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ENDY MION.

BOOK III.

5

THERE are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel : who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact !
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-ey'd nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts,

IO

(1) Woodhouse notes that “Keats said, with much simplicity, “It will be easily seen what I think of the present ministers, by the beginning of the third Book.'” Perhaps the Quarterly Reviewer had heard of that simple saying.

(5) The draft reads O devilish fact !—and in the next line with for through

20

Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones- 15
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone-
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.-
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,

25
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,

30 In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne; And, silent as a consecrated urn, Hold spherey sessions for a season due. Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few ! Have bar'd their operations to this globe

35 Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe

(19) The draft has almost in place of past and.
(21-3) The following rejected reading is from the draft:

And set those old Chaldeans to their work.—.
Are then all regal things so gone, so murk?

No there are other thrones to mount. (31-2) The draft yields the rejected couplet

In the several vastnesses of air and fire ;

And silent, as a corpse upon a pyre. (34) The draft reads

How few of these far majesties, how few !

40

Our piece of heaven—whose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo ! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees

45

50

Salutes our native Ceres— {a

}

sense

(38-9) These two lines stood thus in the draft

and each

every With spiritual honey fills to plenitude... (41) At the end of this line Keats wrote in the original draft, as if to localize the oath he was recording, “Oxford, Septr. 5."

(42) The word eterne seems to be another reminiscence of Spenser : see Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto vi, Stanza 47 :

Yet is eterne in mutabilitie,... (44) The draft reads

When thy gold hair falls thick about the west. (49) The draft has Upon in place of Towards.

(50) This attribution of an active life of ministration to the stars is a recurrence of the idea in Book II, lines 184-5

by all the stars That tend thy bidding... (52) In the draft,

Waiting the oldest shadows { 'mon

{ 'mong } old trees.

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Feel palpitations when thou lookestina:
O Moon ! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.

55
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couch'd in thy brightness, dream of fields divine :
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;

60
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.—The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine-the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,

70

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(56-7) The draft reads-

Thou dost bless all things-even dead things sip

A midnight life from thee. (63) In the draft, wrought for sent; and in the next line there is the cancelled reading, Quiet behind dark ivy leaves... (69) The draft reads

The monstrous sea is thine-the monstrous sea ! (70) In the draft old occurs in place of far. The word spooming for spuming, though not ordinarily found in dictionaries, was quite in Keats's line of reading. Thus Beaumont and Fletcher in The Double Marriage (Act II, Scene 1) have

Down with the foresail too, we'll spoom before her.
Dryden, in The Hind and the Panther, has

When virtue spooms before a prosperous gale
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail.

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