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From their sweet thrall, and forward gently bending,
Thank'd heaven that his joy was never ending;
While 'gainst his forehead he devoutly press'd
A hand heaven made to succour the distress'd;
A hand that from the world's bleak promontory
Had lifted Calidore for deeds of Glory.

105

IIO

I 20

Amid the pages, and the torches' glare,
There stood a knight, patting the flowing hair
Of his proud horse's mane : he was withal
A man of elegance, and stature tall:
So that the waving of his plumes would be
High as the berries of a wild ash tree,
Or as the winged cap of Mercury.

115
His armour was so dexterously wrought
In shape, that sure no living man had thought
It hard, and heavy steel : but that indeed
It was some glorious form, some splendid weed,
In which a spirit new come from the skies
Might live, and show itself to human eyes.
'Tis the far-fam'd, the brave Sir Gondibert,
Said the good man to Calidore alert ;
While the young warrior with a step of grace
Came up,-a courtly smile upon his face,
And mailed hand held out, ready to greet
The large-ey'd wonder, and ambitious heat
Of the aspiring boy; who as he led
Those smiling ladies, often turn'd his head
To admire the visor arch'd so gracefully
Over a knightly brow; while they went by
The lamps that from the high-roof'd hall were pendent,
And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent.

125

130

(103) The transcript reads meekly bending.

Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated ;
The sweet-lipp'd ladies have already greeted

135
All the green leaves that round the window clamber,
To show their purple stars, and bells of amber.
Sir Gondibert has doff'd his shining steel,
Gladdening in the free, and airy feel
Of a light mantle ; and while Clerimond

140 Is looking round about him with a fond, And placid eye, young Calidore is burning To hear of knightly deeds, and gallant spurning Of all unworthiness; and how the strong of arm Kept off dismay, and terror, and alarm

145 From lovely woman : while brimful of this, He gave

each damsel's hand so warm a kiss,
And had such manly ardour in his eye,
That each at other look'd half staringly ;
And then their features started into smiles

150 Sweet as blue heavens o'er enchanted isles.

155

Softly the breezes from the forest came,
Softly they blew aside the taper's flame;
Clear was the song from Philomel's far bower ;
Grateful the incense from the lime-tree flower;
Mysterious, wild, the far heard trumpet's tone;
Lovely the moon in ether, all alone:
Sweet too the converse of these happy mortals,
As that of busy spirits when the portals
Are closing in the west; or that soft humming
We hear around when Hesperus is coming.
Sweet be their sleep.

160

(139) In the transcript, free and easy.
(147) The transcript reads, sweet for warm.
(158) In the transcript, those for these.

TO

SOME LADIES.

What though while the wonders of nature exploring,

I cannot your light, mazy footsteps attend; Nor listen to accents, that almost adoring,

Bless Cynthia's face, the enthusiast's friend :

Yet over the steep, whence the mountain stream rushes,

5 With you, kindest friends, in idea I rove; Mark the clear tumbling crystal, its passionate gushes,

Its spray that the wild flower kindly bedews.

IO

Why linger you so, the wild labyrinth strolling ?

Why breathless, unable your bliss to declare ? Ah! you list to the nightingale's tender condoling,

Responsive to sylphs, in the moon-beamy air.

'Tis morn, and the flowers with dew are yet drooping,

I see you are treading the verge of the sea :
And now! ah, I see it-you just now are stooping

To pick up the keep-sake intended for me.

15

If a cherub, on pinions of silver descending,

Had brought me a gem from the fret-work of heaven; And smiles, with his star-cheering voice sweetly blending,

The blessings of Tighe had melodiously given;

20

It had not created a warmer emotion
Than the present, fair nymphs, I was blest with from

you, Than the shell, from the bright golden sands of the

ocean

Which the emerald waves at your feet gladly threw.

25

For, indeed, 'tis a sweet and peculiar pleasure,

(And blissful is he who such happiness finds,) To possess but a span of the hour of leisure,

In elegant, pure, and aerial minds.

(20) The reference to Mrs. Tighe, the authoress of the now almost forgotten poem of Psyche, is significant as an indication of the poet's taste in verse at this period.

On receiving a curious Shell, and a copy of Verses,

from the same Ladies.

HAST

AST thou from the caves of Golconda, a gem Pure as the ice-drop that froze on the mountain ? Bright as the humming-bird's green diadem, When it flutters in sun-beams that shine through a

fountain ?

(

The title of this poem has generally stood distributed between this and the preceding composition ; though Lord Houghton, in his latest (Aldine) edition, restores the arrangement of the 1817 volume. Hunt calls these verses (see Appendix), a "string of magistrate-interrogatories about a shell and a copy of verses.” In Tom Keats's book of transcripts, already mentioned, the poem is headed merely

On receiving a curious shell and a copy of verses”; but another transcript, in the hand-writing of George Keats, is subscribed (not headed) “Written on receiving a copy of Tom Moore's

Golden Chain,' and a most beautiful Dome shaped shell from a Lady." The reference is no doubt to The Wreath and the Chain; and this small revelation is satisfactory as accounting for the Tom Moorish triviality of the two pieces. In the last-named copy, in line 6 we read full for right, in line 7 wrought for markd, in line 9 his mane thickly, in line 10 which for that. Line 17 reads

Ah courteous Sir Eric! with joy thou art crown'd : In line 19 we have I too have my blisses, and line 23 is

And lo! it possesses this property rare. In line 29, George Keats's transcript has soft-speaking for soft sighing, and line 31 is

The Hymns of the wondering Spirits were mute !

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