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Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire
'O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth
Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds
(232) It was the Hymn to Pan beginning here that the young poet when engaged in the composition of Endymion was induced to recite in the presence of Wordsworth, on the 28th of December 1817, at Haydon's house. Leigh Hunt records that the elder poet pronounced it "a very pretty piece of paganism," though his own magnificent sonnet,
The world is too much with us,
shows that he was not always in a mood to contemn the poeticimaginative aspects of nature open to a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn." It is worth while to note in this connexion the coincidence between the couplet in the text, lines 205-6, and the end of that sonnet :
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx-do thou now,
By thy love's milky brow!
By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
Hear us, great Pan!
"O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles Passion their voices cooingly 'mong myrtles,
(246) Cancelled manuscript reading
Listen great Pan !
The beautiful tale of Syrinx seems to have entered into Keats's soul, and not unnaturally. Compare this with the tender passage, Telling us how fair, trembling Syrinx fled
and so on (page 13 of the present volume), and above all with the exquisite couplet
Like the low voice of Syrinx, when she ran
Into the forests from Arcadian Pan
in the rejected passage of Book II, which was published in The Indicator. See note after line 853, Book II.
(248) The verb to passion is another of the words which the "noteless blot" in the Quarterly Review accused Keats of inventing. Spenser, as we have seen, was a sealed book to him; so that it is not strange he ignored the passage in The Faerie Queene (Book II, Canto IX, stanza 41),
Great wonder had the knight to see the maid
So strangely passioned.
But Shakespeare seems to have been a sealed book too, at all events during those seasons in which he took the liberty accorded by Shelley of spilling the overflowing venom from his fangs : otherwise he might have discovered such passages as
Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning
For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight;
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene IV, lines 172-3.
Tempest, Act V, Scene 1, lines 22-4.
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth
Venus and Adonis, line 1059.
What time thou wanderest at eventide
Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year
"Thou, to whom every faun and satyr flies For willing service; whether to surprise
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;
Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown
(263) In the manuscript and in the first edition we read fawn for faun.
(272) Cancelled manuscript reading—
To tumble them into fair Naiads Cells.
By all the echoes that about thee ring,
"O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears,
The many that are come to pay
"Be still the unimaginable lodge
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
Conception to the very bourne of heaven,
Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven,
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
Gives it a touch ethereal—a new birth :
Be still a symbol of immensity;
A firmament reflected in a sea;
(283) The manuscript reads Huntsmen, the first edition huntsman; but it is most unlikely that Keats made this slight change in a wrong direction.
(290) Of the various parentages assigned to Pan by the ancients Keats seems to have preferred the Homeric.
(293) The quotation-marks here and at the close of the hymn are not in the first edition, nor in the manuscript; but they are in the corrected copy.
An element filling the space between ;
Even while they brought the burden to a close,
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
To tunes forgotten-out of memory:
Fair creatures! whose young childrens' children bred
But in old marbles ever beautiful.
High genitors, unconscious did they cull
Time's sweet first-fruits-they danc'd to weariness,
(307) The contraction E'en is in the manuscript; but the first edition reads Even.
(311) The verb to bob seems to have been considered open to question push and raise stand as marginal suggestions in the manuscript.
(313) The accentuation of the final syllable of dancing is not a piece of original licentiousness, but a reminiscence of a rhythmical way of Spenser's: compare Faerie Queene, Book II, Canto VII, stanza 23
The hateful messengers of heavy things,
(315) The manuscript shows a marginal suggestion of mov'd for swam here.
(319) Doubtless meant to refer specially to the Elgin marbles.