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“The only sad one; for thou didst not hear “The soft, lute-finger'd Muses chaunting clear, “Nor even Apollo when he sang alone, "Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long melodious moan.

75 “I dreamt I saw thee, rob’d in purple flakes, "Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks, And, swiftly as a bright Phæbean dart, “Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou art ! “Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the maid ?"

80 Whereat the star of Lethe not delay'd His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired : “Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely high inspired ! “ Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy eyes, "Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise,

85 "Telling me only where my nymph is fled, “Where she doth breathe!”

• Bright planet, thou hast said," Return'd the snake, “but seal with oaths, fair God !” “I swear," said Hermes, "by my serpent rod, “And by thine eyes, and by thy starry crown!” 90 Light flew his earnest words, among the blossoms blown. Then thus again the brilliance feminine : “ Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of thine, “ Free as the air, invisibly, she strays “ About these thornless wilds; her pleasant days “ She tastes unseen ; unseen her nimble feet “ Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet;

95

(78) In the manuscript

And, swiftly as a mission'd phobean dart, a reading which shifts the accent from the second to the first syl. lable of the word Phæbean.

(93) Cancelled manuscript reading, Superb of heart !

100

105

"From weary tendrils, and bow'd branches green,
She plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes unseen :
And by my power is her beauty veil'd
* To keep it unaffronted, unassail'd
"By the love-glances of unlovely eyes,
“ Of Satyrs, Fauns, and blear'd Silenus' sighs.
" Pale grew her immortality, for woe
"Of all these lovers, and she grieved so
"I took compassion on her, bade her steep
"Her hair in weird syrops, that would keep
"Her loveliness invisible, yet free
"To wander as she loves, in liberty.
“ Thou shalt behold her, Hermes, thou alone,
"If thou wilt, as thou swearest, grant my boon!”
Then, once again, the charmed God began
An oath, and through the serpent's ears it ran
Warm, tremulous, devout, psalterian.
Ravish'd, she listed her Circean head,

115 Blush'd a live damask, and swift-lisping said, "I was a woman, let me have once more “ A woman's shape, and charming as before. “I love a youth of Corinth— the bliss ! “Give me my woman's form, and place me where he is. 120 Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow, (104) The manuscript has wox in place of grew. (106) In the manuscript, bad, not bade as in the printed text. (114-16) There is an Alexandrine here in the manuscript-.

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And the next line is—

Warm, tremulous, devout, bright-ton'd, psalterian.

Ravish'd she lifted up her circean head, a reading which, like that of line 78, shifts backwards the accent on the last word but one. Line 116 begins with Blush'd to live

damask.

“ And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now.”
The God on half-shut feathers sank serene,
She breath'd upon

his
eyes,

and swift was seen
Of both the guarded nymph near-smiling on the green, 125
It was no dream; or say a dream it was,
Real are the dreams of Gods, and smoothly pass
Their pleasures in a long immortal dream.
One warm, flush'd moment, hovering, it might seem
Dash'd by the wood-nymph's beauty, so he burn'd; 130
Then, lighting on the printless verdure, turn'd
To the swoon'd serpent, and with languid arm,
Delicate, put to proof the lythe Caducean charm.
So done, upon the nymph his eyes he bent
Full of adoring tears and blandishment,

135 And towards her stept : she, like a moon in wane, Faded before him, cower'd, nor could restrain Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower That faints into itself at evening hour : But the God fostering her chilled hand,

140 She felt the warmth, her eyelids open'd bland, And, like new flowers at morning song of bees, Bloom'd, and gave up her honey to the lees. Into the green-recessed woods they flew; Nor grew they pale, as mortal lovers do.

145

Left to herself, the serpent now began To change; her elfin blood in madness ran, Her mouth foam'd, and the grass, therewith besprent, Wither'd at dew so sweet and virulent ; Her eyes in torture fix’d, and anguish drear,

150 Hot, glaz'd, and wide, with lid-lashes all sear,

(123) The manuscript reads sunk for sank.
(132) The manuscript reads langrous arm.
(142) Cancelled manuscript reading, And she like flowers...

Flash'd phosphor and sharp sparks, without one cooling

tear.
The colours all inflam'd throughout her train,
She writh'd about, convuls'd with scarlet pain:
A deep volcanian yellow took the place

155
Of all her milder-mooned body's grace ;
And, as the lava ravishes the mead,
Spoilt all her silver mail, and golden brede ;
Made gloom of all her frecklings, streaks and bars,
Eclips'd her crescents, and lick'd up her stars : 160
So that, in moments few, she was undrest
Of all her sapphires, greens, and amethyst,
And rubious-argent: of all these bereft,
Nothing but pain and ugliness were left.
Still shone her crown; that vanish'd, also she 165
Melted and disappear'd as suddenly;
And in the air, her new voice luting soft,
Cry'd, “Lycius! gentle Lycius!"-Borne aloft
With the bright mists about the mountains hoar
These words dissolv'd : Crete's forests heard no more. 170

Whither fled Lamia, now a lady bright, A full-born beauty new and exquisite ?

(155) The manuscript reads vulcanian, the first edition volcanian. It seems to me more likely that the manuscript accords with the poet's intention than that the printed text does, for this old orthography is the more characteristic of the vocabulary of this particular poem, as introducing the more conspicuously the mythic personal origin of the common noun volcano or vulcano. (167-8) The manuscript reads

And her new voice, softluting in the air

Cried “ Lycius! gentle Lycius, where, ah where !” (171-2) In the manuscript, according to a good practical method Keats had in such cases, the note of interrogation is after Lamia, and a full-stop at exquisite.

175

She des into th: vandey they pass o'er
Who go to Corinth from Cenchreas' shore;
Adrese at the foot of those wild hills,
The road founts of obe Perzan rills,
Aadat er nicze whose barren back
Stretches with a sis and cloudy rack,
Seth-westwarcio Cecce. There she stood
bet arbres Setter from a wood,
Fait, ce a siis ma om sy tread,
Hyacerirea de pasioned
TO 4 dezieszka s sore it's,
Ile derniewice datadis.

180

185

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190

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