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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 :
And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude :
But no confusion, no disturbance rude

Do they occasion; 'tis a pleasing chime.
So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store;
The songs of birds-the whispering of the

The voice of waters-the great bell that heaves
With solemn sound,—and thousand others


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.



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,
Or of those silver lamps that burn on high,
Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair:
For I am brimfull of the friendliness

That in a little cottage I have found;
Of fair-hair'd Milton's eloquent distress,
And all his love for gentle Lycid' drown'd
Of lovely Laura in her light green dress,
And faithful Petrarch gloriously crown'd.


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
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And let there glide by many a pearly car,
Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,
And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears,
And as it reaches each delicious ending,
Let me write down a line of glorious tone,
And full of many wonders of the spheres :
For what a height my spirit is contending!
"Tis not content so soon to be alone.

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;
To feel no other breezes than are


Through its tall woods with high romances blent;
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment

For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,

And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging.
Yet do I often warmly burn to see

Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.



MALL, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,

And their faint cracklings o'er our

silence creep

Like whispers of the household gods that keep A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.

And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,
Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That aye at fall of night our care condoles.
This is your birth-day, Tom, and I rejoice
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly:

Many such eves of gently whispering noise
May we together pass, and calmly try

What are this world's true joys,-ere the great

From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.

November 18, 1816


HE poetry of earth is never dead :
When all the birds are faint with the

hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice
will run

From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper's-he takes the lead
In summer luxury,-he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half-lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills

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.

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