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And then in quiet circles did they press
The hillock turf, and caught the latter end
A young mind from its bodily tenement.
Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament,
Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee And frantic gape of lonely Niobe,
Poor, lonely Niobe! when her lovely young
Were dead and gone, and her caressing tongue
Lay a lost thing upon her paly lip,
And very, very deadliness did nip
Her motherly cheeks. Arous'd from this sad mood
Uplifting his strong bow into the air,
Many might after brighter visions stare :
(335) The manuscript gives no help to this somewhat ailing line. It stands there precisely as in Keats's printed text. It seems more likely that he meant the heavy monosyllable Branch to do duty for a whole foot or time-beat than that he accidentally let drop the second syllable of downward for example.
(339) This line is punctuated as in Keats's edition: the manuscript gives no stops whatever in it.
(347) The reference here is to the passage from the second Book
Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways,
'Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increas'd
That keeps us from our homes ethereal;
And what our duties there: to nightly call
Vesper, the beauty-crest of summer weather;
of the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, beginning at verse 674 (roĩσi dè Antovç viòg, K.T.λ.), which Shelley had in mind when (Prose Works, Volume III, page 56) he alluded to the Apollo "so finely described by Apollonius Rhodius when the dazzling radiance of his beautiful limbs suddenly shone over the dark Euxine.”
Right glorious before their wondering sight
In his left hand, and o'er his shoulder slung
A quiver and beneath his feet divine
The island trembled, and great waves came up
Out of the sea and broke upon the shore.
The passage has been kindly rendered for me as above by Mr. R. C. Day, who has thus saved me the necessity of giving it in prose or in the stiff and not very accurate rendering of Green or one of the still poorer translators of Apollonius Rhodius.
(352) In Keats's edition even is here printed in full; but in the manuscript it is contracted to e'en.
To summon all the downiest clouds together
For the sun's purple couch; to emulate
In ministring the potent rule of fate
With speed of fire-tail'd exhalations;
To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons
A world of other unguess'd offices.
Into Elysium; vieing to rehearse
Each one his own anticipated bliss.
One felt heart-certain that he could not miss
His quick gone love, among fair blossom'd boughs, 375 Where every zephyr-sigh pouts, and endows
Her lips with music for the welcoming.
Another wish'd, mid that eternal spring,
To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails,
Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales:
Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wind, And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind;
And, ever after, through those regions be
Some were athirst in soul to see again
Their fellow huntsmen o'er the wide champaign
In times long past; to sit with them, and talk
Of all the chances in their earthly walk;
Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores
And shar'd their famish'd scrips. Thus all out-told
Their fond imaginations,-saving him
(368) In the manuscript, pretty cheek, with pallid and waning as marginal alternatives.
(386) In the manuscript, campaign.
(389) Cancelled manuscript reading, present for plenteous.
Whose eyelids curtain'd up their jewels dim,
(405-6) There are several episodes in The Thousand and One Nights that might possibly be cited in connexion with this couplet; but there can hardly be any reasonable doubt that the allusion is to the tale generally associated with the name of Zobeide, its narrator,—that is to say the Eldest Lady's Story in The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad. Although the story is almost too well known for an extract to be needed, English scholars have yet to desire a version of The Thousand and One Nights at once complete, scholarly, and characteristic in language. No apology is therefore necessary for inserting the following extract from a version on a sumptuous scale, by Mr. John Payne, now mainly in manuscript, but in course of private issue by subscription:
"We sailed days and nights, till the captain missed the true course and the ship went astray with us and entered a sea other than that we aimed at. We knew not of this awhile and the wind blew fair for us ten days, at the end of which time the look-out man ascended to the mast-head to look out and cried 'Good news!' Then he came down, rejoicing, and said 'I see a city afar off, as it were a dove.' At this we rejoiced, and before an hour of the day was past, the city appeared to us in the distance. So we said to the captain 'What is the name of the city to which we are drawing near?' 'By Allah,' replied he, 'I know not, for I have never before seen it, nor have I ever sailed this sea in my life! But, since the affair has ended in safety, nought remains for you but to land and display your goods, and if an opportunity offer sell or barter
Who whispers him so pantingly and close?
Peona, his sweet sister: of all those,
His friends, the dearest. Hushing signs she made,
A yielding up, a cradling on her care.
as may be; but if the occasion serve not, we will rest here two days, then re-victual and depart.' So we entered the harbour and the captain landed and was absent awhile, after which he returned to us and said 'Arise go up into the city and marvel at God's dealings with His creatures and seek refuge from His wrath.' So we went up to the city and saw at the gate men with staves in their hands; but when we drew near them, behold, they had been stricken by the wrath of God and were become stones! Then we entered and found all the town-folk changed into black stones; there was not a live soul left therein, no, not a blower of the fire. At this we were confounded and traversed the streets and markets, where we found the merchandise and gold and silver exposed in their places, and rejoiced saying 'Doubtless, there is some mystery in this.' Then we all dispersed about the streets of the city, distracted each from his fellow by the lust of gain and the stuffs and riches; whilst I went up to the citadel and found it rare and skilful in fashion. I entered the king's palace, where I found all the vessels of gold and silver and saw the king himself seated in the midst of his chamberlains and lieutenants and viziers, and clad in raiment that amazed the wit. As I drew near him, I saw that he was seated on a throne inlaid with pearls and jewels, and arrayed in a robe of cloth of gold embroidered with jewels, each one of which shone like a star, whilst there stood about him fifty white slaves, dressed in various kinds of silks and bearing drawn swords in their hands. I was struck with amazement at the sight, but went on and entered the saloon of the harem, whose walls were covered with hangings of silk, striped with gold. Here I found the queen lying on a couch and clad in a robe covered with fresh pearls. On her head was a crown diademed with divers sorts of jewels, and round her neck collars and necklaces. All her apparel and ornaments were unchanged, but she herself had been smitten of God, and was a black stone."
In line 406 the manuscript shows a cancelled reading, Sitting for Frozen; and immediately after this line the following passage is obliterated in favour of what now stand as lines 407 to 412: