Before the deep intoxication.

But soon she came, with sudden burst, upon
Her self-possession-swung the lute aside,


(502) The use of this word intoxication as a full five-syllable word accented on the final syllable, and a similar use of many words terminating in ion, has been a topic of frequent censure with Keats's critics; but I presume no one at the present day needs to be told that this was merely another Elizabethan licence reproduced. Here is one of many instances from Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene v, line 29) :

Some say the lark makes sweet division,

and one from Spenser (Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto VIII, stanza 1):

Lo oft as I this history record

My heart doth melt with meere compassion,

To think how causelesse, of her owne accord,
This gentle damzell whom I write upon,

Should plonged be in such affliction...

Spenser, indeed, availed himself so often and so unsparingly of this facile way of rhyming and scanning that it may well have happened that Keats's ardent admiration for the elder poet led him to think even this a beauty to be imitated. Here are fourteen consecutive lines in The Faerie Queene (Book III, Canto VI, stanzas 8 and 9), which would be considered very deficient in executive invention nowadays :

Miraculous may seeme to him that reades

So straunge ensample of conception;
But reason teacheth that the fruitfull seades

Of all things living, through impression

Of the sunbeames in moyst complexion,

Doe life conceiue and quickned are by kynd :

So, after Nilus inundation,

Infinite shapes of creatures men doe fynd

Informed in the mud on which the Sunne hath shynd.

Great father he of generation

Is rightly cald, th' authour of life and light;
And his faire sister for creation

Ministreth matter fit, which tempered right

With heate and humour, breedes the living wight.

And earnestly said: "Brother, 'tis vain to hide
That thou dost know of things mysterious,
Immortal, starry; such alone could thus

Weigh down thy nature. Hast thou sinn'd in aught
Offensive to the heavenly powers? Caught


A Paphian dove upon a message sent ?


Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd bent,

Sacred to Dian? Haply, thou hast seen
Her naked limbs among the alders green;
And that, alas! is death. No, I can trace
Something more high perplexing in thy face!"

Endymion look'd at her, and press'd her hand, And said, "Art thou so pale, who wast so bland And merry in our meadows? How is this?


(513) Cancelled manuscript reading, on flags and rushes for among the alders.

(514) Compare Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 11, line 64 : And the place death, considering who thou art.

(515) This speech of Peona's was originally much longer: the manuscript shows the following lines, struck out for the reading of the text:

And I do pray thee by thy utmost aim
To tell me all. No little fault or blame
Canst thou lay on me for a teasing Girl;
Ever as an unfathomable pearl

Has been thy secrecy to me: but now

I needs must hunger after it, and vow

To be its jealous Guardian for aye.

Uttering these words she got nigh and more nigh,

And put at last her arms about his neck :

[blocks in formation]

Nor any frown, or stir dissatisfied,

But smooth compliance, and a tender slide
Of arm in arm, and what is written next.

'Doubtless, Peona, thou hast been perplex'd,
And pained oft in thinking of the change...

Tell me thine ailment: tell me all amiss!—

Ah! thou hast been unhappy at the change


Wrought suddenly in me. What indeed more strange? Or more complete to overwhelm surmise?

Ambition is no sluggard: 'tis no prize,

That toiling years would put within my grasp,

That I have sigh'd for: with so deadly gasp
No man e'er panted for a mortal love.


So all have set my heavier grief above

These things which happen. Rightly have they done :

I, who still saw the horizontal sun

Heave his broad shoulder o'er the edge of the world, 530
Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurl'd

My spear aloft, as signal for the chace—
I, who, for very sport of heart, would race
With my own steed from Araby; pluck down
A vulture from his towery perching; frown

A lion into growling, loth retire—

To lose, at once, all my toil breeding fire,

And sink thus low! but I will ease my breast

Of secret grief, here in this bowery nest.


(530) In the manuscript we read o' the world for of the world. Compare Thomson, Winter, lines 780-1,

the horizontal sun,

Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon.

(531) The last of the stars to disappear before the rising sun. Ovid says (Metamorphoses, Book II, verses 114-15),

Diffugiunt stellæ ; quarum agmina cogit

Lucifer, et cœli statione novissimus exit.

(536) In the manuscript, grumbling is cancelled for growling. (539) This couplet is substituted in the manuscript for the erased couplet

And come to such a Ghost as I am now!

But listen, Sister, I will tell the how.

Probably the was meant for thee; but perhaps not.

"This river does not see the naked sky, Till it begins to progress silverly

Around the western border of the wood,

Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood

Seems at the distance like a crescent moon:
And in that nook, the very pride of June,
Had I been us'd to pass my weary eves;
The rather for the sun unwilling leaves
So dear a picture of his sovereign power,
And I could witness his most kingly hour,
When he doth tighten up the golden reins,
And paces leisurely down amber plains




His snorting four. Now when his chariot last

Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast,

There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed

Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red :


(545) Instead of this and the following line, the manuscript originally had six lines

And in this spot the most endowing boon

Of balmy air, sweet blooms, and coverts fresh
Has been outshed; yes, all that could enmesh
Our human senses-make us fealty sware
To gadding Flora. In this grateful lair

Have I been used to pass my weary eaves;

and before these lines were cancelled they evidently gave Keats much anxiety. In the first of them this was altered to that: the second and third he worked upon in pencil, transposing and erasing ; but the intention is not now to be made out: sware in the fourth stands presumably for swear: in the fifth gadding Flora is struck through in pencil, while In is changed to To and back again to In. (550) In the first edition, lighten for tighten.

(555) In the manuscript and in the first edition we read ditamy. I have not succeeded in finding the orthography elsewhere; but I see no reason for doubting that Keats met with it somewhere and preferred it to dittany. In Philemon Holland's Pliny, where it might have been expected to occur, I can find no more English equivalent

At which I wondered greatly, knowing well

That but one night had wrought this flowery spell;
And, sitting down close by, began to muse

What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I, Morpheus, In passing here, his owlet pinions shook;


Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook

Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth,

Had dipt his rod in it: such garland wealth

Came not by common growth. Thus on I thought,
Until my head was dizzy and distraught.


Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole

A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul;
And shaping visions all about my sight

Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light;

The which became more strange, and strange, and dim, And then were gulph'd in a tumultuous swim:


And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell

The enchantment that afterwards befel?
Yet it was but a dream: yet such a dream
That never tongue, although it overteem
With mellow utterance, like a cavern spring,
Could figure out and to conception bring
All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay


for dictamnus than dictamne; but it is worth noting that three modern languages drop the # and not the m—thus, Italian dittamo, Spanish dictamo, and French dictame; and in times when spelling was more or less optional some classical English writer may well have done the same.

(561) This line first stood in the manuscript thus

Or it may be that, ere still Night uptook...

(573) This line is given as in the manuscript and in Keats's edition. That its haltness was felt is perhaps indicated by the fact that something has been written over it in pencil and rubbed out again. I suppose we are to accentuate enchantment on the first syllable.

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