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SONNET.

TO HOMER.

Standing aloof in giant ignorance,

Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance

To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind ;—but then the veil was rent,

For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,

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 1, 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,

And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,

There is a triple sight in blindness keen ;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

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.

A DRAUGHT OF SUNSHINE.

5

HENCE

ENCE Burgundy, Claret, and Port,
Away with old Hock and Madeira,
Too earthly ye are for my sport;

There's a beverage brighter and clearer.
Instead of a pitiful rummer,
My wine overbrims a whole summer;

My bowl is the sky,
And I drink at my eye,
Till I feel in the brain

A Delphian pain-
Then follow, my Caius ! then follow :

On the green of the hill
We will drink our fill
Of golden sunshine,

Till our brains intertwine
With the glory and grace of Apollo !

10

15

These lines are part of an extract} from a letter to Reynolds dated “ Hampstead, Jan. 31st, 1818", published in Volume I of the Life, Letters &c. (1848), but omitted from the Life and Letters of 1867 as 'a page of doggerel not worth transcription”. The time has now come when students will feel entitled to have even Keats's doggerel, some of which, by the bye, has far less reason (and rhyme too) than the present effusion—to my mind rather a bright and happy specimen, notwithstanding Keats's own plea to his correspondent, “you must forgive all this ranting ; but the fact is, I cannot write sense this morning.” With the view of giving Reynolds some sense" nevertheless, he proceeds to copy out his latest

20

25

God of the Meridian,

And of the East and West,
To thee my soul is flown,

And my body is earthward press'd.-
It is an awful mission,
A terrible division ;
And leaves a gulph austere
To be fill'd with worldly fear.
Aye, when the soul is fled
To high above our head,
Affrighted do we gaze
After its airy maze,
As doth a mother wild,
When her young infant child
Is in an eagle's claws-
And is not this the cause
Of madness ?-God of Song,
Thou bearest me along
Through sights I scarce can bear :
O let me, let me share
With the hot lyre and thee,
The staid Philosophy.
Temper my lonely hours,
And let me see thy bowers
More unalarm'd !

30

35

40

sonnet, “When I have fears” &c. To the present fragment I have ventured to add a very obvious title.

(35) In the Life, Letters &c. bare stands in place of bear; and very likely Keats wrote bare here as he often did elsewhere for bear.

FAERY SONGS.

I.

SHED no tear-O shed no tear !
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more—weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
Dry your eyes— dry your eyes,
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies-

Shed no tear.

5

10

Overhead-look overhead
'Mong the blossoms white and red-
Look up, look up-I flutter now
On this flush pomegranate bough-
See me—'tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man's ill-
Shed no tear-O shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu-Adieu-I fly, adieu,
I vanish in the heaven's blue-

Adieu, Adieu !

15

These two songs appeared in the Life, Letters &c. (1848) among the Literary Remains; and a fac-simile of the manuscript of No. I was inserted in the second volume by way of frontispiece. The variations shown by the manuscript according to this reproduction are mainly in minute details ; and I have adopted many

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