Imatges de pÓgina
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not live without the love of my friends - I What manner I mean, will be quite clear would jump down Ætna for any great Pub- to the reader, who must soon perceive great lic good — but I hate a mawkish Popularity. inexperience, immaturity, and every error I cannot be subdued before them; my Glory denoting a feverish attempt, rather than a would be to daunt and dazzle the thousand deed accomplished. The two first books, jabberers about pictures and books. I see and indeed the two last, I feel sensible are swarms of Porcupines with their quills not of such completion as to warrant their erect “like lime-twigs set to catch my passing the press; nor should they if I wingëd book," and I would fright them away thought a year's castigation would do them with a torch. You will say my Preface is any good; - it will not: the foundations are not much of a Torch. It would have been too sandy. It is just that this youngster too insulting “ to begin from Jove," and I should die away: a sad thought for me, if could not set a golden head upon a thing of I had not some hope that while it is dwinclay. If there is any fault in the Preface dling I may be plotting, and fitting myself it is not affectation, but an undersong of for verses fit to live. disrespect to the Public. If I write an- This may be speaking too presumptuother Preface, it must be without a thought ously, and may deserve a punishment: but of those people — I will think about it. If it no feeling man will be forward to inflict should not reach you in four or five days, tell it: he will leave me alone, with the convicTaylor to publish it without a Preface, and tion that there is not a fiercer hell than let the Dedication simply stand “Inscribed the failure in a great object. This is not to the Memory of Thomas Chatterton." written with the least atom of purpose to The next day he wrote to his friend, in- forestall criticisms of course, but from the closing a new draft: “I am anxious you desire I have to conciliate men who are should find this Preface tolerable. If there competent to look, and who do look with a is an affectation in it 't is natural to me. zealous eye, to the honour of English litDo let the Printer's Devil cook it, and let erature. me be as “ the casing air.” You are too The imagination of a boy is healthy, and good in this matter - were I in your state, the mature imagination of a man is healthy; I am certain I should have no thought but but there is a space of life between, in which of discontent and illness -- I might though the soul is in a ferment, the character unbe taught Patience: I had an idea of giving decided, the way of life uncertain, the no Preface; however, don't you think this ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds had better go? O, let it -one should not mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters be too timid -of committing faults.' which those men I speak of must necessarily

The Dedication stood as Keats proposed, taste in going over the following pages. and the new Preface, which is as follows : I hope I have not in too late a day

touched the beautiful mythology of Greece, PREFACE

and dulled its brightness: for I wish to try KNOWING within myself the manner in once more, before I bid it farewel. which this Poem has been produced, it is TEIGNMOUTH, not without a feeling of regret that I make April 10, 1818. it public.

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BOOK I

The very music of the name has gone

Into my being, and each pleasant scene A THING of beauty is a joy for ever: Is growing fresh before me as the green Its loveliness increases; it will never Of our own valleys: so I will begin Pass into nothingness; but still will keep Now while I cannot hear the city's din; 40 A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Now while the early budders are just new, Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet And run in mazes of the youngest hue breathing

About old forests; while the willow trails Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreath- Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails ing

Bring home increase of milk. And, as the A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

year Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

steer Of all the unhealthy and o'er - darkend My little boat, for many quiet hours, ways

With streams that deepen freshly into bowMade for our searching : yes, in spite of all,

Many and many a verse I hope to write, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the

white, moon,

Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees Trees old and young, sprouting a shady Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas, boon

I must be near the middle of my story. For simple sheep; and such are daffodils O may no wintry season, bare, and hoary, With the green world they live in; and clear See it half-finish’d: but let Autumn bold, rills

With universal tinge of sober gold, That for themselves a cooling covert make Be all about me when I make an end. 'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake, And now at once, adventuresome, I send Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose My herald thought into a wilderness: blooms :

There let its trumpet blow, and quickly And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

dress We have imagined for the mighty dead; My uncertain path with green, that I may All lovely tales that we have heard or read: speed An endless fountain of immortal drink, Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed. Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread Nor do we merely feel these essences A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed For one short hour; no, even as the trees So plenteously all weed-hidden roots That whisper round a temple become soon Into o’erhanging 'boughs, and precious Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,

fruits. The passion poesy, glories infinite,

And it had gloomy shades, sequestered Haunt us till they become a cheering light deep, Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, Where no man went; and if from shepherd's That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'er- keep cast,

A lamb stray'd far a-down those inmost They alway must be with us, or we die.

glens,

Never again saw he the happy pens Therefore 't is with full happiness that I Whither his brethren, bleating with conWill trace the story of Endymion.

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Over the hills at every nightfall went. Now while the silent workings of the Among the shepherds, 't was believed ever,

dawn That not one fleecy lamb which thus did Were busiest, into that self-same lawn

All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped From the white flock, but pass'd unworried A troop of little children garlanded; By angry wolf, or pard with prying head, Who gathering round the altar seem'd to pry Until it came to some unfooted plains Earnestly round as wishing to espy Where fed the herds of Pan: aye great his Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited gains

For many moments, ere their ears were Who thus one lamb did lose. Paths there

sated were many,

With a faint breath of music, which ev'n Winding through palmy fern, and rushes

then fenny,

Fill'd out its voice, and died away again. And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly Within a little space again it gave To a wide lawn, whence one could only see Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave, Stems thronging all around between the To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes swell

breaking Of turf and slanting branches: who could Through copse - clad valleys,

ere their tell

death, o'ertaking The freshness of the space of heaven The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.

