Imatges de pÓgina







No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet O GODDESS ! hear these tuneless numbers,

From chain-swung censer teeming;

No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat wrung By sweet enforcement and remembrance

Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear:

O brightest ! though too late for antique Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see

VOWS, The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes ?

Too, too late for the fond believing lyre, I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,

When holy were the haunted forest boughs, And, on the sudden, fainting with sur

Holy the air, the water, and the fire; prise,

Yet even in these days so far retired Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side

From happy pieties, thy lucent fans, In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring Fluttering among the faint Olympians, roof

I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired. Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where

So let me be thy choir, and make a moan there ran

Upon the midnight hours;
A brooklet, scarce espied:

Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense

From swinged censer teeming;

Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat 'Mid hush’d, cool-rooted flowers fragrant

Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane grass; Their arms embraced, and their pinions Where branched thoughts, new-grown

In some untrodden region of my mind,

th too;

pleasant pain, Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade

Instead of pines shall murmur in the adieu,

wind: As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,

Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd And ready still past kisses to outnumber

trees At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love: 20

Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep The winged boy I knew;

by steep; But who wast thou, happy, happy dove ?

And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, His Psyche true !

and bees, The moss-lain Dryads shall be lulled to

sleep; O latest-born and loveliest vision far

And in the midst of this wide quietness Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy ! A rosy sanctuary will I dress Fairer than Phæbe's sapphire-region'd star, With the wreath'd trellis of a working Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the brain, sky;

With buds, and bells, and stars without Fairer than these, though temple thou hast

a name, none,

With all the gardener Fancy e’er could Nor altar heap'd with flowers;

feign, Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan Who breeding flowers, will never breed Upon the midnight hours;

the same:








And there shall be for thee all soft delight took great pleasure in her song, and one morn

That shadowy thought can win, ing took his chair from the breakfast table to A bright torch, and a casement ope at the grass plot under a plum tree, where he night,

remained between two and three hours. He
To let the warm Love in !

then reached the house with some scraps of
paper in his hand, which he soon put together

in the form of this Ode.' Haydon in a letter

to Miss Mitford says: “The death of his bro

ther (in December, 1818] wounded him deeply, In copying his ' Ode to Psyche,' Keats added and it appeared to me from that hour he began the flourish · Here endethe ye Ode to Psyche,' to droop. He wrote his exquisite ‘Ode to the and went on ‘Incipit altera soneta.' 'I have Nightingale' at this time, and as we were one been endeavouring,' he writes, 'to discover a evening walking in the Kilburn meadows he better Sonnet Stanza than we have. The legiti- repeated it to me, before he put it to paper, in mate does not suit the language over well from a low, tremulous undertone which affected me the pouncing rhymes — the other kind appears extremely. It may well be that Tom Keats too elegiac — and the couplet at the end of it was in the poet's mind when he wrote line 26. has seldom a pleasing effect — I do not pretend to have succeeded — it will explain itself.' The sonnet was printed in Life, Letters and Lit

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness

pains IF by dull rhymes our English must be

My sense, as though of hemlock I had chain'd,

drunk, And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness;

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had

sunk: Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd, Sandals more interwoven and complete

'T is not through envy of thy happy lot, To fit the naked foot of poesy;

But being too happy in thine happiness, Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the

That thou, light-winged Dryad of the stress

trees, Of every chord, and see what may be

In some melodious plot gain'd

Of beechen green, and shadows numberBy ear industrious, and attention meet;

less, Misers of sound and syllable, no less

Singest of summer in full-throated Than Midas of his coinage, let us be

Jealous of dead leaves in the bay-wreath

erary Remains.

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That I might drink, and leave the world Wherewith the seasonable month enunseen,

dows And with thee fade away into the for- The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree est dim:


White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglan


Fast fading violets cover'd up in Fade far,away, dissolve, and quite forget

hast never


And mid-May's eldest child,
The weariness, the fever, and the

fret The coming musk-rose, full of dewy

wine, Here, where men sit and hear each other

The murmurous haunt of flies on sum-
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray

Where youth grows pale, and spectre- Darkling I listen; and, for many a time

thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of

I have been half in love with easeful

And leaden-eyed despairs,

Call’d him soft names in many a mused
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous


To take into the air my quiet breath;
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no -

While thou art pouring forth thy soul

Away! away ! for I will fly to thee,

In such an ecstasy !
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears ·
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

in vain
Though the dull brain perplexes and re- To thy high requiem become a sod. 60

Already with theetender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her

Thou wast not born for death, immortal throne,

Bird !
Cluster'd around by all her starry

No hungry generations tread thee down;

The voice I hear this passing night was But here there is no light,

heard Save what from heaven is with the breezes

In ancient days by emperor and clown: blown

Perhaps the self-same song that found a Through verdurous glooms and wind

path ing mossy ways.


