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Or stand in courtly talk by fives and sevens:
Like those fair stars that twinkle in the heavens.
Yet must I tell a tale of chivalry:
Or wherefore comes that steed so proudly by ?
Wherefore more proudly does the gentle knight,
Rein in the swelling of his ample might?
Spenser! thy brows are arched, open, kind,
And come like a clear sun-rise to my mind;
And always does my heart with pleasure dance,
When I think on thy noble countenance :
Where never yet was ought more earthly seen
Than the pure freshness of thy laurels green.
Therefore, great bard, I not so fearfully
55 Call on thy gentle spirit to hover nigh My daring steps: or if thy tender care, Thus startled unaware, Be jealous that the foot of other wight Should madly follow that bright path of light Trac'd by thy lov'd Libertas; he will speak, And tell thee that my prayer is very meek; That I will follow with due reverence, And start with awe at mine own strange pretence. Him thou wilt hear; so I will rest in hope To see wide plains, fair trees and lawny slope : The morn, the eve, the light, the shade, the flowers; Clear streams, smooth lakes, and overlooking towers.
(44) The transcript reads which for that.
(46) In previous editions, knight; but in a copy of the 1817 volume bearing on the title-page an inscription in Keats's writing, the word steed is substituted in manuscript for knight. The transcript also reads steed.
2 tunder for (57) The transcript reads gentle for tender. (59) The transcript has living in place of other. (61) Libertas means Leigh Hunt. See page 54.
Young Calidore is paddling o'er the lake;
His healthful spirit eager and awake
To feel the beauty of a silent eve,
Which seem'd full loath this happy world to leave;
The light dwelt o'er the scene so lingeringly.
He bares his forehead to the cool blue sky,
And smiles at the far clearness all around,
Until his heart is well nigh over wound,
And turns for calmness to the pleasant green
Of easy slopes, and shadowy trees that lean
So elegantly o'er the waters' brim
And show their blossoms trim.
Scarce can his clear and nimble eye-sight follow
The freaks, and dartings of the black-wing'd swallow,
Delighting much, to see it half at rest,
Dip so refreshingly its wings, and breast
'Gainst the smooth surface, and to mark anon,
The widening circles into nothing gone.
And now the sharp keel of his little boat
Comes up with ripple, and with easy float,
In the transcript in Tom Keats's copy-book we read clear for cool in line 6, was for is in line 8, which for that in line 10, his for its in line 16.
And glides into a bed of water lillies :
Broad leav'd are they and their white canopies
Are upward turn'd to catch the heavens' dew.
Near to a little island's point they grew;
Whence Calidore might have the goodliest view
Of this sweet spot of earth. The bowery shore
Went off in gentle windings to the hoar
And light blue mountains : but no breathing man
With a warm heart, and eye prepar'd to scan
Nature's clear beauty, could pass lightly by
Objects that look'd out so invitingly
On either side. These, gentle Calidore
Greeted, as he had known them long before.
The sidelong view of swelling leafiness,
Which the glad setting 'sun, in gold doth dress;
Whence ever, and anon the jay outsprings,
And scales upon the beauty of its wings.
The lonely turret, shatter'd, and outworn,
Stands venerably proud; too proud to mourn
Its long lost grandeur: fir trees grow around,
Aye dropping their hard fruit upon the ground.
The little chapel with the cross above
Upholding wreaths of ivy; the white dove,
That on the window spreads his feathers light,
(28) In the transcript, line 28 reads
And light blue Mountains. But sure no breathing man and in line 29 an stands in place of and. (40) In the transcript this and the next line stand thus :
Its long lost grandeur. Laburnums grow around
And bow their golden honors to the ground. (42) In the transcript, its cross. (44) The transcript reads window; the first edition, windows.
And seems from purple clouds to wing its flight. 45
Green tufted islands casting their soft shades
Across the lake; sequester'd leafy glades,
That through the dimness of their twilight show
Large dock leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow
Of the wild cat's eyes, or the silvery stems
Of delicate birch trees, or long grass which hems
A little brook. The youth had long been viewing
These pleasant things, and heaven was bedewing
The mountain flowers, when his glad senses caught
A trumpet's silver voice. Ah! it was fraught 55
With many joys for him : the warder's ken
Had found white coursers prancing in the glen:
very dear to him he soon will see ; So pushes off his boat most eagerly, And soon upon the lake he skims along,
60 Deaf to the nightingale's first under-song; Nor minds he the white swans that dream so sweetly : His spirit Alies before him so completely.
And now he turns a jutting point of land,
Whence may be seen the castle gloomy, and grand : 65
Nor will a bee buzz round two swelling peaches,
Before the point of his light shallop reaches
Those marble steps that through the water dip:
Now over them he goes with hasty trip,
And scarcely stays to ope the folding doors :
70 Anon he leaps along the oaken floors Of halls and corridors.
(48) Which for That in the transcript.
(57) In the transcript we read seen for found.
(60) In the transcript, across the lake.
(69) The transcript reads flies for goes.
(70) And scarcely stops, in the transcript.
Delicious sounds! those little bright-ey'd things
That float about the air on azure wings,
Had been less heartfelt by him than the clang
Of clattering hoofs; into the court he sprang,
Just as two noble steeds, and palfreys twain,
Were slanting out their necks with loosened rein;
While from beneath the threat'ning portcullis
They brought their happy burthens. What a kiss,
What gentle squeeze he gave each lady's hand!
How tremblingly their delicate ankles spann'd !
Into how sweet a trance his soul was gone,
While whisperings of affection
Made him delay to let their tender feet
Come to the earth; with an incline so sweet
From their low palfreys o'er his neck they bent :
And whether there were tears of languishment,
Or that the evening dew had pearl'd their tresses,
He feels a moisture on his cheek, and blesses
With lips that tremble, and with glistening eye,
All the soft luxury
That nestled in his arms. A dimpled hand,
Fair as some wonder out of fairy land,
Hung from his shoulder like the drooping flowers
Of whitest Cassia, fresh from summer showers :
And this he fondled with his happy cheek
As if for joy he would no further seek;
When the kind voice of good Sir Clerimond
Came to his ear, like something from beyond
His present being : so he gently drew
His warm arms, thrilling now with pulses new,
(78) In the transcript, from loosened rein.
(85) The transcript reads pretty feet.
(101) This present being, in the transcript.