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◈ Endymion (엔디미온) ◈

◇ Book 1 ◇

해설목차  1권 2권  3권  4권  1818년
존 키츠
0
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
1
Its loveliness increases; it will never
2
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
3
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
4
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
5
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
6
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
7
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
8
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
9
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
10
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
11
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
12
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
13
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
14
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
15
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
16
That for themselves a cooling covert make
17
Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
18
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
19
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
20
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
21
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
22
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
23
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
 
24
Nor do we merely feel these essences
25
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
26
That whisper round a temple become soon
27
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
28
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
29
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
30
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
31
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o’ercast,
32
They alway must be with us, or we die.
 
33
Therefore, ’tis with full happiness that I
34
Will trace the story of Endymion.
35
The very music of the name has gone
36
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
37
Is growing fresh before me as the green
38
Of our own vallies: so I will begin
39
Now while I cannot hear the city’s din;
40
Now while the early budders are just new,
41
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
42
About old forests; while the willow trails
43
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
44
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
45
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I’ll smoothly steer
46
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
47
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
48
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
49
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm’d and white,
50
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
51
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
52
I must be near the middle of my story.
53
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
54
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
55
With universal tinge of sober gold,
56
Be all about me when I make an end.
57
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
58
My herald thought into a wilderness:
59
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
60
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
61
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.
 
62
Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread
63
A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed
64
So plenteously all weed-hidden roots
65
Into o’er-hanging boughs, and precious fruits.
66
And it had gloomy shades, sequestered deep,
67
Where no man went; and if from shepherd’s keep
68
A lamb strayed far a-down those inmost glens,
69
Never again saw he the happy pens
70
Whither his brethren, bleating with content,
71
Over the hills at every nightfall went.
72
Among the shepherds, ’twas believed ever,
73
That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever
74
From the white flock, but pass’d unworried
75
By angry wolf, or pard with prying head,
76
Until it came to some unfooted plains
77
Where fed the herds of Pan: ay great his gains
78
Who thus one lamb did lose. Paths there were many,
79
Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny,
80
And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly
81
To a wide lawn, whence one could only see
82
Stems thronging all around between the swell
83
Of turf and slanting branches: who could tell
84
The freshness of the space of heaven above,
85
Edg’d round with dark tree tops? through which a dove
86
Would often beat its wings, and often too
87
A little cloud would move across the blue.
 
88
Full in the middle of this pleasantness
89
There stood a marble altar, with a tress
90
Of flowers budded newly; and the dew
91
Had taken fairy phantasies to strew
92
Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve,
93
And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
94
Fortwas the morn: Apollo’s upward fire
95
Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre
96
Of brightness so unsullied, that therein
97
A melancholy spirit well might win
98
Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine
99
Into the winds: rain-scented eglantine
100
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun;
101
The lark was lost in him; cold springs had run
102
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass;
103
Man’s voice was on the mountains; and the mass
104
Of nature’s lives and wonders puls’d tenfold,
105
To feel this sun-rise and its glories old.
 
106
Now while the silent workings of the dawn
107
Were busiest, into that self-same lawn
108
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped
109
A troop of little children garlanded;
110
Who gathering round the altar, seemed to pry
111
Earnestly round as wishing to espy
112
Some folk of holiday: nor had they waited
113
For many moments, ere their ears were sated
114
With a faint breath of music, which ev’n then
115
Fill’d out its voice, and died away again.
116
Within a little space again it gave
117
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave,
118
To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking
119
Through copse-clad vallies,—ere their death, oer-taking
120
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.
 
121
And now, as deep into the wood as we
122
Might mark a lynx’s eye, there glimmered light
123
Fair faces and a rush of garments white,
124
Plainer and plainer shewing, till at last
125
Into the widest alley they all past,
126
Making directly for the woodland altar.
127
O kindly muse! let not my weak tongue faulter
128
In telling of this goodly company,
129
Of their old piety, and of their glee:
130
But let a portion of ethereal dew
131
Fall on my head, and presently unmew
132
My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring,
133
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing.
 
