Imatges de pÓgina

I am

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should have had her when I was in health, the thousand novelties around me. and I should have remained well. I can afraid to write to her - I should like her to bear to die I cannot bear to leave her. know that I do not forget her. Oh, Brown Oh, God! God ! God! Every thing I have I have coals of fire in my breast — It surin my trunks that reminds me of her goes prises me that the human heart is capable through me like a spear. The silk lining of containing and bearing so much misery. she put in my travelling cap scalds


Was I born for this end? God bless her, head. My imagination is horribly vivid and her mother, and my sister, and George, about her - I see her - I hear her. There and his wife, and you, and all ! is nothing in the world of sufficient interest Your ever affectionate friend to divert me from her a moment. This

JOHN KEATS. was the case when I was in England ; I cannot recollect, without shuddering, the

[Thursday, November 2.] time that I was a prisoner at Hunt's, and

I was a day too early for the Courier. used to keep my eyes fixed on Hampstead He sets out now. I have been more calm all day. Then there was a good hope of to-day, though in a half dread of not conseeing her again — Now!- O that I could | tinuing so. I said nothing of my health ; be buried near where she lives! I am

I know nothing of it; you will hear Severn's afraid to write to her to receive a letter

account from Haslam. I must leave off. from her — to see her hand-writing would You bring my thoughts too near to Fanny. break my heart even to hear of her

God bless

you a ! anyhow, to see her name written, would be more than I can bear. My dear Brown,

212. TO THE SAME what am I to do? Where can I look for consolation or ease ?

Rome, November 30, 1820. chance of recovery, this passion would kill MY DEAR BROWN - 'Tis the most diffime. Indeed, through the whole of my cult thing in the world to me to write a illness, both at your house and at Kentish letter. My stomach continues so bad, that Town, this fever has never ceased wearing I feel it worse on opening any book, — yet me out. When you write to me, which you I am much better than I was in quarantine. will do immediately, write to Rome (poste Then I am afraid to encounter the pro-ing restante) - if she is well and happy, put a and con-ing of anything interesting to me mark thus t; if

in England. I have an habitual feeling Remember me to all. I will endeavour of my real life having passed, and that I to bear my miseries patiently. A person am leading a posthumous existence. God in my state of health should not have such knows how it would have been — but it miseries to bear. Write a short note to my appears to me - however, I will not speak sister, saying you have heard from me. of that subject. I must have been at BedSevern is very well. If I were in better hampton nearly at the time you were writhealth I would urge your coming to Rome. ing to me from Chichester how unfortufear there is no one can give me any com

nate and to pass on the river too ! There fort. Is there any news of George ? O was my star predominant! I cannot anthat something fortunate had ever happened swer anything in your letter, which folto me or my brothers ! — then I might hope, lowed me from Naples to Rome, because

but despair is forced upon me as a habit. I am afraid to look it over again. I am My dear Brown, for my sake be her advo- so weak (in mind) that I cannot bear the cate for ever. I cannot say a word about sight of any handwriting of a friend I love Naples ; I do not feel at all concerned in so much as I do you. Yet I ride the little

If I had any

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kill me

with me.

horse, and at my worst even in quarantine, neglectful; being anxious to send him a summoned up more puns, in a sort of de- good account of my health, I have delayed speration, in one week than in any year of it from week to week. If I recover, I will my life. There is one thought enough to do all in my power to correct the mistakes


I have been well, healthy, alert, made during sickness ; and if I should not, etc., walking with her, and now the all my faults will be forgiven. Severn is knowledge of contrast, feeling for light and very well, though he leads so dull a life shade, all that information (primitive sense)

Remember me to all friends, necessary for a poem, are great enemies to and tell Haslam I should not bave left the recovery of the stomach. There, you London without taking leave of him, but rogue, I put you to the torture ; but

you from being so low in body and mind. must bring your philosophy to bear, as I do Write to George as soon as you receive mine, really, or how should I be able to this, and tell him how I am, as far as you live ? Dr. Clark is very attentive to me; he

; can guess ; and also a note to my sister says there is very little the matter with my who walks about my imagination like a lungs, but my stomach, he



bad. ghost — she is so like Tom. I can scarcely I am well disappointed in hearing good news bid you good-bye, even in a letter. I alfrom George, for it runs in my head we ways made an awkward bow. shall all die young. I have not written to

God bless you ! Reynolds yet, which he must think very





A transcript of this poem in a copy-book of Tom Keats contains two variations from the text of 1817. Line 12 reads,

•Whose silken fins, and golden scales light' and in line 29 glassy for glossy. The first reading is required by the rhythm ; but the absence of the mark of the possessive case leads one to think that the accent mark may have been a hasty reading of the proper mark as printed.


That it was Balboa and not Cortez who first saw the Pacific Ocean, an American school-boy could have told Keats; but it is not such slips as these that unmake poetry.


Line 75. The quotation is from The Faerie Queene, I. iii. 4.

