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170

The blue sky here, and there, serenely peeping
Through tendril wreaths fantastically creeping.
And on the bank a lonely flower he spied,
A meek and forlorn flower, with naught of pride,
Drooping its beauty o'er the watery clearness,
To woo its own sad image into nearness :
Deaf to light Zephyrus it would not move ;
But still would seem to droop, to pine, to love.
So while the poet stood in this sweet spot,
Some fainter gleamings o'er his 'fancy shot;
Nor was it long ere he had told the tale
Of young Narcissus, and sad Echo's bale.

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Where had he been, from whose warm head out-flew
That sweetest of all songs, that ever new,
That aye refreshing, pure deliciousness,
Coming ever to bless
The wanderer by moonlight ? to him bringing
Shapes from the invisible world, unearthly singing
From out the middle air, from flowery nests,
And from the pillowy silkiness that rests
Full in the speculation of the stars.
Ah! surely he had burst our mortal bars;
Into some wondrous region he had gone,
To search for thee, divine Endymion !

190

195

He was a Poet, sure a lover too,
Who stood on Latmus' top, what time there blew
Soft breezes from the myrtle vale below;
And brought in faintness solemn, sweet, and slow
A hymn from Dian's temple; while upswelling,
The incense went to her own starry dwelling.

(174) We read fair for sad in the manuscript.

200

But though her face was clear as infant's eyes,
Though she stood smiling o'er the sacrifice,
The Poet wept at her so piteous fate,
Wept that such beauty should be desolate:
So in fine wrath some golden sounds he won,
And gave meek Cynthia her Endymion.

205

Queen of the wide air; thou most lovely queen
Of all the brightness that mine eyes have seen !
As thou exceedest all things in thy shine,
So every tale, does this sweet tale of thine.
O for three words of honey, that I might
Tell but one wonder of thy bridal night!

210

220

Where distant ships do seem to show their keels,
Phæbus awhile delay'd his mighty wheels,
And turn'd to smile upon thy bashful eyes,
Ere he his unseen pomp would solemnize.
The evening weather was so bright, and clear, 215
That men of health were of unusual cheer;
Stepping like Homer at the trumpet's call,
Or young Apollo on the pedestal :
And lovely women were as fair and warm,
As Venus looking sideways in alarm.
The breezes were ethereal, and pure,
And crept through half closed lattices to cure
The languid sick; it coold their fever'd sleep,
And sooth'd them into slumbers full and deep.
Soon they awoke clear ey'd : nor burnt with thirsting, 225
Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples bursting :
And springing up, they met the wond'ring sight
Of their dear friends, nigh foolish with delight;
Who feel their arms, and breasts, and kiss and stare,
And on their placid foreheads part the hair.

230

Young men, and maidens at each other gaz'd
With hands held back, and motionless, amaz'd
To see the brightness in each other's eyes;
And so they stood, fill'd with a sweet surprise,
Until their tongues were loos'd in poesy.

235
Therefore no lover did of anguish die :
But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken,
Made silken ties, that never may be broken.
Cynthia ! I cannot tell the greater blisses,
That follow'd thine, and thy dear shepherd's kisses : 240
Was there a poet born?—but now no more,
My wand'ring spirit must no farther soar.-

(233) In the original edition, others'.

(242) The publication of Endymion in the following year gives an additional interest to this concluding passage, beginning at line 181. That the subject was already, as early as the summer of 1816, commending itself to Keats as one worth his ambition appears from this, for the book was out so early in 1817 that the sale was said to have “dropped” by the 29th of April (see the publishers' letter of that date in the Appendix). Thus, the delightful summer's day mentioned by Hunt (see page 7) cannot have been in 1817 ; but there is an extant letter to Charles Cowden Clarke, which will be found among the letters in this edition, and which mentions, under date 17 December 1816, a work entitled Endymion, as to be finished in “ one more attack.” Perhaps this points to a rejected draft on a small scale, to which the foregoing poem was the introduction.

SPECIMEN

OF AN

INDUCTION TO A POEM.

5

Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry ;
For large white plumes are dancing in mine eye.
Not like the formal crest of latter days:
But bending in a thousand graceful ways;
So graceful, that it seems no mortal hand,
Or e'en the touch of Archimago's wand,
Could charm them into such an attitude.
We must think rather, that in playful mood,
Some mountain breeze had turn'd its chief delight,
To show this wonder of its gentle might.
Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For while I muse, the lance points slantingly

IO

Hunt speaks confidently of this and the next composition as connected—“The Specimen of an Induction to a Poem, and the frag. ment of the Poem itself entitled Calidore(see Appendix); and this view is borne out, not only by internal evidence, but by the fact that in a volume of transcripts made in a copy-book of Tom Keats's these two compositions are written continuously, the first headed simply Induction, and the second Calidore. Several passages are marked in the margin ; and at the end of Calidore is written, “ Marked by Leigh Hunt-1816.” Hunt's marking resulted in the disappearance of one bad rhyme, for in the transcript line 17 stands thus :

And now no more her anxious grief remembring and the last word in line 18 is underlined by Hunt. Some minor VOL I.

С

20

Athwart the morning air: some lady sweet,
Who cannot feel for cold her tender feet,
From the worn top of some old battlement

15
Hails it with tears, her stout defender sent:
And from her own pure self no joy dissembling,
Wraps round her ample robe with happy trembling.
Sometimes, when the good Knight his rest would take,
It is reflected, clearly, in a lake,
With the young ashen boughs, 'gainst which it rests,
And th' half seen mossiness of linnets' nests.
Ah! shall I ever tell its cruelty,
When the fire flashes from a warrior's eye,
And his tremendous hand is grasping it,

25 And his dark brow for very wrath is knit ? Or when his spirit, with more calm intent, Leaps to the honors of a tournament, And makes the gazers round about the ring Stare at the grandeur of the ballancing ?

30 No, no ! this is far off :then how shall I Revive the dying tones of minstrelsy, Which linger yet about lone gothic arches, In dark green ivy, and among wild larches ? How sing the splendour of the revelries,

35 When buts of wine are drunk off to the lees? And that bright lance, against the fretted wall, Beneath the shade of stately banneral, Is slung with shining cuirass, sword, and shield ? Where ye may see a spur in bloody field. Light-footed damsels move with gentle paces Round the wide hall, and show their happy faces;

40

variations are : say for think in line 8, his for its in lines 9 and 10, grandeur for splendour in line 35, this bright spear for that bright lance in line 37, and you for ye in line 40.

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