134
Leading the way, young damsels danced along,
135
Bearing the burden of a shepherd song;
136
Each having a white wicker over brimm’d
137
With April’s tender younglings: next, well trimm’d,
138
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks
139
As may be read of in Arcadian books;
140
Such as sat listening round Apollo’s pipe,
141
When the great deity, for earth too ripe,
142
Let his divinity o’er-flowing die
143
In music, through the vales of Thessaly:
144
Some idly trailed their sheep-hooks on the ground,
145
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound
146
With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these,
147
Now coming from beneath the forest trees,
148
A venerable priest full soberly,
149
Begirt with ministring looks: alway his eye
150
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,
151
And after him his sacred vestments swept.
152
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white,
153
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;
154
And in his left he held a basket full
155
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:
156
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
157
Than Leda’s love, and cresses from the rill.
158
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath,
159
Seem’d like a poll of ivy in the teeth
160
Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd
161
Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
162
Their share of the ditty. After them appear’d,
163
Up-followed by a multitude that rear’d
164
Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car,
165
Easily rolling so as scarce to mar
166
The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown:
167
Who stood therein did seem of great renown
168
Among the throng. His youth was fully blown,
169
Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown;
170
And, for those simple times, his garments were
171
A chieftain king’s: beneath his breast, half bare,
172
Was hung a silver bugle, and between
173
His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen.
174
A smile was on his countenance; he seem’d,
175
To common lookers on, like one who dream’d
176
Of idleness in groves Elysian:
177
But there were some who feelingly could scan
178
A lurking trouble in his nether lip,
179
And see that oftentimes the reins would slip
180
Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh,
181
And think of yellow leaves, of owlets cry,
182
Of logs piled solemnly.—Ah, well-a-day,
183
Why should our young Endymion pine away!
 
184
Soon the assembly, in a circle rang’d,
185
Stood silent round the shrine: each look was chang’d
186
To sudden veneration: women meek
187
Beckon’d their sons to silence; while each cheek
188
Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear.
189
Endymion too, without a forest peer,
190
Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face,
191
Among his brothers of the mountain chase.
192
In midst of all, the venerable priest
193
Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least,
194
And, after lifting up his aged hands,
195
Thus spake he: “Men of Latmos! shepherd bands!
196
Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks:
197
Whether descended from beneath the rocks
198
That overtop your mountains; whether come
199
From vallies where the pipe is never dumb;
200
Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs
201
Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze
202
Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious charge
203
Nibble their fill at ocean’s very marge,
204
Whose mellow reeds are touch’d with sounds forlorn
205
By the dim echoes of old Triton’s horn:
206
Mothers and wives! who day by day prepare
207
The scrip, with needments, for the mountain air;
208
And all ye gentle girls who foster up
209
Udderless lambs, and in a little cup
210
Will put choice honey for a favoured youth:
211
Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
212
Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan.
213
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
214
Night-swollen mushrooms? Are not our wide plains
215
Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains
216
Green’d over April’s lap? No howling sad
217
Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had
218
Great bounty from Endymion our lord.
219
The earth is glad: the merry lark has pour’d
220
His early song against yon breezy sky,
221
That spreads so clear o’er our solemnity.”
 
222
Thus ending, on the shrine he heap’d a spire
223
Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire;
224
Anon he stain’d the thick and spongy sod
225
With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god.
226
Now while the earth was drinking it, and while
227
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile,
228
And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright
229 <>’Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light
230
Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang:
 
231
“O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang
232
From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth
233
Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death
234
Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness;
235
Who lovst to see the hamadryads dress
236
Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;
237
And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken
238
The dreary melody of bedded reeds
239
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds
240
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;
241
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
242
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinxdo thou now,
243
By thy love’s milky brow!
244
By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
245
Hear us, great Pan!
 
246
“O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles
247
Passion their voices cooinglymong myrtles,
248
What time thou wanderest at eventide
249
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side
250
Of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to whom
251
Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom
252
Their ripen’d fruitage; yellow girted bees
253
Their golden honeycombs; our village leas
254
Their fairest-blossom’d beans and poppied corn;
255
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn,
256
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries
257
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
258
Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year
259
All its completionsbe quickly near,
260
By every wind that nods the mountain pine,
261
O forester divine!
 
262
Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr flies
263
For willing service; whether to surprise
264
The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit;
265
Or upward ragged precipices flit
266
To save poor lambkins from the eagle’s maw;
267
Or by mysterious enticement draw
268
Bewildered shepherds to their path again;
269
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main,
270
And gather up all fancifullest shells
271
For thee to tumble into Naiadscells,
272
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;
273
Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,
274
The while they pelt each other on the crown
275
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown
276
By all the echoes that about thee ring,
277
Hear us, O satyr king!
 
