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With daring Milton! through the fieldsof air; a glorious denizen of the wide heaven To regions of his own his genius true
of poetry,” but he had many fine Took happy flights. Who shall his fame soothing visions of coming greatness, impair
and many rare plans of study to preWhen thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew ?
pare him for it. The following we The absurdity of the thought in this think is very pretty raving. sonnet is, however, if possible, sur
" Why so sad a moan? passed in another," addressed to Hay- Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown ; don" the painter, that clever, but most The reading of an ever-changing tale ; affected artist, who as little resembles The light uplifting of a maiden's veil; Raphael in genius as he does in per
A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air ; son, notwithstanding the foppery of
A laughing school-boy, without grief or care, having his hair curled over his shoul- Riding the springing branches of an elm. ders in the old Italian fashion. In
“O for ten years, that I may overwhelm this exquisite piece it will be observed, Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed that Mr Keats classes together WORDS. That my own soul has to itself decreed. WORTH, Hunt, and Haydon, as the Then will I pass the countries that I see three greatest spirits of the age, and In long perspective, and continually that he alludes to himself, and some
Taste their pure fountains. First the realm others of the rising brood of Cockneys, Of Flora, and old Pan : sleep in the grass, as likely to attain hereafter an equally Feed upon apples red, and strawberries, honourable elevation. Wordsworth
And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees. and Hunt! what a juxta-position! Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady
The purest, the loftiest, and, we do places, not fear to say it, the most classical of To woo sweet kisses from averted faces, living English poets, joined together Play with their fingers, touch their shoul. in the same compliment with the
ders white meanest, the filthiest, and the most Into a pretty shrinking with a bite vụlgar of Cockney poetasters. No
As hard as lips can make it : till agreed, wonder that he who could be guilty And one will teach a tame dove how it best
A lovely tale of human life we'll read. of this should class Haydon with May fan the cool air gently o'er my rest; Raphael, and himself with Spencer.
Another, bending o'er her nimble tread, “Great spirits now on earth are sojourning; Will set a green robe floating round her head, He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,
And still will dance with ever varied ease, Who on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake, Smiling upon the flowers and the trees : Catches his freshness from Archangel's wing: Another will entice me on, and on He of the rose, the violet, the springs
Through almond blossoms and rich cinnaThe social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake :
Till in the bosom of a leafy world And lo!- whose stedfastness would never
We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl'd take
In the recesses of a pearly shell.” A meaner sound than Raphael's whispering. Having cooled a little from this “fine And other spirits there are standing apart Upon the forehead of the age to come ;
passion,” our youthful poet passes very These, these will givethe world another heart, naturally into a long strain of foaming
And other pulses. Hear ye not the hum abuse against a certain class of English Of mighty workings ?
Poets, whom, with Pope at their head, Listen awhile ye nations, and be dumb. it is much the fashion with the ignoThe nations are to listen and be dumb! rant unsettled pretenders of the preand why, good Johnny Keats ? be- sent time to undervalue. Begging cause Leigh Hunt is editor of the 'these gentlemens' pardon, although Examiner, and Haydon has painted Pope was not a poet of the same high the judgment of Solomon, and you order with some who are now living, and Cornelius Webb, and a few more yet, to deny his genius, is just about city sparks, are pleased to look upon as absurd as to dispute that of Wordsyourselves as so many future Shak- worth, or to believe in that of Hunt. speares and Miltons ! The world has Above all things, it is most pitiably really some reason to look to its foun- ridiculous to hear men, of whom their dations ! Here is a tempestas in ma- country will always have reason to be tulâ with a vengeance.
At the period proud, reviled by uneducated and when these sonnets were published, Aimsy striplings, who are not capable Mr Keats had no hesitation in saying, of understanding either their merits, that he looked on himself as “ not yet or those of any other men of power
fanciful dreaming tea-drinkers, who, Will not some say that I presumptuously without logic enough to analyse a single Have spoken ? that from ħastening disgrace idea, or imagination enough to form 'Twere better far to hide my foolish face ? one original image, or learning enough That whining boyhood should with reve
rence bow to distinguish between the written
Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach ? language of Englishmen and the spo
How ! ken jargon of Cockneys, presume to If I do hide myself, it sure shall be talk with contempt of some of the In the very fane, the light of poesy." most exquisite spirits the world ever From some verses addressed to vaproduced, merely because they did not rious amiable individuals of the other happen to exert their faculties in la
sex, borious affected descriptions of flowers this gossamer-work, that Johnny's
it appears, notwithstanding all seen in window-pots, or cascades heard affections are not entirely confined to at Vauxhall ; in short, because they objects purely etherial. Take, by way chose to be wits, philosophers, patriots, of specimen, the following prurient and poets, rather than to found the and vulgar lines, evidently meant for Cockney school of versification, mora- some young lady east of Temple-bar. lity, and politics, a century before its
“ Add too, the sweetness time. After blaspheming himself into
Of thy honied voice; the neatness a fury against Boileau, &c. Mr Keats comforts himself and his readers with With those beauties, scarce discern’d,
Of thine ankle lightly turn'd : a view of the present more promising Kept with such sweet privacy,; aspect of affairs ; above all, with the That they seldom meet the eye ripened glories of the poet of Rimini. Of the little loves that fly Addressing the manes of the departed Round about with eager pry. chiefs of English poetry, he informs Saving when, with freshening lave, them, in the following clear and touch- Thou dipp’st them in the taintless wave ;
Like twin water lilies, born ing manner, of the existence of “ him
In the coolness of the morn. of the Rose,” &c.