above, Edged round with dark tree-tops ? through And now, as deep into the wood as we which a dove

Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmer'd Would often beat its wings, and often too

light A little cloud would move across the blue. Fair faces and a rush of garments white,

Plainer and plainer showing, till at last Full in the middle of this pleasantness Into the widest alley they all past, There stood a marble altar, with a tress 90 Making directly for the woodland altar. Of flowers budded newly; and the dew O kindly muse ! let not my weak tongue Had taken fairy phantasies to strew

faulter Daisies

upon

the sacred sward last eve, In telling of this goodly company, And so the dawned light in pomp receive. Of their old piety, and of their glee: For 't was the morn: Apollo's upward fire But let a portion of ethereal dew Made every

eastern cloud a silvery pyre Fall on my head, and presently unmew Of brightness so unsullied, that therein My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring, A melancholy spirit well might win

To stammer where old Chaucer used to Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine

sing. Into the winds: rain-scented eglantine Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing Leading the way, young damsels danced sun;

along, The lark was lost in him; cold springs had Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;

Each having a white wicker, overbrimm'd To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass; With April's tender younglings: next, well Man's voice was on the mountains; and the

trimm'd,

A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt Of nature's lives and wonders pulsed ten

looks fold,

As may be read of in Arcadian books; To feel this sun-rise and its glories old. Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe,

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When the great deity, for earth too ripe, A smile was on his countenance ; he seem'd Let his divinity o'erflowing die

To common lookers-on, like one who In music, through the vales of Thessaly:

dream'd Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the Of idleness in groves Elysian: ground,

But there were some who feelingly could And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these, A lurking trouble in his nether lip, Now coming from beneath the forest trees, And see that oftentimes the reins would slip A venerable priest full soberly,

Through his forgotten hands: then would Begirt with minist'ring looks: alway his they sigh, eye

And think of yellow leaves, of owlets' cry, Steadfast upon the matted turf he kept, Of logs piled solemnly. – Ah, well-a-day, And after him his sacred vestments swept. Why should our young Endymion pine From his right hand there swung a vase,

away! milk-white, Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous Soon the assembly, in a circle ranged, light;

Stood silent round the shrine: each look And in his left be held a basket full

was changed Of all sweet herbs tbat searching eye could To sudden veneration: women meek' cull:

Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still

cheek Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill. Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear. His aged head, crowned with beechen Endymion too, without a forest peer, wreath,

Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth 160

face, Of winter hoar. Then

another Among his brothers of the mountain chase. crowd

In midst of all, the venerable priest Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud Eyed them with joy from greatest to the Their share of the ditty. After them ap

least, pear'd,

And, after lifting up his aged hands, Up-follow'd by a multitude that rear'd

Thus spake he: “Men of Latmos ! shepherd Their voices to the clouds, a fair-wrought

bands ! car,

Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks: Easily rolling so as scarce to mar

Whether descended from beneath the rocks The freedom of three steeds of dapple | That overtop your mountains; whether

brown: Who stood therein did seem of great re- From valleys where the pipe is never

dumb; Among the throng. His youth was fully Or from your swelling downs, where sweet blown,

air stirs Showing like Ganymede to manhood grown; Blue barebells lightly, and where prickly And, for those simple times, his garments

furze

Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious A chieftain king's ; beneath his breast, half charge bare,

Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge, Was hung a silver bugle, and between Whose mellow reeds are touch'd with His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear

sounds forlorn keen.

By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn:

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Mothers and wives ! who day by day pre- And through whole solemn hours dost sit, pare

and hearken The scrip, with needments, for the moun- The dreary melody of bedded reeds tain air;

In desolate places, where dank moisture
And all ye gentle girls who foster up

breeds
Udderless lambs, and in a little cup The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;
Will put choice honey for a favour'd youth: Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
Yea, every one attend ! for in good truth Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx — do thou
Our vows are wanting to our great god

now,
Pan.

By thy love's milky brow
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
Night-swollen mushrooms ? Are not our Hear us, great Pan!

wide plains
Speckled with countless fleeces ? Have O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet,
not rains

turtles
Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad Passion their voices cooingly ’mong myrtles,
Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had What time thou wanderest at eventide
Great bounty from Endymion our lord. Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the
The earth is glad: the merry lark has

side
pour'd

Of thine enmossed realms: 0 thou, to whom His early song against yon breezy sky, Broad-leaved fig-trees even now foredoom That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity.' Their ripend fruitage; yellow-girted bees

Their golden honeycombs; our village leas Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a Their fairest blossom'd beans and poppied spire

corn; Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire; The chuckling linnet its five young unborn, Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy

sod To sing for thee; low-creeping strawberries With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god. Their summer coolness; pent-up butterflies Now while the earth was drinking it, and Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh-budwhile

ding year Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant All its completions — be quickly near, pile,

By every wind that nods the mountain pine, And gummy frankincense was sparkling O forester divine !

bright ’Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy • Thou, to whom every faun and satyr light

flies Spread grayly eastward, thus a chorus For willing service; whether to surprise sang:

The squatted hare while in half-sleeping

fit; •Othou, whose mighty palace roof doth Or upward ragged precipices flit hang

To save poor lambkins from the eagle's From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth

maw; Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, Or by mysterious enticement draw death

Bewilder'd shepherds to their path again; Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness; Or to tread breathless round the frothy Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress

main, Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels And gather up all fancifullest shells darken;

For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells,

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