278
“O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears,
279
While ever and anon to his shorn peers
280
A ram goes bleating: Winder of the horn,
281
When snouted wild-boars routing tender corn
282
Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms,
283
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms:
284
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,
285
That come a swooning over hollow grounds,
286
And wither drearily on barren moors:
287
Dread opener of the mysterious doors
288
Leading to universal knowledgesee,
289
Great son of Dryope,
290
The many that are come to pay their vows
291
With leaves about their brows!
 
292
Be still the unimaginable lodge
293
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
294
Conception to the very bourne of heaven,
295
Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven,
296
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
297
Gives it a touch ethereal—a new birth:
298
Be still a symbol of immensity;
299
A firmament reflected in a sea;
300
An element filling the space between;
301
An unknownbut no more: we humbly screen
302
With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending,
303
And giving out a shout most heaven rending,
304
Conjure thee to receive our humble Paean,
305
Upon thy Mount Lycean!
 
306
Even while they brought the burden to a close,
307
A shout from the whole multitude arose,
308
That lingered in the air like dying rolls
309
Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals
310
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
311
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine,
312
Young companies nimbly began dancing
313
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string.
314
Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly
315
To tunes forgottenout of memory:
316
Fair creatures! whose young children’s children bred
317
Thermopylæ its heroesnot yet dead,
318
But in old marbles ever beautiful.
319
High genitors, unconscious did they cull
320
Time’s sweet first-fruitsthey danc’d to weariness,
321
And then in quiet circles did they press
322
The hillock turf, and caught the latter end
323
Of some strange history, potent to send
324
A young mind from its bodily tenement.
325
Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
326
On either side; pitying the sad death
327
Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath
328
Of Zephyr slew him,—Zephyr penitent,
329
Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament,
330
Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain.
331
The archers too, upon a wider plain,
332
Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft,
333
And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft
334
Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top,
335
Call’d up a thousand thoughts to envelope
336
Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee
337
And frantic gape of lonely Niobe,
338
Poor, lonely Niobe! when her lovely young
339
Were dead and gone, and her caressing tongue
340
Lay a lost thing upon her paly lip,
341
And very, very deadliness did nip
342
Her motherly cheeks. Arous’d from this sad mood
343
By one, who at a distance loud halloo’d,
344
Uplifting his strong bow into the air,
345
Many might after brighter visions stare:
346
After the Argonauts, in blind amaze
347
Tossing about on Neptune’s restless ways,
348
Until, from the horizon’s vaulted side,
349
There shot a golden splendour far and wide,
350
Spangling those million poutings of the brine
351
With quivering ore: ’twas even an awful shine
352
From the exaltation of Apollo’s bow;
353
A heavenly beacon in their dreary woe.
354
Who thus were ripe for high contemplating,
355
Might turn their steps towards the sober ring
356
Where sat Endymion and the aged priest
357
Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increas’d
358
The silvery setting of their mortal star.
359
There they discours’d upon the fragile bar
360
That keeps us from our homes ethereal;
361
And what our duties there: to nightly call
362
Vesper, the beauty-crest of summer weather;
363
To summon all the downiest clouds together
364
For the sun’s purple couch; to emulate
365
In ministring the potent rule of fate
366
With speed of fire-tailed exhalations;
367
To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons
368
Sweet poesy by moonlight: besides these,
369
A world of other unguess’d offices.
370
Anon they wander’d, by divine converse,
371
Into Elysium; vieing to rehearse
372
Each one his own anticipated bliss.
373
One felt heart-certain that he could not miss
374
His quick gone love, among fair blossom’d boughs,
375
Where every zephyr-sigh pouts and endows
376
Her lips with music for the welcoming.
377
Another wish’d, mid that eternal spring,
378
To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails,
379
Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales:
380
Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wind,
381
And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind;
382
And, ever after, through those regions be
383
His messenger, his little Mercury.
384
Some were athirst in soul to see again
385
Their fellow huntsmen o’er the wide champaign
386
In times long past; to sit with them, and talk
387
Of all the chances in their earthly walk;
388
Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores
389
Of happiness, to when upon the moors,
390
Benighted, close they huddled from the cold,
391
And shar’d their famish’d scrips. Thus all out-told
392
Their fond imaginations,—saving him
393
Whose eyelids curtain’d up their jewels dim,
394
Endymion: yet hourly had he striven
395
To hide the cankering venom, that had riven
396
His fainting recollections. Now indeed
397
His senses had swoon’d off: he did not heed
398
The sudden silence, or the whispers low,
399
Or the old eyes dissolving at his woe,
400
Or anxious calls, or close of trembling palms,
401
Or maiden’s sigh, that grief itself embalms:
402
But in the self-same fixed trance he kept,
403
Like one who on the earth had never stept.
404
Aye, even as dead-still as a marble man,
405
Frozen in that old tale Arabian.
 
406
Who whispers him so pantingly and close?
407
Peona, his sweet sister: of all those,
408
His friends, the dearest. Hushing signs she made,
409
And breath’d a sister’s sorrow to persuade
410
A yielding up, a cradling on her care.
411
Her eloquence did breathe away the curse:
412
She led him, like some midnight spirit nurse
413
Of happy changes in emphatic dreams,
414
Along a path between two little streams,—
415
Guarding his forehead, with her round elbow,
416
From low-grown branches, and his footsteps slow
417
From stumbling over stumps and hillocks small;
418
Until they came to where these streamlets fall,
419
With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush,
420
Into a river, clear, brimful, and flush
421
With crystal mocking of the trees and sky.
422
A little shallop, floating there hard by,
423
Pointed its beak over the fringed bank;
424
And soon it lightly dipt, and rose, and sank,
425
And dipt again, with the young couple’s weight,—
426
Peona guiding, through the water straight,
427
Towards a bowery island opposite;
428
Which gaining presently, she steered light
429
Into a shady, fresh, and ripply cove,
430
Where nested was an arbour, overwove
431
By many a summer’s silent fingering;
432
To whose cool bosom she was used to bring
433
Her playmates, with their needle broidery,
434
And minstrel memories of times gone by.
 
435
So she was gently glad to see him laid
436
Under her favourite bower’s quiet shade,
437
On her own couch, new made of flower leaves,
438
Dried carefully on the cooler side of sheaves
439
When last the sun his autumn tresses shook,
440
And the tann’d harvesters rich armfuls took.
441
Soon was he quieted to slumbrous rest:
442
But, ere it crept upon him, he had prest
443
Peona’s busy hand against his lips,
444
And still, a sleeping, held her finger-tips
445
In tender pressure. And as a willow keeps
446
A patient watch over the stream that creeps
447
Windingly by it, so the quiet maid
448
Held her in peace: so that a whispering blade
449
Of grass, a wailful gnat, a bee bustling
450
Down in the blue-bells, or a wren light rustling
451
Among seer leaves and twigs, might all be heard.
 
452
O magic sleep! O comfortable bird,
453
That broodest o’er the troubled sea of the mind
454
Till it is hush’d and smooth! O unconfin’d
455
Restraint! imprisoned liberty! great key
456
To golden palaces, strange minstrelsy,
457
Fountains grotesque, new trees, bespangled caves,
458
Echoing grottos, full of tumbling waves
459
And moonlight; aye, to all the mazy world
460
Of silvery enchantment!—who, upfurl’d
461
Beneath thy drowsy wing a triple hour,
462
But renovates and lives?—Thus, in the bower,
463
Endymion was calm’d to life again.
464
Opening his eyelids with a healthier brain,
465
He said: “I feel this thine endearing love
466
All through my bosom: thou art as a dove
467
Trembling its closed eyes and sleeked wings
468
About me; and the pearliest dew not brings
469
Such morning incense from the fields of May,
470
As do those brighter drops that twinkling stray
471
From those kind eyes,—the very home and haunt
472
Of sisterly affection. Can I want
473
Aught else, aught nearer heaven, than such tears?
474
Yet dry them up, in bidding hence all fears
475
That, any longer, I will pass my days
476
Alone and sad. No, I will once more raise
477
My voice upon the mountain-heights; once more
478
Make my horn parley from their foreheads hoar:
479
Again my trooping hounds their tongues shall loll
480
Around the breathed boar: again I’ll poll
481
The fair-grown yew tree, for a chosen bow:
482
And, when the pleasant sun is getting low,
483
Again I’ll linger in a sloping mead
484
To hear the speckled thrushes, and see feed
485
Our idle sheep. So be thou cheered sweet,
486
And, if thy lute is here, softly intreat
487
My soul to keep in its resolved course.”
 
