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25

Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent;
For he left the merry tale
Messenger for spicy ale.

30

(25-7) Cancelled reading

Never meet one of all the clan
Rattling on an empty can

An old hunting ditty... (29-30) In the draft, Mistress is struck out in favour of Hostess ; and in the finished copy pasture and Trent are connected with a hyphen.

(31-2) In the draft

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In the finished manuscript the preposition in line 32 is to ; but in the printed edition for. Instead of the present lines 33 to 42 Keats first wrote the following :

No those times are flown and past.
What if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his turfed grave ?
How would Marian behave
In the forest now a days?

She would weep and he would craze. But after finishing the poem he wrote on the other side of the paper the delightful lines as they now stand, except that line 37 is

All are gone and all is past ! and in line 39 tufted stands in place of turfed. In the finished copy the words should be and skould have in lines 38 and 40 are underlined.

35

40

Gone, the merry morris din ;
Gone, the song of Gamelyn;
Gone, the tough-belted outlaw
Idling in the "grené shawe ; "
All are gone away and past !
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his turfed grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest days,
She would weep, and he would craze :
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fall'n beneath the dockyard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas;
She would weep that her wild bees
Sang not to her-strange! that honey
Can't be got without hard money!

45

50

So it is : yet let us sing,
Honour to the old bow-string !
Honour to the bugle-horn!
Honour to the woods unshorn!
Honour to the Lincoln green !
Honour to the archer keen !
Honour to tight little John,
And the horse he rode upon!
Honour to bold Robin Hood,
Sleeping in the underwood !

55

(44) In the draft

Fallen beneath the Woodma[n]'s strokes... (49) In the draft, then stands cancelled in favour of yet; and there is an unfinished line struck out immediately afterwards, Though the Glories...

60

Honour to maid Marian,
And to all the Sherwood-clan !
Though their days have hurried by
Let us two a burden try.

(61-2) Line 61 originally began with Though their Pleasures ; and the final line stands in the draft thus

You and I a stave will try. The reading of the text is in the finished manuscript, as well as in the first edition.

TO AUTUMN.

I.
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

2. Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

This poem seems to have been just composed when Keats wrote to Reynolds from Winchester his letter of the 22nd of September 1819. He says “How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air-a temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather-Dian skies. I never liked stubble-fields so much as now aye, better than the chilly green of the Spring. Somehow, a stubble plain looks warm, in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed

upon it.”

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Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers :
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook ;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

3. Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft ;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

(3) The term Hedge-crickets for grasshoppers in line 9 resumes very happily the whole sentiment of Keats's competition sonnet On the Grasshopper and Cricket. See Volume I, page 83. 11 revisiou, not of candid. q. y

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