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THE

INDICATOR.

There he arriving round about doth flie,
And takes survey with busie curious eye:
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly.

SPENSER

No. XLIV.-WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9th, 1820.

THE STORIES OF LAMIA, THE POT OF BASIL, THE EVE OF

ST. AGNES, &c. AS TOLD BY MR. KEATS.

(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK.) I As a specimen of the Poems, which are all lyrical, we must indulge ourselves in quoting entire the Ode to a Nightingale. There is that mixture in it of real melancholy and imaginative relief, which poetry alone presents us in her “charmed cup," and which some over-rational critics have undertaken to find wrong because it is not true. It does not follow that what is not true to them, is not true to others. If the relief is real, the mixture is good and sufficing. A poet finds refreshment in his imaginary wine, as other men do in their real; nor hare we the least doubt, that Milton found his grief for the loss of his friend King, more solaced by the allegorical recollections of Lycidas, (which were exercises of his mind, and recollections of a friend who would have admired them) than if he could have anticipated Dr. Johnson's objections, and mourned in nothing but broadcloth and matter of fact.

He yearned after the poetical as well as social part of his friend's nature; and had as much right to fancy it straying in the wilds and oceans of romance, where it had strayed, as in the avenues of Christ's College where his body had walked. In the same spirit the imagination of Mr. Keats betakes itself, like it 10 the same spirit

wind, listeth,” and is as truly there, as if his feet could follow it. The poem will be the more striking to the reader, when he understands what we take a friend's liberty in telling him, that the author's powerful mind has for some time past been inhabiting a sickened and shaken body, and that in the mean while it has had to contend with feelings that make a fine nature ache fór its species, even when it would disdain to do so for itself;--we mean, critical malignity,--that unhappy envy, which would wreak its own tortures upon others, especially upon those that really feel for it already.

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categy boilt My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: status I
'Tis not through envy of thy happy tot,
Bile being too happy in thine happiness,
That thon, light-winged Dryad of the trees,

€! In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirtli!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,

And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves brast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but io think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,

Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply, the Queen-Moon is on her tlırone,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;

But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown

Through verdurous glooms and winding mousy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft inceuse bangs upon the bouglis,
Bui, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the chicket, and the fruit-tree wild ;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine !
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves ;

And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,

The murmurous haunt of fies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
» Bennet I have been half in love with easeful Death,

Callid him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy!
Seill wouldst'thou sing, and I have ears in vain-

To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird !

No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the sell-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, siek for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn ;

The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

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vidji Forlorn! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or 8 waking dream lassan

Fled is that music:-Do I wake or sleep? .... The Hyperion is a fragment,--a gigantic one, like a ruin in the desart, or the bones of the mastodon. It is truly of a piece with its subject, which is the downfall of the elder gods. It opens with Saturn, dethroned, sitting in a deep and solitary valley, benumbed in spite of his huge powers with the amazement of the change.

Tunis
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there, 150
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,

But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
But

A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity:
Spreading a shade; the Naiad 'mid her
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

Along the margin-sand large foot-marks weni,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground and bit of
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed; 700 in
While his bow'd head seem'd lisi'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

It seem'd no force could wake him from his place
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta’en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as tbat of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestald haply in a palace court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity bad but begun;
As if the vanward clouds oftevil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear sister
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.

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By degrees, the Titans meet in one spot, to consult how they may regain their lost empire; but Clymene the gentlest, and Oceanus the most reflective of those earlier deities, tell them that it is irrecoverable. A very grand and deep-thoughted cause is assigned for this by the

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latter. Intellect, he gives them to understand, was inevitably displacing a more brute power.

Great Saturn, thou
Hast sisted well the arom universe;
But for this reason, that thou art the King,
And only blind from sheer supremacy,
One avenue was shaded from thine eyes,
Through which I wandered to eternal truth.
And first, as thou wast not the first of powers,

So thou art not the last; it cannot be: notte Thou art not the beginning nor the end. Bei uns

Now comes the pain of truth, to whom 'uis pain;

O folly! for to bear all naked truths,
199 ore di And tó envisage circumstance, all calm,

That is the top of sovereignty. Mark well!
As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far
Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs ;!!
And as we show beyond that Hleaven and Eartla
In form and shape compact and beautiful,
In will, in action free, companionship,
Aud thousand other signs of purer life;
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads,
A power more strong in beauty, born of us
And fated to excel us, as we pass

In glory that old Darkness. The more imaginative parts of the poem are worthy of this sublime moral. Hyperion, the God of the Sun, is the last to give way; but horror begins to visit his old beautitude with new and dread sensations. The living beauty of his palace, whose portals open like a rose, the awful phænomena that announce a change in heaven, and his inability to bid the day break as he was accustomed, -all this part, in short, which is the core and inner diamond of the poem, we must enjoy with the reader.

His palace bright
Bastion’d with pyramids of glowing gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glar'd a blood-red through all its thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorean clouds
Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagle's wings,
Unseen before by Gods or wondering mell, izhodol
Darken’d the place; and neighing steeds were lieard,
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Ofincense, breatl'd aloft from sacred hills, i l'issues
Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savour of poisonous brass and metal sick :
And so, when barbour'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day.--
For rest divine upon exalted couch
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasantih cars of ease substit
With stride colossal, or froidibh to hall; to bude
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full of fear ; like anxious meu
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went'step for step with Thca through the woods, 115 VUE

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Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came slope upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemo tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering, sounds, slow-breathed melodies;
And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape,
In-fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
Thai inlet to severe magnificence
Stood full blown, for the God to enter in.
He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath ;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his lieels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scap'd away the meek ethereal How's
And made their doye-wings tremble. Ou le flared,
From stately nave 10 nave, from yayļt to vault,
Through bowers of fragrant and en wreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
Until he reach'd the great main ou pola ;
Tiere standing fierce beneath, he stampt his foot,
And from the basements deep to the highi ļowers
Jarr’d his own golden region; and before
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceas',
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb,

To this result: “ O dreams of day and night!
“O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain!
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom!
“O lank-eared Phantoms of black-weeded pools !

Why do I know ye? why have I seen ye? wliy Is my eternal essence thus distraught “ To see and to behold these horrors new? “ Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall? " Am I to leave this haven of my rest, " This cradle of my glory, this soft clime, “ This calm luxuriance of blissful light, “ These crystalline pavilions, and pure lanes, “Of all my lucent empire ? It is left “ Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine. “ The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,

I cannot see-but darkness, dearh and darkness, “ Even here, into my centre of

repose, • The shady visions come to domineer, 6 Josult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp. “ Fall!-No, by Tellus and her briny robes ! 66 Over the fiery frontier of realms " I will advance a terrible right arm

Shall scarce that infant thunderer, rebel Jove, " And bid

id old Saturn take his throne amainimi He spake, and ceas'd, the while a liea vier tlireat Held struggle with his throat but carne not forth'; in For as in theatres of crowded men Hubbub increases more they call out “Iluslı!" So at Hyperion's words the Phantoms pale Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold; And from the mirror'd level where he stood A mist arose, as from a scummy marshi. At this, through all his bulk an agony Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown, Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular Making slow way, with head and neck convalsd From over-strained might. Releas’d, he fied To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours Before the dawn in season due should blush, He breath'd fierce breathi against the sleepy portals, Clear'd then of heavy vapours, burst them wide

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