the point, though the first o'er

steps to it were through my human passions, With flowers, and stirring shades, and

they went away and I wrote with my Mind baffled beams:

- and perhaps I must confess a little bit of my The morn was clouded, but no shower fell, heart.' Tho' in her lids hung the sweet tears of May;

Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will The open casement press'd a new

tell; leaved vine,

No God, no Demon of severe response, Let in the budding warmth and throstle's Deigns to reply from Heaven or from Hell: lay;

Then to my human heart I turn at once. O Shadows ! 't was a time to bid farewell ! Heart! Thou and I are here sad and alone;

Upon your skirts had fallen no tears I say, why did I laugh ? O mortal pain ! of mine.

O Darkness ! Darkness ! ever must I moan,
To question Heaven and Hell and Heart

in vain. So, yo three Ghosts, adieu ! Ye cannot Why did I laugh? I know this Being's raise

lease, My head cool - bedded in the flowery My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads; grass;

Yet would I on this very midnight cease, For I would not be dieted with praise, And the world's gaudy ensigns see in A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce !

shreds; Fade softly from my eyes and be once Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense

indeed, In masque-like figures on the dreamy But Death intenser - Death is Life's high urn;

meed. Farewell ! I yet have visions for the

night, And for the day faint visions there is store;

ODE TO FANNY Vanish, ye Phantoms ! from my idle spright,

First published in Life, Letters and Literary Into the clouds, and nevermore return ! Remains, and there undated.

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more

SONNET

Published in Life, Letters and Literary Remains. In a letter to his brother George and wife, Keats writes March 19, 1819: 'I am ever afraid that your anxiety for me will lead you to fear for the violence of my temperament continually smothered down: for that reason I did not intend to have sent you the following sonnet but look over the two last

PHYSICIAN Nature ! let my spirit blood !

O ease my heart of verse and let me rest; Throw me upon thy Tripod, till the flood Of stifling numbers ebbs from my full

breast. A theme ! a theme ! great Nature !

give a theme;

Let me begin my dream.
I come — I see thee, as thou standest there;
Beckon me not into the wintry air.

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