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Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne,
It tells me too, that on a happy day,
When some good spirit walks upon the earth, Thy name with Alfred's, and the great of yore, Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away To where the great God lives for evermore.
OW many bards gild the lapses of time! A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,-I could
Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime :
Do they occasion; 'tis a pleasing chime.
The voice of waters-the great bell that heaves
That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.'
This sonnet was the means of introducing Keats to Mr. Leigh Hunt's society. Mr. Cowden Clarke had brought some of his young friend's verses and read them aloud. Mr. Horace Smith, who hap pened to be there, was struck with the last six lines, especially the penultimate, saying, "What a well condensed expression!" and Keate was shortly after introduced to the literary circle.
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S
The fine folio edition of Chapman's translation of "Homer" had been lent to Mr. Clarke by Mr. Alsager, a friend of Mr. Leigh Hunt's, who at that time conducted the money-market department of the "Times." The friends sat up till daylight over their new acquisition; Keats shouting with delight as some passage of especial energy struck his imagination. At ten o'clock the next morning, Mr. Clarke found this sonnet on his breakfast-table.
UCH have I travell'd in the realms of
And many goodly states and kingdoms
Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told, That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold : Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific-and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmiseSilent, upon a peak in Darien.
EEN fitful gusts are whispering here and there
Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;
The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare;
Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air,
Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,
That in a little cottage I have found;
ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT
IVE me a golden pen, and let me lean On heap'd-up flowers, in regions clear, and far;
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 'tis seen
This and the preceding were written soon after his introduction to the society of the Vale of Health.
APPY is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
Through its tall woods with high romances blent;
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.
TO MY BROTHERS.
MALL, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,
And their faint cracklings o'er our
Like whispers of the household gods that keep A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,
Many such eves of gently whispering noise
What are this world's true joys,-ere the great
From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.
November 18, 1816
ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.1
HE poetry of earth is never dead :
And hide in cooling trees, a voice
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
December 30, 1816.
1 This was written in competition with Leigh Hunt, whose verses are subjoined. Keats won as to time. The expression "when the frost has wrought a silence," brought about an animated discussion on the dumbness of Nature during the torpidity of Winter. Each thought the other's treatment incomparably superior to his own.