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and ardent mind avow principles hostile to those cal insincerity. Keats belonged to a school of who set up for its enemies—if he be but the friend politics which they from their ambush anathemaof a friend openly opposed to them, it is enough; tized :-hence, and hence alone, their malice toand the worst is, that the hostility displayed is wards him. neither limited by truth and candor, sound princi. Keats was, as a poet, like a rich fruit-tree which ples of criticism, humanity, or honorable feeling : the gardener has not pruned of its luxuriance: it fights with all weapons, in the dark or in the time, had it been allotted him by Heaven, would light, by craft, or in any mode to obtain its bitter have seen it as trim and rich as any brother of the objects. The critics who hastened the end of garden. It is and will ever be regretted by the Keats, had his works been set before them as being readers of his works, that he lingered no longer those of an unknown writer, would have acknow- among living men, to bring to perfection what he ledged their talent, and applauded where it was meditated, to contribute to British literature a due, for their attacks upon him were not made greater name, and to delight the lovers of true from lack of judgment, but from wilful hostility. poetry with the rich melody of his musically em. One knows not how to eharacterize such demonia- bodied thoughts.
KNOWING within myself the manner in which this
BOOK I. of regret that I make it public.
What manner I mean, will be quite clear to the A THING of beauty is a joy for ever: reader, who must soon perceive great inexperience, Its loveliness increases; it will never immaturity, and every error denoting a feverish at- Pass into nothingness ; but still will keep tempt, rather than a deed accomplished. The two A bower quiet for us, and a sleep first books, and indeed the two last, I feel sensible Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing are not of such completion as to warrant their passing Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing the press; nor should they, if I thought a year's cas- A flowery band to bind us to the earth, tigation would do them any good ;-it will not: the Spite of despondence, of th'inhuman dearth foundations are too sandy. It is just that this youngster Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, should die away: a sad thought for me, if I had not Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways some hope that while it is dwindling I may be plot- Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, ting, and fitting myself for verses fit to live. Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
This may be speaking too presumptuously, and From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, may deserve a punishment: but no feeling man will Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon ve forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with For simple sheep; and such are daffodils de conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the With the green world they live in ; and clear rills failure in a great object. This is not written with That for themselves a cooling covert make the least atom of purpose to forestall criticisms of 'Gainst the hot season ; the mid-forest brake, course, but from the desire I have to conciliate men Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms: who are compeient to look, and who do look with a And such too is the grandeur of the dooms jealous eye, to the honor of English literature. We have imagined for the mighty dead;
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the ma- All lovely tales that we have heard or read: ture imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a An endless fountain of immortal drink, space of life between, in which the soul is in a fer. Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. ment, the character undecided, the way of lise uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceed mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters which For one short hour; no, even as the trees
Nor do we merely feel these essences those men I speak of, must necessarily taste in going That whisper round a temple become soon over the following pages.
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon, I hope I have not in too late a day touched the The passion poesy, glories infinite, beautiful mythology of Greece, and dulled its bright. Haunt us till they become a cheering light ness: for I wish to try once more, before I bid it Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, farewell.
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast, TEIG MOUTII, April 10, 1818.
They always must be with us, or we die.
Therefore, 't is with full happiness that I of brightness so unsullied, that therein Will trace the story of Endymion.
A melancholy spirit well might win The very music of the name has gone
Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Into the winds : rain-scented eglantine Is growing fresh before me as the green
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun; Of our own valleys: so I will begin
The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass ; Now while the early budders are just new, Man's voice was on the mountains, and the mass And run in mazes of the youngest hue
Of nature's lives and wonders pulsed ienfold,
To feel this sunrise and its glories old.
Now while the silent workings of the dawn Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
Were busiest, into that self-same laun My little boal, for many quiet hours,
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
A troop of little children garlanded ; Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Who, gathering round the altar, seern'd to pry
Earnestly round as wishing to espy
Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited
For many moments, ere their ears were sated
With a faint breath of music, which ev'n then O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
Filled out its voice, and died away again. Seo it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
Within a little space again it gave With universal tinge of sober gold,
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave, Be all about me when I make an end.
To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking And now at once, adventuresome, I send
Through copse-clad valleys,-ere their death, o ei. My herald thought into a wilderness:
taking There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea. Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.
And now, as deep into the wood as we
Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmer'd light Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread Fair faces and a rush of garments white, A mighty forest ; for the moist earth fed
Plainer and plainer showing, till at last So plenteously all weed-hidden roots
Into the widest alley they all past, Into o'erhanging boughs, and precious fruits.
Making directly for the woodland altar. And it had gloomy shades, sequester’d decp, O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue falter Where no man went; and if from shepherd's keep in telling of this goodly company, A lamb stray'd far adown those inmost glens,
of their old piety, and of their glee : Never again saw he the happy pens
But let a portion of ethereal dew Whither his brethren, bleating with content,
Fall on my head, and presently unmew Over the hills at every nightfall went.
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.
Leading the way, young damsels danced along, Until it came to some unfooted plains
Bearing the burden of a shepherd's song;
As may be read of in Arcadian books;
In music, through the vales of Thessaly: Edged round with dark tree-tops? through which a Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the ground dove
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound Would often beat its wings, and often too
With ebon-tipped flutes : close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
Begirt with ministering looks : alway his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept, There stood a marble altar, with a tress
And after him his sacred vestments swept. Of flowers budded newly; and the dew
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white Had taken fairy fantasies to strew
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light; Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,
And in his left he held a basket full And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull. For 't was the morn: Apollo's upward fire
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crown'd with beechen wreath, Anon he staind the thick and spongy sod
With wine, in honor of the shepherd.god. or winter hoar. Then came another crowd Now while the earth was drinking it, and while Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile, Their share of the ditty. After them appearld, And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright Up-follow'd by a multitude that rear'd
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light
"O thou, whose mighty palace roof doth hang
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth,
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx-do thou now,
“O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles Soon the assembly, in a circle ranged,
Passion their voices cooingly 'mong myrtles,
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek
Of thine enmossed realms : 0 thou, to whom Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear. Broad-leaved fig-irees even now foredoom Endymion too, without a forest peer,
Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow-girled bees Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face,
Their golden honeycombs; our village leas Among his brothers of the mountain chase. Their fairest blossom'd beans and poppied corn; In midst of all, the venerable priest
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn, Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least,
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries And, after lifting up his aged hands,
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies Thus spake he : " Men of Latmos! shepherd bands ! Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks :
All its completions—be quickly near, Whether descended from beneath the rocks
By every wind that nods the mountain pine,
The squatted hare while in half-sleeping fit ;
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw;
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main, U'Jderless lambs, and in a little cup
And gather up all fancifullest shells Will put choice honey for a favor'd youth: For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells, Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping ; Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan. Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping, Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
The while they pelt each other on the crown Night-swollen mushrooms ? Are not our wide plains With silvery oak-apples, and fir-cones brownSpeckled with countless fleeces ? Have not rains By all the echoes that about thee ring, Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad Hear us, O satyr king! Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had Great bounty from Endymion our lord. Tho earth is glad: the merry lark has pour'd
“O Hearkener to the loud-clapping shears, His early song against yon breezy sky,
While ever and anon to his shom peers That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity."
A ram goes bleating : Winder of the horn,
When snouted wild boars routing tender corn Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms or teering sweets, enkindling sacred fire ;
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms :