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He has his Summer, when luxuriously
FAME, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
How fever'd is the man, who cannot look
Who vexes all the leaves of his life's book,
BRIGHT star ! would I were steadfast as thou art—
I John, KEATs, born Oct. 29, 1795, died Feb. 23, 1821, pub: lished his first volume in 1817. It is dated—“London: Printed for C. & J. Ollier, 3, Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square.” The title-page (in addition to the foregoing and to the reprint on . 1) bears the woodcut of a laurelled head in profile, which may e meant for Spenser. ... The text, preceded by three leaves, covers 121 pages in small octavo size.
II - Endymion bears on the title (in addition to the reprint on p. 55) “By John Keats. London : Printed for Taylor and Hessey, 93, Fleet Street. 1818.” Five leaves, in the example before me, precede the text, which (including titles, before each book), extends to 207 pages. “Handsomely printed in [a largishsized] 8vo. price 9s. boards,” says the Advertisement appended to the next volume.
III Lamia etc., in addition to the reprint on p. 161, bears “By John Keats, author of Endymion. London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey, Fleet-Street, 1820.” Four leaves precede the text, which (including separate titles for Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Poems), covers 199 pages in an octavo size between that of the two former volumes.
Lastly, I was printed by C. Richards, 18, Warwick Street, Golden Square, London; II by T. Miller, Noble Street, Cheapside; III by Thomas Davison, Whitefriars.
converted him, in his own eyes and those of his friends, into a political martyr, as the harsh criticism of the day had raised him into the literary idol of a coterie. The “self-delusion” he entertained that he was a great poet, struck Keats, Haman of much stronger nature, and wholly free from such weakness, as “lamentable,” so early as May, 1817. In December, 1818, writing to his brother George, he describes Hunt as “a pleasant enough fellow in the main, when you are with him ; but in reality he is vain, egotistic. . . . Hunt does one harm by making fine things pretty, and beautiful things hateful; through him I am indifferent to Mozart, . . . and many a glorious thing when associated with him becomes nothing.” Some of the gloom of his last years had fallen on Keats when he wrote thus; yet the picture is confirmed in too many ways to be essentially doubtful. On the other hand, Hunt's affection for Keats was real; he had genuine tenderness of nature, and strong, though narrow, literary enthusiasm. Had his younger friend lived, he would doubtless have done justice to those fine qualities in Hunt which, as his West Indian blood calmed down, freed themselves, more or less, from their youthful alloy # joy and intemperateness, during the latter half of
Despite the clear insight into those faults of taste in Hunt which the preceding extract shows, the style of Keats, in his earlier work especially, was in some degree influenced by the elder poet. He seems to owe to him a rather frequent and unpleasing mannerism in the use of the word /u.rury: and the Rimini and Hero and Leander exhibit sudden lapses into prosaicism, words used with an abrupt or even coarse directness, strange momentary failures in good taste, from which Keats, also, is not always free. Beyond this, there is little in common between the two writers: the similarity, in case of the poems, just named, is only a superficial likeness of manner. Where Keats is penetrative, Hunt is decorative: his work is formed on Dryden, but Dryden ornamentalized and without his vigour. It was to very different results that Keats studied the great Fabulist for Zamzia.
In regard to the volume of 1817, it may be noted here, in Lord Houghton's words, that “this little book, the beloved first-born of so great a genius, scarcely touched the public attention.”
5 This nameless Poem, to judge by its style and matter,
may be safely placed amongst the latest-written pieces in the volume of 1817, and was, doubtless, chosen by Keats as a kind of “Induction,” (to use the fine Elizabethan word with which he entitled the piece next following), to his little venture. But we may take it also as a fit preface to the work which his short life enabled him to give us:–presenting, as it does, two of the leading colours or motives that appear throughout his poetry, the passion