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KNOWING within myself the manner in which this
BOOK I. of regret that I make it public.
What manner I mean, will be quite clear to the A THING of beauty is a joy for ever reader, who must soon perceive great inexperience, Its loveliness increases ; will never iromaturity, and every error denoting a feverish at- Pass into nothingness; but still will keep tempi, rather than a deed accomplished. The two A bower quiet for us, and a sleep first books, and indeed the two last, I feel sensible Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet brealtung are not of such completion as to warrant their passing Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing the press ; nor should they, if I thought a year's cas- A Rowery band to bind us to the earth, tigation would do them any good ;-it will not: the Spite of despondence, of th' inhuman dearth foundations are too sandy. It is just that this youngster Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, should die away: a sad thought for me, if I had not Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways some hope that while it is dwindling I may be plot- Made for our searching : yes, in spite of all, ting, and fitting myself for verses fit to live. Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
This may be speaking too presumptuously, and From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, may deserve a punishment: but no feeling man will Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon Hve forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with For simple sheep; and such are daffodils he conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the With the green world they live in ; and clear rills failure in a great object. This is not written with That for themselves a cooling covert make the least atom of purpose to forestall criticisms of 'Gainst the hot season ; the mid-forest brake, course, but from the desire I have to conciliate men Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms who are competent to look, and who do look with a And such too is the grandeur of the dooms jealous eye, to the honor of English literature. We have imagined for the mighty dead;
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the ma- All lovely tales that we have heard or read: ture imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a An endless fountain of immortal drink, space of life between, in which the soul is in a fer- Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. ment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceed mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters which For one short hour; no, even as the trees
Nor do we merely feel these essences those men I speak of, must necessarily taste in going That'whisper round a temple become sona over the following pages. I hope I have not in too late a day touched the The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon, beautiful mythology of Greece, and dulled its bright- Haunt us till they become a cheering light nese : for I wish to try once more, before I bid it Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, farewell.
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast TEIGNMOUTH, April 10, 1818.
They always must be with us, or we die.
Therefore, 't is with full happiness that I Of brightness so unsullied, that therein Will trace the story of Endymion.
A melancholy spirit well might win The very music vof the name has gone
Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Into the winds : rain-scented eglantine Is growing fresh before me as the green
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun; Of our own valleys : so I will begin
The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass ; Now while the early budders are just new, Man's voice was on the mountains; and the mass And run in mazes of the youngest hue
of nature's lives and wonders pulsed tenfold, About old forests; while the willow trails
To feel this sunrise and its glories old.
Now while the silent workings of the dawn Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
Were busiest, into that self-same lawn My little boat, for many quiet hours,
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped
A troop of little children garlanded ;
Who, gathering round the altar, seem'd 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 O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
Fillid out its voice, and died away again. See it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
Within a little space again it gave With universal linge of sober gold,
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave, Be all about me when I make an end.
To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking And now at once, adventuresome, I send
Through copse-clad valleys,—ere their death, o'er My herald thought into a wilderness:
taking There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea. Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.
And now, as deep into the wood as we
Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmer'd light Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread Fair faces and a rush of garments white A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed
Plainer and plainer showing, till at last So plenteously all weed-hidden roots
Into the widest alley they all past, Into o'erhanging boughs, and precious fruits.
Making directly for the woodland altar. And it had gloomy shades, sequester'd decp,
O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue falter Where no man went; and if from shepherd's keep in telling of this goodly company, A lamb stray'd far adown those inmost glens, of their old piety, and of their glee: Never again saw he the happy pens
But let a portion of ethereal dew Whither his brethren, bleating with content,
Fall on my head, and presently unmew Over the hills at every nightfall went.
