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ENDYMION.

BOOK II.

O SOVEREIGN power of love ! O grief ! O balm !
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years :
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.

5

(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);

IO

The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks-all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat !
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
Many old rotten-timber'd boats there be
Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnifi'd
To goodly vessels; many a sail of pride,
And golden keeld, is left unlaunch'd and dry.
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly

15

20

1

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.
In the final manuscript there is a cancelled reading of line 14,

Away pageant History! away proud dull feat.
A doubt appears to have been entertained as to the precise value of
close in this couplet ; for Woodhouse, who, be it observed, dates his
interleaved copy

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.

25

30

About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
What care, though striding Alexander past
The Indus with his Macedonian numbers ?
Though old Ulysses tortured from his slumbers
The glutted Cyclops, what care ?— Juliet leaning
Amid her window-flowers,—sighing,—weaning
Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow,
Doth more avail than these: the silver flow
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen,
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den,
Are things to brood on with more ardency
Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully
Must such conviction come upon his head,
Who, thus far, discontent, has dar'd to tread,
Without one muse's smile, or kind behest,
The path of love and poesy. But rest,

35

(27-30) In the draft the following lines are cancelled for the reading of the text :

Juliet leans
Amid her window flowers, sighs,-and as she weans
Her maiden thoughts from their young firstling snow,

What sorrows from the melting whiteness grow.
And there is another cancelled reading of line 29,

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

40

In chaffing restlessness, is yet more drear
Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear
Love's standard on the battlements of song.
So once more days and nights aid me along,
Like legion'd soldiers.

45

Brain-sick shepherd prince,
What promise hast thou faithful guarded since
The day of sacrifice? Or, have new sorrows
Come with the constant dawn upon thy morrows?
Alas ! 'tis his old grief. For many days,
Has he been wandering in uncertain ways:
Through wilderness, and woods of mossed oaks ;
Counting his woe-worn minutes, by the strokes
Of the lone woodcutter; and listening still,

50

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.

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