488
Hereat Peona, in their silver source,
489
Shut her pure sorrow drops with glad exclaim,
490
And took a lute, from which there pulsing came
491
A lively prelude, fashioning the way
492
In which her voice should wander. ’Twas a lay
493
More subtle cadenced, more forest wild
494
Than Dryope’s lone lulling of her child;
495
And nothing since has floated in the air
496
So mournful strange. Surely some influence rare
497
Went, spiritual, through the damsel’s hand;
498
For still, with Delphic emphasis, she spann’d
499
The quick invisible strings, even though she saw
500
Endymion’s spirit melt away and thaw
501
Before the deep intoxication.
502
But soon she came, with sudden burst, upon
503
Her self-possessionswung the lute aside,
504
And earnestly said: “Brother, ’tis vain to hide
505
That thou dost know of things mysterious,
506
Immortal, starry; such alone could thus
507
Weigh down thy nature. Hast thou sinn’d in aught
508
Offensive to the heavenly powers? Caught
509
A Paphian dove upon a message sent?
510
Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd bent,
511
Sacred to Dian? Haply, thou hast seen
512
Her naked limbs among the alders green;
513
And that, alas! is death. No, I can trace
514
Something more high perplexing in thy face!”
 
515
Endymion look’d at her, and press’d her hand,
516
And said, “Art thou so pale, who wast so bland
517
And merry in our meadows? How is this?
518
Tell me thine ailment: tell me all amiss!—
519
Ah! thou hast been unhappy at the change
520
Wrought suddenly in me. What indeed more strange?
521
Or more complete to overwhelm surmise?
522
Ambition is no sluggard: ’tis no prize,
523
That toiling years would put within my grasp,
524
That I have sigh’d for: with so deadly gasp
525
No man e’er panted for a mortal love.
526
So all have set my heavier grief above
527
These things which happen. Rightly have they done:
528
I, who still saw the horizontal sun
529
Heave his broad shoulder o’er the edge of the world,
530
Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurl’d
531
My spear aloft, as signal for the chace
532
I, who, for very sport of heart, would race
533
With my own steed from Araby; pluck down
534
A vulture from his towery perching; frown
535
A lion into growling, loth retire
536
To lose, at once, all my toil breeding fire,
537
And sink thus low! but I will ease my breast
538
Of secret grief, here in this bowery nest.
 
