have written any page of Endymiona conclusion which few critics if any will be prepared to adopt.

The number of The Indicator in which the lines appeared opened with a paper on the Spirit of the Ancient Mythology, the close of which is a paragraph about Wordsworth, illustrated by the insertion of the sonnet “The world is too much with us," a sonnet which on another occasion (Volume IV, page 281) Hunt brought into juxtaposition with Wordsworth's description of the Hymn to Pan as a “pretty piece of paganism.At the end of this mythological number of The Indicator appear our couplets under the title of Vox et præterea nihil, introduced by the following paragraph :

“It does not enter within the plan, or perhaps we should rather

say, the understood promises, of this little weekly publication, to relieve the Editor with much correspondence; but he is glad when he can indulge himself, in proportion; and he inserts with pleasure the following piece of poetry, which is very much to his heathenish taste."

Not to rest on my own judgment alone in connecting these verses with Endymion, I sent them to the late Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was much interested in the scheme and progress of these volumes; and in reply to my enquiry what he thought about the extract he wrote to me thus :

"I remember setting eyes in my earliest days on the passage you send me, and doubtless came to the conclusion that it must be by Keats, though it had for me no such charm as attached to the wondrous Belle Dame sans Merci I can well understand Keats's rejecting this passage ; since, though replete with a general luscious beauty, it is quite without such supreme value in imaginative treatment as (despite some Cockney syllabification) the passage which I suppose to have preceded it. Is there any language in which X is called anything like Keat? In such case the XXX might represent Keats.”

The riddle of the meaning of this signature held out during the exchange of several letters; and later on Rossetti wrote to me:

“I should think that triple X almost certainly stands for Triplex in relation to Diana - Luna - Hecate. Keats's text-book was of course Lemprière, and much bearing that way is to be found under those headings there. Keats speaks of the triple character of Diana at the end of the Sonnet to Homer."

To this it should be added that Endymion (Volume I, page 286), when his heart is divided between his Goddess as known to him and the fair Indian in whose form she disguises herself, exclaims “I have a triple soul”; and that Keats himself had certainly three public names, to wit, John Keats, Caviare, and Lucy Vaughan Lloyd, though how far he had mentally adopted the two pen-names by January 1820, I have no knowledge. Such an explanation as Rossetti's corresponds precisely in idea with a name applied by Keats's schoolfellow Cowper to Charles Cowden Clarke, in whose Recollections, speaking of Cowper, he says “ His jocular school-name for me was ‘Three hundred,' in allusion to my initials C. C. C.” As regards the actual fabric of the couplets, the difficulty is, not to find something there particularly like Keats's work, but to find a single turn or phrase that is not redolent of him. If one particular point is better to rest on than another, I incline to the couplet

Like the low voice of Syrinx, when she ran
Into the forests from Arcadian Pan :

which is identical in manner and phrase with a less excellent couplet retained in the early sketch meant to have been called Endymion (page 13 of this volume) :

Telling us how fair, trembling Syrinx fled
Arcadian Pan, with such a horrid dread.

Of work attributed to Keats in former editions and rejected from the present volumes there is very little ; but of such rejection as has been necessary an account should be rendered. The poem and sonnet given in Lord Houghton's Aldine edition (and others) as of doubtful authenticity are both omitted because I cannot bring myself to think that Keats had anything more to do with the poem than with the sonnet, which is to be found among Laman Blanchard's works, and is assigned to that author in more than one anthology.' Lord Houghton has recorded his belief that the sonnet was “one of George Byron's forgeries " (Aldine edition, page 493) ; but at page 326, the poem commencing with the words “What sylph-like form before my eyes,” is introduced by a suggestion that there were genuine pieces among the forgeries sold at the George Byron "autograph” auction. My own belief is that, so far as the actual documents are concerned, all were forged ; but that many of them were copies, in assumed hands, of genuine documents. Some of the Shelley letters certainly were; and I think it is only a question of time how soon this particular piece of verse shall be traced to the source outside Keats's work from which George Byron copied it. The letter beginning “My dear Spencer” which was printed at pages 27 and 28 of the edition of Keats's Life and Letters published in 1867, and the letter beginning "My dear Haydon," printed at pages 49-51 of the same volume, are omitted on similar grounds. Both seem to me unlike Keats in all respects; and both are from the George Byron sale, the Haydon one being moreover addressed to “W. Haydon" instead of "B. R. Haydon." Stay, ruby-breasted warbler, stay,” given at page

The song

1 As for instance in Leigh Hunt's Book of the Sonnet, Dr. Mackay's A Thousand and One Gems of English Poetry, and Mr. John Dennis's English Sonnets. VOL. I.


6 of the Aldine edition, was probably sent to Lord Houghton from America, where people go so far as to print fac-similes of George Keats's writing for fac-similes of John's-although there is not the faintest likeness between them. I omit the song because, in a scrap-book in my possession containing a mass of transcripts by George Keats' from his brother's poetry, I find this poem not only written in George's hand but signed "G. K." instead of “J. K.”; and I confess I think it more likely to be one of the effusions which George is recorded to have produced than an early poem by John.

It is impossible to read Keats's poetry closely without being struck by the earnest single-heartedness of his devotion to his art. It is the most salient moral quality which his writings display, and contributes more than any cultivation of thought, study of philosophy, or adherence to the spirit of the Greek mythology, to

1 This curious volume was originally used for writing fair copies of poems in-poems from various hands. At a later stage it was converted into a scrap-book-newspaper cuttings and other curiosities being stuck over pages of George Keats's writing; and in one part several of George's copies from John's poems are inserted, having at their head the autograph manuscript of the sonnet to Mrs. George Keats (when Miss Wylie), whom I suppose to have been the owner of the book, seeing that it contains among its curiosities the original parchment commission of James Wylie, as adjutant of the Fifeshire Regiment of Fencible Infantry, signed by George III. in 1794.

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