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Of powerful instruments :-—the gorgeous dyes, 205
What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius ?
(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
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.
Had got his eye, without a twinkle or stir,
Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains
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,
(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!
(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
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.