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O SOVEREIGN power of love ! O grief ! O balm !
(1) From this point the various readings are from two separate manuscripts, as explained in the note at page 107 of this volume. It is to be understood that, when the word manuscript alone is used, the reading is from the finished copy sent to the press, and that the term draft refers to the copy of the last three Books which was written into a blank book before being fairly transcribed for the printer.
(5) The draft reads but O! for thine instead of but touching thine.
(7) In the draft, sends for brings. Compare this line with the following from Shakespeare
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber
(Julius Cæsar, Act II, Scene 1, line 230);
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know :
(Venus and Adonis, line 16); and with the memorable line in Coleridge's K’ubla Khan,
For he on honey-dew hath fed. (8) The draft reads crashing for smothering; and in the next line far-reaching spears, clear blades. (13-14) In the draft this couplet was written
The close of Troilus and Cressida.
Hence pageant history! away proud star.
Away pageant History! away proud dull feat.
Nov. 24, 1818,” records that he has "learned that the author meant embrace.” He says “ This allusion I apprehend is to Chaucer's, and not to Shakespeare's work under this title." But I incline to think the reference more likely to be to Shakespeare's, albeit both were among Keats's reading.
(19) The rejected reading misty for vaporous has place in the draft; and the finished manuscript reads vap'rous, contracted.
About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
(27-30) In the draft the following lines are cancelled for the reading of the text :
What sorrows from the melting whiteness grow.
Tenderly from their first young snow her maiden breast. (31) The reference is of course not to the story of Hero and Leander but to the tears of Hero in Much Ado about Nothing, shed when she was falsely accused; and Imogen must, equally of course, be Shakespeare's heroine in Cymbeline, though she is not the only Imogen of fiction who has swooned. For Pastorella see Faerie Queene, Book VI, Canto II, stanza i et seq. (34) The original reading in the draft is
Than the death of Empires. How fearfully... (36) Rejected reading from the draft, halt and lame for discontent.
(38) The draft affords here a curious comment on the precise value of the word rest as employed on this occasion. What was
In chaffing restlessness, is yet more drear
Brain-sick shepherd prince,
originally written was To rest In chaffing discontent. Though the verb to rest is a common equivalent for to remain, the noun rest has usually a sense of recuperation after labour ; but its meaning here is probably, considering how it came here, merely inactivity, without the recuperative arrière pensée. The final manuscript and the printed book both perpetuate the word chafing for chafing. Spenser spells the word with two f's, but with a u also, thus (Faerie Queene, Book VI, Canto II, stanza 21):
After long search and chauff he turned backe. (43) In the draft sturdy was originally written in the place of legion'd; and in the finished manuscript is the cancelled reading Fainting for Brain-sick. Through counting this broken line as two, the printer numbered line 49 as 50 in the first edition, thus throwing out the whole of the numbering to the end of Book II; and the metrical numbering is further falsified in two similar instances further on.
(44) See the promises recorded in lines 477 et seq. and 978 et seq. of Book I.
(49) The words brittle mossed oaks occur in the draft for woods of mossed oaks.
(51) Cancelled reading in the draft distant, and in the manuscript lonely, for lone.