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Endymion, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever] John Keats. It is quite long so I post a bit of it every day Part 2

Endymion, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever] John Keats. It is quite long so I post a bit of it every day Part 2

Full in the middle of this pleasantness

There stood a marble altar, with a tress

Of flowers budded newly; and the dew

Had taken fairy phantasies to strew

Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,

And so the dawned light in pomp receive.

For 'twas the morn: Apollo's upward fire

Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre

Of brightness so unsullied, that therein

A melancholy spirit well might win

Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine

Into the winds: rain-scented eglantine

Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun;

The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run

To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass;

Man's voice was on the mountains; and the mass

Of nature's lives and wonders puls'd tenfold,

To feel this sun-rise and its glories old.

Now while the silent workings of the dawn

Were busiest, into that self-same lawn

All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped

A troop of little children garlanded;

Who gathering round the altar, seemed to pry

Earnestly round as wishing to espy

Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited

For many moments, ere their ears were sated

With a faint breath of music, which ev'n then

Fill'd out its voice, and died away again.

Within a little space again it gave

Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave,

To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking

Through copse-clad vallies,—ere their death, oer-taking

The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.

And now, as deep into the wood as we

Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmered light

Fair faces and a rush of garments white,

Plainer and plainer shewing, till at last

Into the widest alley they all past,

Making directly for the woodland altar.

O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue faulter

In telling of this goodly company,

Of their old piety, and of their glee:

But let a portion of ethereal dew

Fall on my head, and presently unmew

My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,

To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.

Leading the way, young damsels danced along,

Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;

Each having a white wicker over brimm'd

With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd,

A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks

As may be read of in Arcadian books;

Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe,

When the great deity, for earth too ripe,

Let his divinity o'er-flowing die

In music, through the vales of Thessaly:

Some idly trailed their sheep-hooks on the ground,

And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound

With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these,

Now coming from beneath the forest trees,

A venerable priest full soberly,

Begirt with ministring looks: alway his eye

Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,

And after him his sacred vestments swept.

From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white,

Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;

And in his left he held a basket full

Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:

Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still

Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.

His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath,

Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth

Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd

Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud

Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd,

Up-followed by a multitude that rear'd

Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car,

Easily rolling so as scarce to mar

The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown:

Who stood therein did seem of great renown

Among the throng. His youth was fully blown,

Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown;

And, for those simple times, his garments were

A chieftain king's: beneath his breast, half bare,

Was hung a silver bugle, and between

His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen.

A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd,

To common lookers on, like one who dream'd

Of idleness in groves Elysian:

But there were some who feelingly could scan

A lurking trouble in his nether lip,

And see that oftentimes the reins would slip

Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh,

And think of yellow leaves, of owlets cry,

Of logs piled solemnly.—Ah, well-a-day,

Why should our young Endymion pine away!

4 Replies
oldestnewest

Are you sure you're on the correct site ?

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nice start to the day MELNEL memories of school days with a touch of Keats

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That's great thanks you so much that you like it🤗🤗 I really love Keats, such a great way to let your soul soar. 😉

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yes even now I can get lost in the poetry of Keats he was so descriptive in his own way

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