Through the sad heart of Ruth, when,

sick for home,

She stood in tears amid the alien corn; -I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

The same that oft-times hath Nor what soft incense hangs upon the Charm'd magic casements, opening on boughs,

the foam But, in embalmed darkness, guess each Of perilous seas, in faery lands forsweet


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Before King Oberon's bright diadem, Forlorn ! the very word is like a bell Sceptre, and mantle, clasp'd with dewy gem, To toll me back from thee to my sole Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns self ! o there to

From rushes green, and brakes, and cowAdieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well

slipp'd lawns, As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.

The ever-smitten Hermes empty left
Adieu ! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades His golden throne, bent warm on amorous
Past the near meadows, over the still


From high Olympus had he stolen light, Up the hill-side; and now 't is buried

On this side of Jove's clouds, to escape the deep

sight In the next valley-glades:

Of his great summoner, and made retreat
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ? Into a forest on the shores of Crete.
Fled is that music:-do I wake or For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt
sleep? agrardy opin v so A nymph, to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt;
..!! i wpa

At whose white feet the languid Tritons


Pearls, while on land they wither'd and In the early summer of 1819 Keats felt the

adored. pressure of want of money and determined to

Fast by the springs where she to bathe was go into the country, where he could live cheaply, and devote himself to writing. He went ac

wont, cordingly to Shanklin, Isle of Wight, and wrote

And in those meads where sometimes she thence to Reynolds, July 12, 'I have finished

might haunt, the Act (the first of Otho the Great], and in the Were strewn rich gifts, unknown to any interval of beginning the 2nd have proceeded Muse, pretty well with Lamia, finishing the first part Though Fancy's casket were unlock’d to which consists of about 400 lines. I have

choose. great hope of success [in this enterprise of

Ah, what a world of love was at her feet ! maintenance], because I make use of my judg

So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat ment more deliberately than I have yet done.'

Burnt from his winged heels to either ear, He continued to work at Lamia in connection

That from a whiteness, as the lily clear, with the tragedy, completing it in August at Winchester. It formed the leading poem in the

Blush'd into roses 'mid his golden hair, volume Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes

Fallen in jealous curls about his shoulders and other Poems, published in 1820. Keats's

bare. own judgment of it is in his words: 'I am certain there is that sort of fire in it which must From vale to vale, from wood to wood, take hold of people in some way

give them either pleasant or unpleasant association. He

Breathing upon the flowers his passion new, found the germ of the story in Burton's Anat

And wound with many a river to its head, omy of Melancholy, where it is credited to Phi

To find where this sweet nymph prepared lostratus. The passage will be found in the

her secret bed: Notes. Lord Houghton says, on the authority of Brown, that Keats wrote the poem after

In vain; the sweet nymph might nowhere much study of Dryden's versification.

be found,

And so he rested, on the lonely ground,

Pensive, and full of painful jealousies
UPON a time, before the faery broods Of the Wood-Gods, and even the very trees.
Drove Nymph and Satyr from the pro- There as he stood, he heard a mournful
sperous woods,




he flew,





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Such as once heard, in gentle heart, de- And thus ; while Hermes on his pinions lay, stroys

Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey: All pain but pity: thus the lone voice spake: • When from this wreathed tomb shall I Fair Hermes ! crown'd with feathers, awake !

fluttering light, When move in a sweet body fit for life, I had a splendid dream of thee last night: And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold, strife

Among the Gods, upon Olympus old, Of hearts and lips! Ah, miserable me!' The only sad one; for thou didst not hear The God, dove-footed, glided silently The soft, lute - finger'd Muses chanting Round bush and tree, soft-brushing, in his

clear, speed,

Nor even Apollo when he sang alone, The taller grasses and full-flowering weed, Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long Until he found a palpitating snake,

melodious moan. Bright, and cirque-couchant in a dusky I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes, brake.

Break amorous through the clouds, as

morning breaks, She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue, And, swiftly as a bright Phæbean dart, Vermilion - spotted, golden, green, and Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou blue;

art ! Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard, Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd;

maid ?' And full of silver moons, that, as shę Whereat the star of Lethe not delay'd breathed,


rosy eloquence, and thus inquired: Dissolved, or brighter shone, or inter- • Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely highwreathed

inspired ! Their lustres with the gloomier tapes- Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy tries

eyes, So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries, Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise, She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady Telling me only where my nymph is fled, elf,

Where she doth breathe !' Bright planet, Some demon's mistress, or the demon's

thou hast said,' self.

Return’d the snake, but seal with oaths, Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire

fair God !' Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar: •I swear,' said Hermes, ' by my serpent rod, Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet! And by thine eyes, and by thy starry She had a woman's mouth with all its

crown !' pearls complete:

Light flew his earnest words, among the And for her eyes · what could such eyes

blossoms blown. do there

Then thus again the brilliance feminine: But weep,

that they were born • Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of so fair ?

thine, As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian Free as the air, invisibly, she strays air.

About these thornless wilds; her pleasant Her throat was serpent, but the words she days spake

She tastes unseen ; unseen her nimble Came, as through bubbling honey, for

feet Love's sake,

Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet;




and weep,

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