Page 11. To

The original valentine of which these lines are an enlargement was as follows:

•Hadst thou lived in days of old,
Oh, what wonders had been told
Of thy lively dimpled face,
And thy footsteps full of grace :
Of thy hair's luxurious darkling,
Of thine eye's expressive sparkling,
And thy voice's swelling rapture,
Taking hearts a ready capture.
Oh! if thou hadst breathed then,
Thou hadst made the Muses ten.
Couldst thou wish for lineage higher
Than twin sister of Thalia ?
At least for ever, ever more

Will I call the Graces four.' Then follow lines 41-68, and the valentine closes,

"Ah me! whither shall I flee?
Thou hast metamorphosed me.
Do not let me sigh and pine,

Prythee be my valentine.'

Mr. Forman points out Keats's echo in the first line of Milton's line,

* As one who long in populous city pent'

Paradise Lost, ix. 445. Page 14. 'I STOOD TIP-TOE UPON A LITTLE HILL.'

Line 115. Lord Houghton gives this varied reading for this and the next line:

* Floating through space with ever-living eye,

The crowned queen of ocean and the sky.' Page 18. SLEEP AND POETRY.

Line 274. Rhythm seems to require the emendation proposed by Mr. Forman :

Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach me? How'


Line 61. Libertas is the name which his friends gave to Leigh Hunt. See later the EPISTLE TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE, line 44. Mrs. Clarke confirms the application.

Page 28. CALIDORE.

Line 40. In a transcript in Tom Keats's copybook, this and the next line read :

Its long lost grandeur. Laburnums grow around

And bow their golden honours to the ground.' Page 33. ADDRESSED TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

The references in the first sonnet are to Wordsworth and Hunt.


Leigh Hunt's competing sonnet is as follows: 'Green little vaulter in the sunny grass

Catching your heart up at the feel of June,

Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon, When ev'n the bees lag at the summoning brass ; And

you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,

Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass ;
Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,

One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine ; both though small are strong

At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song, – In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.' Page 40. LINES ON THE MERMAID TAVERN.

Sir Charles Dilke has a manuscript copy of which the four closing lines are:

• Souls of Poets dead and gone,
Are the winds a sweeter home,
Richer is uncellar'd cavern

Than the merry Mermaid Tavern ?'
Page 41. ROBIN HOOD.

Line 36. Grenè shaw =green wood. Shaw frequently appears the termination of English local names.

Page 49. ENDYMION.

The variations here noted in Book I. are from the manuscript copy supplied to the printer, and are furnished by Mr. Forman in his edition of Keats. They were discarded by the poet either before he gave his copy in, or in his proofs.

Line 13. From our dark Spirits, and before us dances Like glitter on the points of Arthur's Lances.

Of these bright powers are the Sun, and Moon. Line 24. Telling us we are on the heaven's

brink, Line 94. And so the coming light in pomp

receive. Line 153. From his right hand there swung a milk white

Our freshening River through yon birchen


Of mingled wines, outsparkling like the stars.

Apparently Keats gave the broad sound to a in vase, but rejected the false rhyme. See the lines To , p. 12, where vase rhymes with pace.

Line 208. Needments. See the Faery Queene, Book I. canto vi., stanza 35, lines 55, 56,

"and eke behind, His scrip did hang, in which his needments he did


Line 232. It is interesting to note that the Hymn to Pan beginning here was recited by Keats to Wordsworth when he met the elder poet at Haydon's house, December 28, 1817.

Lines 407-412.

Now happily, there sitting on the grass Was fair Peona, a most tender Lass, And his sweet sister; who, uprising, went With stifled sobs, and o'er his shoulder leant. Putting her trembling hand against his cheek She said: 'My dear Endymion, let us seek A pleasant bower where thou may'st rest


grove :
Do come now!' Could he gainsay her who

So soothingly, to breathe away a Curse ?

Lines 440–442.
When last the Harvesters rich armfuls took.
She tied a little bucket to a Crook,
Ran some swift paces to a dark well's side,
And in a sighing-time return'd, supplied
With spar-cold water; in which she did squeeze
A snowy napkin, and upon her knees
Began to cherish her poor Brother's face;
Damping refreshfully his forehead's space,
His eyes, his Lips: then in a cupped shell
She brought him ruby wine; then let him

Time after time, a precious amulet,
Which seldom took she from its cabinet.
Thus was he quieted to slumbrous rest:

Line 466.
A cheerfuller resignment, and a smile
For his fair Sister flowing like the Nile
Through all the channels of her piety,
He said: 'Dear Maid, may I this moment die,
If I feel not this thine endearing Love.

And ease in slumber thine afflicted heart :
Come, my own dearest brother: these our

friends Will joy in thinking thou dost sleep whore


Lines 470-472.
From woodbine hedges such a morning feel,
As do those brighter drops, that twinkling steal
Through those pressed lashes, from the blos-

som'd plant
Lines 494, 495.
More forest-wild, more subtle-cadenced
Than can be told by mortal ; even wed
The fainting tenors of a thousand shells
To a million whisperings of lily bells;
And mingle too the nightingale's complain
Caught in its hundredth echo; 't would be

vain :
Lines 539, 540.
And come to such a Ghost as I am now !
But listen, Sister, I will tell thee how.

Lines 545, 556.
And in this spot the most endowing boon
Of balmy air, sweet blooms, and coverts fresh
Has been outshed; yes, all that could enmesh
Our human senses - make us fealty swear
To gadding Flora. In this grateful lair
Have I been used to pass my weary eves.

Line 555. Ditamy. So Keats unmistakably in manuscript and print. The prevailing form is dittany.

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