0, if thou hadst breathed then, “ From a thick brake,
Now the Muses had been ten.
Couldst thou wish for lineage higher
At last for ever, evermore,
Will I call the Graces four.” From this he diverges into a view of Who will dispute that our poet, to things in general.” We smile when
use his own phrase (and rhyme), we think to ourselves how little most of our readers will understand of what
“ Can mingle music fit for the soft ear
Of Lady Cytherea.” follows.
So much for the opening bud ; now “ Yet I rejoice : a myrtle fairer than
for the expanded flower. It is time to E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds
pass from the juvenile “ Poems,” to Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds A silent space with ever sprouting green.
the mature and elaborate “ Endymion, All tenderest birds there find a pleasant
a Poetic Romance.” The old story of
the moon falling in love with a shepCreep through the shade with jaunty flut- herd, so prettily told by a Roman tering,
Classic, and so exquisitely enlarged and Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing. adorned by one of the most elegant of Then let us clear away the choaking thorns German poets, has been seized upon From round its gentle stem ; let the young by Mr John Keats, to be done with as
fawns, Yeaned in after times, when we are flown,
might seem good unto the sickly fanFind a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown
cy of one who never read a single line With simple flowers : let there nothing be
either of Ovid or of Wieland. If the More boisterous than a lover's bended knee ; quantity, not the quality, of the verses Nought more ungentle than the placid look dedicated to the story is to be taken Of one who leans upon a closed book; into account, there can be no doubt Nought more untranquil than the grassy that Mr John Keats may now claim
slopes Between two hills. All hail delightful hopes! Endymion entirely to himself. To say As she was wont, th' imagination
the truth, we do not suppose either Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone,
the Latin or the German poet would And they shall be accounted poet kings
be very anxious to dispute about the Who simply tell the most heart-easing things. property of the hero of the “ Poetic O may these joys be ripe before I die.
Romance.” Mr Keats has thoroughly
appropriated the character, if not the full of sweet dreams, and health, and quies name. His Endymion is not a Greek breathing. shepherd, loved by a Grecian goddess ;
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathhe is merely a young Cockney rhyme
A flowery band to bind us to the earth, ster, dreaming a phantastic dream at the full of the moon. Costume, were
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, it worth while to notice such a trifle,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways is violated in every page of this goodly Made for our searching : yes, in spite of all, octavo. From his prototype Hunt, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall John Keats has acquired a sort of From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the vague idea, that the Greeks were a most tasteful people, and that no my
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon thology can be so finely adapted for For simple sheep ; and such are daffodils the
With the green world they live in ; and clear of poetry as theirs. It is purposes
rills amusing to see what a hand the two That for them selves a cooling covert make Cockneys make of this mythology; 'Gainst the hot season ; the mid forest brake, the one confesses that he never read Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose the Greek Tragedians, and the other blooms : knows Homer only from Chapman; And such too is the grandeur of the dooms and both of them write about Apollo, We have imagined for the mighty dead ; Pan, Nymphs, Muses, and Mysteries, All lovely tales that we have heard or read; as might be expected from persons of an endless fountain of immortal drink, their education. We shall not, how- Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. ever, enlarge at present upon this sub- “ Nor do we merely feel these essences ject, as we mean to dedicate an entire For one short hour ; no, even as the trees paper to the classical attainments and That whisper round a temple become soon attempts of the Cockney poets. As
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon, for Mr Keats' “Endymion,” it has just Haunt us till they become a cheering light
The passion poesy, glories infinite, as much to do with Greece as it has
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, with “old Tartary the fierce;" no man, That, whether there be shine, or gloom whose mind has ever been imbued o'ercast, with the smallest knowledge or feeling They alway must be with us, or we die. of classical poetry or classical history, could have stooped to profane and vul- Will trace the story of Endymion !!!"
