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THE HUMAN SEASONS.
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span : He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming nigh
His nearest unto heaven : quiet coves
He furleth close; contented so to look
This sonnet and that to Ailsa Rock were first published, with the signature" I ", in Leigh Hunt's Literary Pocket Book; or, Companion for the Lover of Nature and Art,—the first number, that for 1819, in which Shelley's Marianne's Dream appeared with the signature "A”. The critic of Blackwood's Magazine must have discovered the secret of the signatures by some means, and was of course not above making use of his discovery; for in noticing the PocketBook he describes these sonnets with characteristic ribaldry as “two feats of Johnny Keats.” The only variation of consequence shown by the Pocket-Book as compared with the current texts of the présent sonnet is in lines 7 and 8, where the usual reading is
by such dreaming high Is nearest unto Heaven : this is certainly a more usual sense than that of the text as given above ; but I should not venture to adopt it without knowing upon what manuscript authority, as the other seems to me the more characteristic in its strain after originality of expression. I take
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
nigh to be a verb; and I think students will admit that nigh his nearest unto heaven, for approach his nearest unto heaven, is tame compared with some of the novelties of Endymion.
Lines on seeing a Lock of Milton's Hair.
Chief of organic numbers!
Old Scholar of the Spheres !
But rolls about our ears,
How heavenward thou soundest,
Live Temple of sweet noise,
Giving Delight new joys,
In a letter to his friend Bailey, dated the 23rd of January 1818 (Life, Letters &c., 1848), Keats says—“I was at Hunt's the other day, and he surprised me with a real authenticated lock of Milton's hair. I know you would like what I wrote thereon, so here it isas they say of a Sheep in a Nursery Book.” And after transcribing the poem he adds—“This I did at Hunt's, at his request. Perhaps I should have done something better alone and at home”. In the folio Shakespeare in Sir Charles Dilke's possession these Lines are written in Keats's autograph, and there is another manuscript at the end of the copy of Endymion mentioned several times in these notes. The date given by Keats to the poem is the 21st of January VOL. II.
::: I rescue Lerd Ecegese gire ne peen foc the Bailey etter: the variados re-corsversie Vet a records in his Lie of Sheer voel.page ice se bezer that this poem bad appeared in a periode. ceo zot ar sbarcire included in Keats's works. I have ect ecce per the poem in periodical literature ; but Medwin may be right For Le: Het's soones on this subject, see Appendi
120, Lord Houghton reads thy for th:12.
(22, This line, thotgh in Lord Houghton's editions, is not in either of Sir Charles Dirke's manuscripts
(23) The copy in Sir Charles Dilke's Eniymion reads pission here as well as in line 25-presumably through oversight.
(32) Lord Houghton in 1848 and 1867 read ard for mad; but substituted mad in the Aldine edition of 1876, in accordance with Sir C. Diike's manuscripts. The copy in the folio Shakespeare roads at for of.
Even at the simplest vassal of thy power,
A lock of thy bright hair,
Sudden it came,
Coupled so unaware ;
(36) Cancelled manuscript reading, At the most simple. (37-8) These form one line in both manuscripts.