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing
Leading the way, young damsels danced along, Until it came to some wo footed plains
Bearing the burden of a shepherd's song; Where fed the herds of Pan: ay, great his gains Each having a white wicker over-brimm'd Who thus one lamb did lose. Paihs there were many, With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny,
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly
As may be read of in Arcadian books; To a wide lawn, whence one could only see Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe, Stems thronging all around between the swell When the great deity, for earth too ripe, Of turf and slanting branches: who could tell Let his divinity o'erflowing die The freshness of the space of heaven above, In music, through the vales of Thessaly : Edged round with dark tree-tops ? through which a Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the ground dove
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound Would often beat its wings, and often too
With ebon-tipped flutes : close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
Begirt with ministering looks: alway his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept, There stood a marble altar, with a tress
And after him his sacred vestrnents swept. of powers budded newly; and the dew
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white Had taken fairy fantasies to strew
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light; Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,
And in his left he held a basket full And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull For 't was the morn: Apollo's upward fire
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crown'd with beechen wreath, Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy sod
With wine, in honor of the shepherd-god. of winter hoar. Then came another crowd Now while the earth was drinking it, and while Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile, Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd, And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright Up-follow'd by a multitude that reard
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car Spread grayly eastward, thus a chorus sang: Easily rolling so as scarce to mar The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown: Who stood therein did seem of great renown "O thou, whose mighty palace roof doth hang Among the throng. His youth was fully blown, From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth Showing like Ganymede to manhood grown; Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death And, for those simple times, his garments were
Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness; A chieflain king's: beneath his breası, half bare, Who lovest to see the hamadryads dress Was hung a silver bugle, and between
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth,
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx-do thou now,
"O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles Soon the assembly, in a circle ranged,
Passion their voices cooingly 'mong myriles,
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek
of thine enmossed realms : 0 thou, to whom Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear. Broad-leaved fig-trees even now foredoom Endymion too, without a forest peer,
Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow-girted bees Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face,
Their golden honeycombs; our village leas Among his brothers of the mountain chase. Their fairest blossom'd beans and poppied corn; In midst of all, the venerable priest
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn, Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least,
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries And, after lifting up his aged hands,
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
By every wind that nods the mountain pine,
The squatted hare wbile in half-sleeping fit ;
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw;
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main,
And gather up all fancifullest shells Will put choice honey for a favor'd youth: For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells, Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping, Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan. Or to delight thee with fantastie leaping, Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
The while they pelt each other on the crown Night-swollen mushrooms ? Are not our wide plains With silvery oak-apples, and fir-cones browu. Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains By all the echoes that about thee ring, Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad Hear us, O satyr king! Sickens our fearful ewes ; and we have had Great bounty from Endymion our lord. The earth is glad: the merry lark has pour’d
“O Hearkener to the loud-clapping shears, His early song against you breezy sky,
While ever and anon to his shorn peers T'hat spreads so 'clear o'er our solemnity."
A ram goes bleating: Winder of the hori,
When snouted wild-boars rooting tender corn Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire Anger our huntsnian : Breather round our farra, of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire ; To keep off mildews, and all weather harms : 31
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,
Until, from the horizon's vaulted side,
Spangling those million poutings of the brine
With quivering ore: 'I was even an awful shine Leading to universal knowledge-see,
From the exaltation of A pollo's bow; Great son of Dryope,
A heavenly beacon in their dreary woe. The many that are come to pay their vows Who thus were ripe for high-contemplating, With leaves about their brows!
Might turn their steps towards the sober ring
Where sat Endymion and the aged priesi “ Be still the unimaginable lodge
'Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increased For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
The silvery setting of their mortal star. Conception to the very bourn of Heaven,
There they discoursed upon the fragile bar Then leave the naked brain : be still the leaven,
That keeps us from our homes ethereal; That spreading in this dull and clodded earth,
And what our duties there: to nighty call Gives it a touch ethereal-a new birth:
Vesper, the beauty-crest of summer weather; Be still a symbol of immensity;
To summon all the downiest clouds together A firmament reflected in a sea;
For the sun's purple couch; to emulate An element filling the space between ;
In ministering the potent rule of fate An unknown-but no more: we humbly screen
With speed of fire-tail'd exhalations; With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending,
To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons And giving out a shout most heaven-rending,
Sweet poesy by moonlight : besides these, Conjure thee to receive our humble Pæan,
A world of other unguess'd offices. Upon thy Mount Lycean!"
Anon they wander’d, by divine converse,
Into Elysium; vying to rehearse Even while they brought the burden to a close,
Each one his own anticipated bliss. A shout from the whole multitude arose,
One felt heart-certain that he could not miss That linger’d in the air like dying rolls
His quick-gone love, among fair blossom'd bougha Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals
Where every zephyr-sigh pouls, and endows of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
Her lips with music for the welcoming Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine,
Another wish'd, 'mid that eternal spring, Young companies nimbly began dancing
To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails, To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales: Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly
Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth with To tunes forgotten-out of memory:
And with the balmiest leaves his lemples bind; Fair creatures! whose young childrens' children bred And, ever after, through those regions be Thermopylæ its heroes-not yet dead,
His messenger, his liule Mercury. But in old marbles ever beautiful.
