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"Under the flag
Of each his faction, they to battle bring
WELCOME joy, and welcome sorrow,
Lethe's weed and Hermes' feather;
Come to-day, and come to-morrow,
I do love you both together!
I love to mark sad faces in fair weather; 5
Meadows sweet where flames are under,
With the aspic at her breast;
This is the fourth of the undated fragments at the end of Volume I of the Life.
Sombre Saturn, Momus hale ;-
Both together:-let me slake
HEN I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charactry,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain ; When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance ; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love ;-then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
This sonnet, of which there is a fair manuscript dated 1817 in Sir Charles Dilke's copy of Endymion, was printed among the Literary Remains in the second volume of the Life, Letters &c. (1848). The text as given above accords entirely with the manuscript.
STANDING aloof in giant ignorance,
Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
So thou wast blind;-but then the veil was rent,
And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
This admirable sonnet also occurs in manuscript in Sir Charles Dilke's copy of Endymion, and was included, like the preceding, in the Literary Remains. The date given in both places is 1818. The evidence of the manuscript on this point is of consequence as bearing on the relative positions of this sonnet and that On first looking into Chapman's Homer (Volume I, page 77). I understand the "giant ignorance" of line I to have reference to Keats's inability to enjoy Homer in the original Greek, and not to an entire ignorance of the Iliad and Odyssey such as might have characterized the period before the sonnet on Chapman's version was written in 1816. Indeed the second quatrain seems to me to be too well felt for so vague an attitude as Keats's must have been towards Homer before he knew any version at all; but the late Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose intuitions in such matters were of the keenest, and entitled to the most careful consideration, held that the present sonnet must have preceded that of 1816, and received with considerable reserve the evidence as to the date which I communicated to him in the course of our correspondence. It will be of interest to many lovers both of Keats and of Rossetti to learn that the later
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
poet whom we have but lately lost considered this sonnet to contain Keats's finest single line of poetry
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
a line which Rossetti told me he thought one of the finest "in all poetry." No one will dispute that it is a most astonishing line, more particularly for a young man of Keats's years in 1818. The text given above is that of Sir Charles Dilke's manuscript, in which, however, the word spumy in line 7 is altered to spermy in what seems to me to be the handwriting of Mr. Dilke, the grandfather of the present Baronet.