“ Therefore 'tis with full happiness that I garise every association in the manner which has been adopted by this After introducing his hero to us in a
son of promise.”. Before giving any procession, and preparing us, by a few extracts, we must inform our readers, mystical lines, for believing that his that this romance is meant to be writ- destiny has in it some strange pecuten in English heroic rhyme.
To liarity, Mr Keats represents the bethose who have read any of Hunt's loved of the Moon as being conveyed poems, this hint might indeed be need- by his sister Peona into an island in a less. Mr Keats has adopted the loose, larmed by the appearance of the bro
river. This young lady has been anerveless versification, and Cockney rhymes of the poet of Rimini ; but in ther, and questioned him thus: fairness to that gentleman, we must
“ Brother, 'tis vain to hide add, that the defects of the system are
That thou dost know of things mysterious, tenfold more conspicuous in his dis- Immortal, starry ; such alone could thus ciple's work than in his own. Mr
Weigh down thy nature. Hast thou sinn'd . Hunt is a small poet, but he is a clever Offensive to the heavenly powers ? Caught
in aught man. Mr Keats is a still smaller poet,
A Paphian dove upon a message sent ? and he is only a boy of pretty abili. Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd ties, which he has done every thing in bent, his power to spoil.
Sacred to Dian? Haply, thou hast seen The poem sets out with the follow- Her naked limbs among the alders green ; ing exposition of the reasons which And that, alas! is death. No, I can trace induced Mr Keats to compose it.
Something more high perplexing in thy
face!”, " A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never
Endymion replies in a long speech, Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
wherein he describes his first meeting A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
with the Moon. We annot mak
room for the whole of it, but shall To him her dripping hand she softly kist, take a few pages here and there. And anxiously began to plait and twist “ There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed
Her ringlets round her fingers, saying, Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red :
Youth ! At which I wonder'd greatly, knowing well
Too long, alas, hast thou starv'd on the ruth, That but one night had wrought this flow- The bitterness of love: too long indeed, ery spell;
Seeing thou art so gentle. Could I weed And, sitting down close by, began to muse
Thy soul of care, by Heavens, I would offer What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I,
All the bright riches of my crystal coffer Morpheus,
To Amphitrite; all my clear-eyed fish, In passing here, his owlet pinions shook ;
Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish, Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook
Vermilion-tail'd, or finn'd with silvery gauze; Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth, Yea, or my veined pebble-floor, that draws Had dipt his rod in it: such garland wealth A virgin light to the deep; my grotto-sands Came not by common growth. Thus on I Tawny and gold, ooz'd slowly from far lands thought,
By my diligent springs; my level lilies, Until my head was dizzy and distraught.
shells, Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole My charming rod, my potent river spells ; A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul,” &c. Yes, every thing, even to the pearly cup
“ Methought the lidless-eyed train Meander gave me,-for I bubbled up Of planets all were in the blue again. To fainting creatures in a desert wild. To commune with those orbs, once more I But woe is me, I am but as a child rais'd
To gladden thee; and all I dare to say, My sight right upward: but it was quite Is, that I pity thee : that on this day dazed
I've been thy guide ; that thou must wanBy a bright something, sailing down apace,
der far Making me quickly veil my eyes and face:
In other regions, past the scanty bar Again I look'd, and, O ye deities,
To mortal steps, before thou can’st be ta'en Who from Olympus watch our destinies !
From every wasting sigh, from every pain, Whence that completed form of all com- Into the gentle bosom of thy love. pleteness ?
Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above : Whence came that high perfection of all But, a poor Naiad, I guess not. Farewell ! sweetness ?
I have a ditty for my hollow cell.'” Speak, stubborn earth, and tell me where, But we find that we really have no O where
patience for going over four books fillHast thou a symbol of her golden hair ? Not oat-sheaves drooping in the western sun;
ed with such amorous scenes as these, Not-thy soft hand, fair sister ! let me shun with subterraneous journeys equally Such follying before thee-yet she had, amusing, and submarine processions Indeed, locks bright enough to make me equally beautiful ; but we must not
omit the most interesting scene of the And they were simply gordian'd up and whole piece.