539
This river does not see the naked sky,
540
Till it begins to progress silverly
541
Around the western border of the wood,
542
Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood
543
Seems at the distance like a crescent moon:
544
And in that nook, the very pride of June,
545
Had I been used to pass my weary eves;
546
The rather for the sun unwilling leaves
547
So dear a picture of his sovereign power,
548
And I could witness his most kingly hour,
549
When he doth lighten up the golden reins,
550
And paces leisurely down amber plains
551
His snorting four. Now when his chariot last
552
Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast,
553
There blossom’d suddenly a magic bed
554
Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red:
555
At which I wondered greatly, knowing well
556
That but one night had wrought this flowery spell;
557
And, sitting down close by, began to muse
558
What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I, Morpheus,
559
In passing here, his owlet pinions shook;
560
Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook
561
Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth,
562
Had dipt his rod in it: such garland wealth
563
Came not by common growth. Thus on I thought,
564
Until my head was dizzy and distraught.
565
Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole
566
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul;
567
And shaping visions all about my sight
568
Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light;
569
The which became more strange, and strange, and dim,
570
And then were gulph’d in a tumultuous swim:
571
And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell
572
The enchantment that afterwards befel?
573
Yet it was but a dream: yet such a dream
574
That never tongue, although it overteem
575
With mellow utterance, like a cavern spring,
576
Could figure out and to conception bring
577
All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay
578
Watching the zenith, where the milky way
579
Among the stars in virgin splendour pours;
580
And travelling my eye, until the doors
581
Of heaven appear’d to open for my flight,
582
I became loth and fearful to alight
583
From such high soaring by a downward glance:
584
So kept me stedfast in that airy trance,
585
Spreading imaginary pinions wide.
586
When, presently, the stars began to glide,
587
And faint away, before my eager view:
588
At which I sigh’d that I could not pursue,
589
And dropt my vision to the horizon’s verge;
590
And lo! from opening clouds, I saw emerge
591
The loveliest moon, that ever silver’d o’er
592
A shell for Neptune’s goblet: she did soar
593
So passionately bright, my dazzled soul
594
Commingling with her argent spheres did roll
595
Through clear and cloudy, even when she went
596
At last into a dark and vapoury tent
597
Whereat, methought, the lidless-eyed train
598
Of planets all were in the blue again.
599
To commune with those orbs, once more I rais’d
600
My sight right upward: but it was quite dazed
601
By a bright something, sailing down apace,
602
Making me quickly veil my eyes and face:
603
Again I look’d, and, O ye deities,
604
Who from Olympus watch our destinies!
605
Whence that completed form of all completeness?
606
Whence came that high perfection of all sweetness?
607
Speak, stubborn earth, and tell me where, O Where
608
Hast thou a symbol of her golden hair?
609
Not oat-sheaves drooping in the western sun;
610
Notthy soft hand, fair sister! let me shun
611
Such follying before theeyet she had,
612
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad;
613
And they were simply gordian’d up and braided,
614
Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded,
615
Her pearl round ears, white neck, and orbed brow;
616
The which were blended in, I know not how,
617
With such a paradise of lips and eyes,
618
Blush-tinted cheeks, half smiles, and faintest sighs,
619
That, when I think thereon, my spirit clings
620
And plays about its fancy, till the stings
621
Of human neighbourhood envenom all.
622
Unto what awful power shall I call?
623
To what high fane?—Ah! see her hovering feet,
624
More bluely vein’d, more soft, more whitely sweet
625
Than those of sea-born Venus, when she rose
626
From out her cradle shell. The wind out-blows
627
Her scarf into a fluttering pavilion;
628
Tis blue, and over-spangled with a million
629
Of little eyes, as though thou wert to shed,
630
Over the darkest, lushest blue-bell bed,
631
Handfuls of daisies.”—“Endymion, how strange!
632
Dream within dream!”—“She took an airy range,
633
And then, towards me, like a very maid,
634
Came blushing, waning, willing, and afraid,
635
And press’d me by the hand: Ah! ’twas too much;
636
Methought I fainted at the charmed touch,
637
Yet held my recollection, even as one
638
Who dives three fathoms where the waters run
639
Gurgling in beds of coral: for anon,
640
I felt upmounted in that region
641
Where falling stars dart their artillery forth,
642
And eagles struggle with the buffeting north
643
That balances the heavy meteor-stone;—
644
Felt too, I was not fearful, nor alone,
645
But lapp’d and lull’d along the dangerous sky.
646
Soon, as it seem’d, we left our journeying high,
647
And straightway into frightful eddies swoop’d;
648
Such as ay muster where grey time has scoop’d
649
Huge dens and caverns in a mountain’s side:
650
There hollow sounds arous’d me, and I sigh’d
651
To faint once more by looking on my bliss
652
I was distracted; madly did I kiss
653
The wooing arms which held me, and did give
654
My eyes at once to death: buttwas to live,
655
To take in draughts of life from the gold fount
656
Of kind and passionate looks; to count, and count
657
The moments, by some greedy help that seem’d
658
A second self, that each might be redeem’d
659
And plunder’d of its load of blessedness.
660
Ah, desperate mortal! I ev’n dar’d to press
661
Her very cheek against my crowned lip,
662
And, at that moment, felt my body dip
663
Into a warmer air: a moment more,
664
Our feet were soft in flowers. There was store
665
Of newest joys upon that alp. Sometimes
666
A scent of violets, and blossoming limes,
667
Loiter’d around us; then of honey cells,
668
Made delicate from all white-flower bells;
669
And once, above the edges of our nest,
670
An arch face peep’d,—an Oread as I guess’d.
 
