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210

Of powerful instruments :-—the gorgeous dyes, 205
The space, the splendour of the draperies,
The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer,
Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear,
Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed,
And every soul from human trammels freed,
No more so strange; for merry wine, sweet wine,
Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too divine.
Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height;
Flush'd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double bright:
Garlands of every green, and every scent

215
From vales deflower'd, or forest-trees branch-rent,
In baskets of bright osier'd gold were brought
High as the handles heap'd, to suit the thought
Of every guest; that each, as he did please,
Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow'd at his ease.

220

225

What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius ?
What for the sage, old Apollonius ?
Upon her aching forehead be there hung
The leaves of willow and of adder's tongue;
And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him
The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim
Into forgetfulness; and, for the sage,
Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage
War on his temples. Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:

230

(218-19) Cancelled reading

High as the handles heap'd, of every sort

Of fragrant wreath, that each as he did please... (226) In the manuscript, Thyrsis. (231) In the Autobiography of Haydon, as edited by the late Mr.

We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine-
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.

235

By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place, Scarce saw in all the room another face,

240 Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took Full brimm'd, and opposite sent forth a look 'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance, And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher 245 Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or stir Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride, Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet

pride. Lycius then press'd her hand, with devout touch, As pale it lay upon the rosy couch:

250 'Twas icy, and the cold ran through his veins;

Tom Taylor, we read at page 354 of Volume I (edition of 1853) that Keats and Lamb, at one of the meetings at Haydon's house, agreed that Newton "had destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow, by reducing it to the prismatic colours". This meeting was what Haydon calls “the immortal dinner " of the 28th of December 1817; so that the idea appears to have persisted in Keats's mind.

(237) Cancelled readings, Destroy for Unweave, and once for erewhile.

(239) The manuscript reads By whom.
(243) Cancelled reading, ensure for beseech.
(246-7) The manuscript reads-

Had got his eye, without a twinkle or stir,
Fix'd on the alarmed Beauty of his Bride.

256

Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains
Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart.
“Lamia, what means this? Wherefore dost thou start?
“Know'st thou that man?” Poor Lamia answer'd not.
He gaz'd into her eyes, and not a jot
Own'd they the lovelorn piteous appeal :
More, more he gaz'd : his human senses reel:
Some hungry spell that loveliness absorbs;
There was no recognition in those orbs.

260 “Lamia !” he cry'd—and no soft-ton'd reply. The many heard, and the loud revelry Grew hush; the stately music no more breathes ; The myrtle sicken'd in a thousand wreaths. By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased; 265 A deadly silence step by step increased, Until it seem'd a horrid presence there, And not a man but felt the terror'in his hair. “ Lamia !” he shriek’d; and nothing but the shriek With its sad echo did the silence break.

270 “Begone, foul dream!” he cry'd, gazing again In the bride's face, where now no azure vein Wander'd on fair-spac'd temples; no soft bloom Misted the cheek; no passion to illume The deep-recessed vision :-all was blight;

275 Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly white.

Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man ! "Turn them aside, wretch ! or the righteous ban “Of all the Gods, whose dreadful images “ Here represent their shadowy presences,

280

(254-5) In the manuscript,

Wherefore dost so start ? Dost know that Man? (260) Cancelled reading, is for was.

"May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn “Of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn, “In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright “Of conscience, for their long offended might, “For all thine impious proud-heart sophistries, 285 “Unlawful magic, and enticing lies. "Corinthians ! look upon that grey-beard wretch ! "Mark how, possess'd, his lashless eyelids stretch "Around his demon eyes! Corinthians, see! “My sweet bride withers at their potency."

290 "Fool!” said the sophist, in an under-tone Gruff with contempt; which a death-nighing moan From Lycius answer'd, as heart-struck and lost, He sank supine beside the aching ghost. "Fool! Fool!” repeated he, while his eyes still 295 Relented not, nor mov'd; “ from every ill “Of life have I preserv'd thee to this day, "And shall I see thee made a serpent's prey ?" Then Lamia breath'd death breath; the sophist's eye, Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly, Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging: she, as well As her weak hand could any meaning tell, Motion'd him to be silent; vainly so, He look'd and look'd again a level-No!

300

(293-4) In the manuscript

From Lycius answer'd, as he sunk supine

Upon the couch where Lamia's beauties pine. (296) In the manuscript

“ from every ill
That youth might suffer have I shielded thee
Up to this very hour, and shall I see
Thee married to a Serpent? Pray you Mark,

Corinthians! A Serpent, plain and stark !" (302) Cancelled reading, motion for meaning.

"A serpent !" echoed he; no sooner said,

305 Than with a frightful scream she vanished: And Lycius' arms were empty of delight, As were his limbs of life, from that same night. On the high couch he lay!—his friends came roundSupported him-no pulse, or breath they found, 310 And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound.

(311) The following extract is appended in Keats's edition as a note to the last line of Lamia :

“Philostratus, in his fourth book de Vita Apollonii, hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty-five years of age, that going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, met such a phantasm in the habit of a fair gentlewoman, which taking him by the hand, carried him home to her house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she was a Phænician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, he should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should molest him ; but she, being fair and lovely, would live and die with him, that was fair and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, though not this of love, tarried with her a while to his great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, amongst other guests, came Apollonius; who, by some probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a lamia ; and that all her furniture was, like Tantalus' gold, described by Homer, no substance but mere illusions. When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and thereupon she, plate, house, and all that was in it, vanished in an instant : many thousands took notice of this fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece.” Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.' Part 3. Sect. 2. Memb. 1. Subs. I.

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