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instance, by his failing health, and broken self-reliance, but still indicating change and decline.

As the year wore on it became apparent to all that Keats could not stand another winter in England. His friend, Severn the painter, a friend of several years and much valued, had just carried off the travelling studentship at the Royal Academy for historical painting, an honour enhanced by the circumstance that it had been dormant for a good many years. The picture which gained him this distinction was the Cave of Despair from Spenser, and Keats used to sit by him while painting it. Now it was determined the poet should go to Italy, and the painter at once offered himself as travelling companion.

The rest of Keats' history is that of disease and death. Dark and still darker it becomes, not unrelieved by religious feeling, but fiery red with passionate regrets on parting from the world where his beloved remained. From the end of September when they sailed, having to put into Portsmouth, and on arriving at Naples, having to submit to quarantine, to the 27th of February next (1821), when he died, the narrative is a very sad one. Dr. Clark, afterwards Sir James, took a lodging for them near his own in the Piazza di Spagna, “ the first house on your right hand as you ascend the steps of the Trinità del Monte,” and here attended by the loving friendship of Severn, he became weaker and weaker. This is the account of his end in the words of this friend whose dreadful trial but greater privilege it was to tend him.

“ February 27th.—He is gone: he died with the most perfect ease—he seemed to go to sleep. On the 23rd, about four, the approaches of death came on. “Severn, -1-lift me up-I am dying—I shall die easy, don't be frightened-be firm, and thank God it has come.' I lifted him up in my arms. About eleven he gradually sank, so quiet, that I thought he slept.” His age was exactly twenty-five years and four months.

He was buried in the Protestant cemetery in Rome, a beautiful grassy slope without the wall, bounded by it and adorned by the pyramid of Caius Cestius, and on his head-stone is a lyre, with the inscription he himself desired in the depression of extreme debility,


A greater monument, bearing his name in eternal verse appeared half-a-year after, when Adonais was printed at Pisa, and but a year elapsed before the dust of Shelley himself was deposited in the same sacred precincts.






KNOWING within myself the manner in which this Poem has been produced, it is not without a feeling of regret I make it public.

What manner I mean, will be quite clear to the reader, who must soon perceive great inexperience, immaturity, and every error denoting a feverish attempt, rather than a deed accomplished. The two first books, and indeed the two last, I feel sensible are not of such completion as warrant their passing the press ; nor should they if I thought a year's castigation would do them any good it will not: the foundations are too sandy. It is just that this youngster should die away: a sad thought for me, if I had not some hope that while it is dwindling I may be plotting and fitting myself for verses fit to live.

This may be speaking too presumptuously, and may deserve a punishment : but no feeling man will be forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with the conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object. This is not written with the least atom of purpose to forestall criticisms of course, but from the desire I have to conciliate men who are competent to look, and who do look with a zealous eye, to the honour of English literature.

The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy ; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted : thence proceeds mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters which those men I speak of must necessarily taste in going over the following pages.

I hope I have not in too late a day touched the beautiful mythology of Greece. and dulled its brightness : for I wish to try once more, before I bid it farewell.

TEIGNMOUTH, April 10, 1818.

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever :
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of th' inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep ; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagin’d for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt is till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din ;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails

ring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen fresher into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finish’d: but let autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness :

There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress My uncertain path-with green, that I may speed Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

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