braided, Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded, “ Thus spake he, and that moment felt en
dued Her pearl round ears,” &c. She took an airy range,
With power to dream deliciously; so wound And then, towards me, like a very maid,
Through a dim passage, searching till he Came blushing, waning, willing, and afraid,
found And press’d me by the hand : Ah! 'twas The smoothest mossy bed and deepest, where too much;
He threw himself, and just into the air Methought I fainted at the charmed touch, Stretching his indolent arms, he took, o bliss! Yet held my recollection, even as one
A naked waist : “ Fair Cupid, whence is Who dives three fathoms where the waters run
this? Gurgling in beds of coral : for anon,
A well-known voice sigh’d, Sweetest, here I felt upmounted in that region Where falling stars dart their artillery forth,
At which soft ravishment, with doting cry And eagles struggle with the buffeting north They trembled to each other.-Helicon! That balances the heavy meteor-stone ;
O fountain'd hill! Old Homer's Helicon! Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone,” &c. That thou wouldst spout a little streamlet Not content with the authentic love of the Moon, Keats makes his hero cap
These sorry pages: then the verse would soar
And sing above this gentle pair, like lark tivate another supernatural lady, of Over his nested young : but all is dark whom no notice occurs in any of his Around thine aged top, and thy clear fount predecessors.
Exhales in mists to heaven. Aye, the count “ It was a nymph uprisen to the breast Of mighty poets is made up; the scroll In the fountain's pebbly margin, and she Is folded by the Muses; the bright roll stood
Is in Apollo's hand : our dazed eyes Mong lilies, like the youngest of the brood. Have seen a new tinge in the western skies:
The world has done its duty. Yet, oh yet, Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe Although the son of poesy is set,
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not These lovers did embrace, and we must weep one tinge That there is no old power left to steep Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight A quill immortal in their joyous tears. Able to face an owl's, they still are dight Long time in silence did their anxious fears By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests, Question that thus it was ; long time they lay And crowns, and turbans. With unladen Fondling and kissing every doubt away ;
breasts, Long time ere soft caressing sobs began Save of blown self-applause, they proudly To mellow into words, and then there ran
mount Two bubbling springs of talk from their To their spirit's perch, their being's high sweet lips.
account, • O known Unknown ! from whom my being Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their sips
thronesSuch darling essence, wherefore may I not Amid the fierce intoxicating tones Be ever in these arms,
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belaboured
drums, After all this, however, the “ modes
And sudden cannon. Ah ! how all this ty," as Mr Keats expresses it, of the
hums, Lady Diana prevented her from own- In wakeful ears, like uproar past and goneing in Olympus her passion for Endy. Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon, mion. Venus, as the most knowing And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.in such matters, is the first to discover Are then regalities all gilded masks ?” the change that has taken place in the
And now, good-morrow to “ the temperament of the goddess. An idle tale,” says the laughter-loving feats he yet may do,” as we do not
Muses' son of Promise ;" as for “ the dame,
pretend to say, like himself, “ A humid eye, and steps luxurious, of my native land am I inspired,” we When these are new and strange, are omi- shall adhere to the safe old rule of
pauca verba. We venture to make The inamorata, to vary the intrigue, one small prophecy, that his bookseller carries on a romantic intercourse with will not a second time venture £50 Endymion, under the disguise of an upon any thing he can write. It is a Indian damsel. At last, however, her better and a wiser thing to be a starvscruples, for some reason or other, are ed apothecary than a starved poet ; so all overcome, and the Queen of Heaven back to the shop Mr John, back to owns her attachment.
plasters, pills, and ointment boxes,” “ She gave her fair hands to him, and be- &c. But, for Heaven's sake, young hold,
Sangrado, be a little more sparing Before three swiftest kisses he had told, of extenuatives and soporifics in your They vanish far away - Peona went
have been in your Home through the gloomy wood in wonder
2. And so, like many other romances, terminates the “Poetic Romance” of
LETTER TO THE Johnny Keats, in a patched-up wed
COMMITTEE OF ding.
DILETTANTI, OCCASIONED BY We had almost forgot to mention,
THEIR REPORT ON THE PLANS that Keats belongs to the Cockney
FOR THE REPAIR OF ST GILES' School of Politics, as well as the Cock- CHURCH, EDINBURGH. ney School of Poetry. It is fit that he who holds Rimini
MY DEAR COMMITTEE, to be the first poem, should believe the I hope you will not feel any repugnance Examiner to be the first politician of to being shortly addressed by a brother the day. We admire consistency, even
Dilettanti, on the subject of your late in folly. Hear how their bantling has ingenious Report. By publishing that already learned to lisp sedition. important document in so widely-cir
culated a miscellany as Blackwood's “ There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men Magazine, your design, no doubt, was With most prevailing tinsel : who unpen Their baaing vanities, to browse away
to attract the public attention both to The comfortable green and juicy hay
yourselves and your production. I From human pastures ; or, torturing fact! shall take the freedom to make a very Who, through an idiot blink, will see un
few remarks upon both ;-and, inaspack'd
much as creators are at all times en