671
Why did I dream that sleep o’er-power’d me
672
In midst of all this heaven? Why not see,
673
Far off, the shadows of his pinions dark,
674
And stare them from me? But no, like a spark
675
That needs must die, although its little beam
676
Reflects upon a diamond, my sweet dream
677
Fell into nothinginto stupid sleep.
678
And so it was, until a gentle creep,
679
A careful moving caught my waking ears,
680
And up I started: Ah! my sighs, my tears,
681
My clenched hands;—for lo! the poppies hung
682
Dew-dabbled on their stalks, the ouzel sung
683
A heavy ditty, and the sullen day
684
Had chidden herald Hesperus away,
685
With leaden looks: the solitary breeze
686
Bluster’d, and slept, and its wild self did teaze
687
With wayward melancholy; and r thought,
688
Mark me, Peona! that sometimes it brought
689
Faint fare-thee-wells, and sigh-shrilled adieus!—
690
Away I wander’d—all the pleasant hues
691
Of heaven and earth had faded: deepest shades
692
Were deepest dungeons; heaths and sunny glades
693
Were full of pestilent light; our taintless rills
694
Seem’d sooty, and o’er-spread with upturn’d gills
695
Of dying fish; the vermeil rose had blown
696
In frightful scarlet, and its thorns out-grown
697
Like spiked aloe. If an innocent bird
698
Before my heedless footsteps stirr’d, and stirr’d
699
In little journeys, I beheld in it
700
A disguis’d demon, missioned to knit
701
My soul with under darkness; to entice
702
My stumblings down some monstrous precipice:
703
Therefore I eager followed, and did curse
704
The disappointment. Time, that aged nurse,
705
Rock’d me to patience. Now, thank gentle heaven!
706
These things, with all their comfortings, are given
707
To my down-sunken hours, and with thee,
708
Sweet sister, help to stem the ebbing sea
709
Of weary life.”
 
710
Thus ended he, and both
711
Sat silent: for the maid was very loth
712
To answer; feeling well that breathed words
713
Would all be lost, unheard, and vain as swords
714
Against the enchased crocodile, or leaps
715
Of grasshoppers against the sun. She weeps,
716
And wonders; struggles to devise some blame;
717
To put on such a look as would say, Shame
718
On this poor weakness! but, for all her strife,
719
She could as soon have crush’d away the life
720
From a sick dove. At length, to break the pause,
721
She said with trembling chance: “Is this the cause?
722
This all? Yet it is strange, and sad, alas!
723
That one who through this middle earth should pass
724
Most like a sojourning demi-god, and leave
725
His name upon the harp-string, should achieve
726
No higher bard than simple maidenhood,
727
Singing alone, and fearfully,—how the blood
728
Left his young cheek; and how he used to stray
729
He knew not where; and how he would say, nay,
730
If any saidtwas love: and yettwas love;
731
What could it be but love? How a ring-dove
732
Let fall a sprig of yew tree in his path;
733
And how he died: and then, that love doth scathe,
734
The gentle heart, as northern blasts do roses;
735
And then the ballad of his sad life closes
736
With sighs, and an alas!—Endymion!
737
Be rather in the trumpet’s mouth,—anon
738
Among the winds at largethat all may hearken!
739
Although, before the crystal heavens darken,
740
I watch and dote upon the silver lakes
741
Pictur’d in western cloudiness, that takes
742
The semblance of gold rocks and bright gold sands,
743
Islands, and creeks, and amber-fretted strands
744
With horses prancing o’er them, palaces
745
And towers of amethyst,—would I so tease
746
My pleasant days, because I could not mount
747
Into those regions? The Morphean fount
748
Of that fine element that visions, dreams,
749
And fitful whims of sleep are made of, streams
750
Into its airy channels with so subtle,
751
So thin a breathing, not the spider’s shuttle,
752
Circled a million times within the space
753
Of a swallow’s nest-door, could delay a trace,
754
A tinting of its quality: how light
755
Must dreams themselves be; seeing theyre more slight
756
Than the mere nothing that engenders them!
757
Then wherefore sully the entrusted gem
758
Of high and noble life with thoughts so sick?
759
Why pierce high-fronted honour to the quick
760
For nothing but a dream?” Hereat the youth
761
Look’d up: a conflicting of shame and ruth
762
Was in his plaited brow: yet his eyelids
763
Widened a little, as when Zephyr bids
764
A little breeze to creep between the fans
765
Of careless butterflies: amid his pains
766
He seem’d to taste a drop of manna-dew,
767
Full palatable; and a colour grew
768
Upon his cheek, while thus he lifeful spake.
 
