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To toll me back from thee to my sole self !
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
In the next valley-glades :
Fled is that music :-Do I wake or sleep?
imagination safely back to the middle ages—to Amadis of Gaul, to Palmerin of England, and above all to the East, to the Thousand and One Nights. It seems to me unlikely that any particular story is referred to, though there are doubtless many stories that will answer more or less nearly to the passage.
(8) In the manuscript and in the Annals, there is a note of exclamation after elf in the fourth line. In the manuscript the last two lines are pointed thus :
Was it a vision? or a waking dream ?
Fled is that music? do I wake or sleep.
Was it a vision ? Or a waking dream ?
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
This Ode is mentioned by Lord Houghton in connexion with the Ode to a Nightingale as belonging to the Spring of 1819; and we are informed of both alike that, soon after they were composed, Keats“ repeated, or rather chanted, them to Mr. Haydon, in the sort of recitative that so well suited his deep grave voice, as they strolled together through Kilburn meadows, leaving an indelible impression on the mind of his surviving friend." The manuscript in Sir Charles Dilke's copy of Endymion is dated simply“ 1819". The poem appeared in Number XV of Annals of the Fine Arts, headed “On a Grecian Urn", and signed with a “dagger" (t). It would seem to have appeared in January 1820. There is some reason for thinking that the particular urn which inspired this beautiful poem is a somewhat weather-beaten work in marble still preserved in the garden of Holland House, and figured in Piranesi's Vasi e Candelabri.
(1) In the Annals, in line i of this stanza, there is a comma after still, which we do not find in the Lamia volume or in the manuscript. In line 8 in the Annals we read What Gods or Men are these? And both in the magazine and in the manuscript, the last line but one is
What love? what dance? what struggle to escape ? The version of the volume, given in the text, is an obvious revision. Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth ? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape ?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
2. Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on ;
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone :
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
3 Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu ;
For ever piping songs for ever new;
For ever panting, and for ever young;
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
(2) Lines 5 and 6 of this stanza stand thus in the Annals :
Fair Youth, beneath the trees thou cans't not leave
Thy song, nor ever bid the spring adieu ; and in line 8 both the Annals and the manuscript read 0 do not grieve!
(3) In the Annals line 2 has never in place of ever.
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest ?
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
When old age shall this generation waste,
(4) The manuscript, in line 4, reads sides in place of flanks; and in line 10 neer for e'er.
(5) In the manuscript there is a comma after maidens in line 2, and none after overwrought; but the preferable punctuation of the text is in both of the printed versions. In line 7 the manuscript and the Annals agree in reading wilt for shalt. In regard to the two final lines the version of the Lamia volume is adopted above. In the manuscript there are no turned commas; and in the Annals the two lines are thus :
Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.—That is all
Ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know. This seems to confirm the limitation of the Urn's moral to the five words indicated in the text; and, although I have not thought it worth while to note all the variations of pointing and capitalling of the Annals version, I find them very characteristic of Keats, and
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all
suggestive of accurate printing from a fair manuscript of his. But for this I should have been disposed to regard the words
that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know as a part of the Urn's lesson, and not as the poet's personal comment.