Some were athirst in soul to see again High genitors, unconscious did they cull
Their fellow-huntsmen o'er the wide champaign Time's sweet first-fruits—they danced io weariness, In times long past ; to sit with them, and talk Anu then in quiet circles did they press
or all the chances in their earthly walk; The hillock turf, and caught the latter end
Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores Of some strange history, potent to send
of happiness, to when upon the moors, A young mind from its bodily tenement.
Benighted, close they huddled from the cold, Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
And shared their famish'd scrips. Thus all out-old On either side ; pitying the sad death
Their fond imaginations,-saving him Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath
Whose eyelids curtain'd up their jewels dim, Of Zephyr slew him,-Zephyr penitent,
Endymion : yet hourly had he striven Who now, ere Phæbus mounts the firmament,
To hide the cankering venom, that had riven Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain.
His fainting recollections. Now indeed The archers too, upon a wider plain,
His senses had swoon'd off: he did not heed Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft,
The sudden silence, or the whispers low, And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft
Or the old cyes dissolving at his woe, Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top,
Or anxious cails, or close of trembling palms, Call'd up a thousand thoughts to envelop
Or maiden's sigh, that grief itself embalms : Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee But in the sell-same fixed trance he kept And frantic gape of lonely Niobe,
Like one who on the earth had never stept Poor, lonely Niobe! when her lovely young
Aye, even as dead-still as a marble man,
Frozen in that old tale Arabian.
Who whispers him so pantingly and close!
His friends, the dearest. Hushing signs she made Uplisting his strong bow into the air,
And breathed a sister's sorrow to persuade Many might after brighter visions stare :
A yielding up, a cradling on her care. After the Argonauts, in blind amaze
Her eloquence did breathe away the curse : Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways, She led him, like some midnighi spirit ourse
CY happy changes in emphatic dreams,
My voice upon the mountain-heights; once more
So she was gently glad to see him laid Under her favorite bower's quiet sbade, On her own couch, new made of flower leaves, Dried carefully on the cooler side of sheaves When last the sun his autumn tresses shook, And the tann'd harvesters rich armfuls took. Soon was he quieted to slumbrous rest : But, ere it crept upon him, he had prest Peona's busy hand against his lips, And still, a-sleep held her finger-tips In tender pressure. And as a willow keeps A patient watch over the stream that creeps Windingly by it, so the quiet maid Held her in peace : so that a whispering blade Of grass, a wailful gnat, a bee bustling Down in the blue-bells, or a wren light rustling Among sere leaves and twigs, might all be heard.
Hereat Peona, in their silver source,
And took a lute, from which there pulsing came
O magic sleep! O comfortable bird, That broodest o'er the troubled sea of the mind Till it is hush'd and smooth ! O unconfined Restraint! imprison'd liberty! great key To golden palaces, strange minstrelsy, Fountains grotesque, new trees, bespangled caves, Echoing grottoes, full of tumbling waves And moonlight; aye, to all the mazy world Of silvery enchantment who, upfurl'd Beneath thy drowsy wing a triple hour, But renovates and lives ?—Thus, in the bower, Endymion was calm’d to life again. Opening his eyelids with a healthier brain, He said: “I feel this thine endearing love All through my bosom : thou art as a dove Trembling its closed eyes and sleeked wings About me; and the pearliest dew not brings Such morning incense from the fields of May, As do those brighter drops that twinkling stray From those kind eyes,—the very home and haunt Of sisterly affection. Can I want Aught else, aught nearer heaven, than such tears ? Yet dry them up, in bidding hence all fears That, any longer, I will pass my days Alone and sad. No, I will once more raise
Endymion look'd at her, and press'd her hand, And said, “ Art thou so pale, who wast so bland And merry in our meadows ? How is this? Tell me thine ailment: tell me all ariss Ah! thou hast been unhappy at the change Wrought suddenly in me. What indeed more strange! Or more complete to overwhelm surmise ?
Ambition is no sluggard: 'tis no prize, That toiling years would put within my grasp, That I have sigh'd for: with so deadly gasp No man e'er panted for a mortal love. So all have set my heavier grief above These things which happen. Rightly have they done I, who still saw the horizontal sun Heave his broad shoulder o'er the edge of the world, Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurlid My spear aloft, as signal for the chaseI, who, for very sport of heart, would race With my own steed from Araby; plack down A vulture from his towery perching; frown A lion into growling, loth retireTo lose, at once, all my toil-breeding firo, And sink thus low! but I will ease my breast Of secret grief, here in this bowery nest.
" This river does not see the naked sky, Till it begins to progress silverly