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VIII.

TO

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IME'S sea hath been five years at its slow

ebb; Long hours have to and fro let creep the sand; Since I was tangled in thy beauty's web,

And snared by the ungloving of thine hand. And yet I never look on midnight sky,

But I behold thine eyes' well memoried light; I cannot look upon the rose's dye,

But to thy cheek my soul doth take its flight; I cannot look on any budding flower,

But my fond ear, in fancy at thy lips,
And harkening for a love-sound, doth devour

Its sweets in the wrong sense:- Thou dost eclipse
Every delight with sweet remembering,
And grief unto my darling joys dost bring.

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SOFT embalmer of the still midnight!

Shutting, with careful fingers and benign, Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,

Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,

In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes, Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws

"A lady whom he saw for some few moments at Vauxhall.

Around my bed its lulling charities;

Then save me, or the passed day will shine Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;

Save me from curious conscience, that still lords Its strength, for darkness burrowing like a mole

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, And seal the hushed casket of my soul.”

1819.

X.

ON FAME.

R AME, like a wayward girl, will still be I coy

To those who woo her with too slavish knees, But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,

And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;

: The rough draft of this on Milton--published in the sonnet is to be seen in the fly- American magazine, “ The leaf of the “ Paradise Lost," Dial.” It is as follows: that contains Keats's Notes

“O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-Aush'd eyes embower'd from the light;
As weariness in darkness is divine,
O soothest Sleep, if so it please thee, close
My willing eyes in midst of this thine hymn,
Or wait the amen ere thy poppy throws
Its sweet dark dews o'er every pulse and limb,
Then shut this hushed casket of my soul,
And turn the key round in the oiled wards,
And let it rest until the snow has stole,
Bright

The rest is illegible and text in the substitution, in the unfinished. The version in eighth line, of the epithet Keats's own copy of “ Endy- dewy' for 'lulling.' mion” only differs from the Vol. III.

36

She is a Gipsy,- will not speak to those

Who have not learnt to be content without her; A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper'd close,

Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her; A very Gipsy is she, Nilus-born,

Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar; Ye love-sick Bards ! repay her scorn for scorn;

Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are ! Make your best bow to her and bid adieu, Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.

1819.

XI.

ON FAME.

“You cannot eat your cake and have it too."— Proverb.

OW fever'd is the man, who cannot look -6 Upon his mortal days with temperate

blood, Who vexes all the leaves of his life's book,

And robs his fair name of its maidenhood; It is as if the rose should pluck herself,

Or the ripe plum finger its misty bloom, As if a Naiad, like a meddling elf,

Should darken her pure grot with muddy gloom; But the rose leaves herself upon the briar,

For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed, And the ripe plum still wears its dim attire ;

The undisturbed lake has crystal space; Why then should man, teasing the world for grace, Spoil his salvation for a fierce miscreed ?

1819.

XII.

HY did I laugh to-night? No voice We will tell : No God, no Demon of severe response, Deigns to reply from Heaven or from Hell.

Then to my human heart I turn at once. Heart! Thou and I are here, sad and alone;

I say, why did I laugh? O mortal pain !
O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan,

To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain. Why did I laugh? I know this Being's lease,

My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads; Yet would I on this very midnight cease,

And the world's gaudy ensigns see in shreds; Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indeed, But Death intenser — Death is Life's high meed.

1819.

XIII.

ON A DREAM.

S Hermes once took to his feathers light, 5 When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon'd and

slept, So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright,

So play'd, so charm’d, so conquer'd, so berest The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes,

And seeing it asleep, so fled away,
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,

Nor unto Tempe, where Jove grieved a day; But to that second circle of sad Hell,

Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell

Their sorrows,-pale were the sweet lips I saw, Pale were the lips I kiss'd, and fair the form I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

1819.

XIV.

TF X., like And paine

TF by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd,
Ah And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness;
Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd,

Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gain'd

By ear industrious, and attention meet;
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be

Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown;
So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
She will be bound with garlands of her own.
1819.

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