769
Peona! ever have I long’d to slake
770
My thirst for the world’s praises: nothing base,
771
No merely slumberous phantasm, could unlace
772
The stubborn canvas for my voyage prepar’d—
773
Though nowtis tatter’d; leaving my bark bar’d
774
And sullenly drifting: yet my higher hope
775
Is of too wide, too rainbow-large a scope,
776
To fret at myriads of earthly wrecks.
777
Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
778
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
779
A fellowship with essence; till we shine,
780
Full alchemiz’d, and free of space. Behold
781
The clear religion of heaven! Fold
782
A rose leaf round thy finger’s taperness,
783
And soothe thy lips: hist, when the airy stress
784
Of music’s kiss impregnates the free winds,
785
And with a sympathetic touch unbinds
786
Eolian magic from their lucid wombs:
787
Then old songs waken from enclouded tombs;
788
Old ditties sigh above their father’s grave;
789
Ghosts of melodious prophecyings rave
790
Round every spot where trod Apollo’s foot;
791
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit,
792
Where long ago a giant battle was;
793
And, from the turf, a lullaby doth pass
794
In every place where infant Orpheus slept.
795
Feel we these things?—that moment have we stept
796
Into a sort of oneness, and our state
797
Is like a floating spirit’s. But there are
798
Richer entanglements, enthralments far
799
More self-destroying, leading, by degrees,
800
To the chief intensity: the crown of these
801
Is made of love and friendship, and sits high
802
Upon the forehead of humanity.
803
All its more ponderous and bulky worth
804
Is friendship, whence there ever issues forth
805
A steady splendour; but at the tip-top,
806
There hangs by unseen film, an orbed drop
807
Of light, and that is love: its influence,
808
Thrown in our eyes, genders a novel sense,
809
At which we start and fret; till in the end,
810
Melting into its radiance, we blend,
811
Mingle, and so become a part of it,—
812
Nor with aught else can our souls interknit
813
So wingedly: when we combine therewith,
814
Life’s self is nourish’d by its proper pith,
815
And we are nurtured like a pelican brood.
816
Aye, so delicious is the unsating food,
817
That men, who might have tower’d in the van
818
Of all the congregated world, to fan
819
And winnow from the coming step of time
820
All chaff of custom, wipe away all slime
821
Left by men-slugs and human serpentry,
822
Have been content to let occasion die,
823
Whilst they did sleep in love’s elysium.
824
And, truly, I would rather be struck dumb,
825
Than speak against this ardent listlessness:
826
For I have ever thought that it might bless
827
The world with benefits unknowingly;
828
As does the nightingale, upperched high,
829
And cloister’d among cool and bunched leaves
830
She sings but to her love, nor e’er conceives
831
How tiptoe Night holds back her dark-grey hood.
832
Just so may love, althoughtis understood
833
The mere commingling of passionate breath,
834
Produce more than our searching witnesseth:
835
What I know not: but who, of men, can tell
836
That flowers would bloom, or that green fruit would swell
837
To melting pulp, that fish would have bright mail,
838
The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale,
839
The meadows runnels, runnels pebble-stones,
840
The seed its harvest, or the lute its tones,
841
Tones ravishment, or ravishment its sweet,
842
If human souls did never kiss and greet?
 
843
Now, if this earthly love has power to make
844
Men’s being mortal, immortal; to shake
845
Ambition from their memories, and brim
846
Their measure of content; what merest whim,
847
Seems all this poor endeavour after fame,
848
To one, who keeps within his stedfast aim
849
A love immortal, an immortal too.
850
Look not so wilder’d; for these things are true,
851
And never can be born of atomies
852
That buzz about our slumbers, like brain-flies,
853
Leaving us fancy-sick. No, no, I’m sure,
854
My restless spirit never could endure
855
To brood so long upon one luxury,
856
Unless it did, though fearfully, espy
857
A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.
858
My sayings will the less obscured seem,
859
When I have told thee how my waking sight
860
Has made me scruple whether that same night
861
Was pass’d in dreaming. Hearken, sweet Peona!
862
Beyond the matron-temple of Latona,
863
Which we should see but for these darkening boughs,
864
Lies a deep hollow, from whose ragged brows
865
Bushes and trees do lean all round athwart,
866
And meet so nearly, that with wings outraught,
867
And spreaded tail, a vulture could not glide
868
Past them, but he must brush on every side.
869
Some moulder’d steps lead into this cool cell,
870
Far as the slabbed margin of a well,
871
Whose patient level peeps its crystal eye
872
Right upward, through the bushes, to the sky.
873
Oft have I brought thee flowers, on their stalks set
874
Like vestal primroses, but dark velvet
875
Edges them round, and they have golden pits:
876
Twas there I got them, from the gaps and slits
877
In a mossy stone, that sometimes was my seat,
878
When all above was faint with mid-day heat.
879
And there in strife no burning thoughts to heed,
880
I’d bubble up the water through a reed;
881
So reaching back to boy-hood: make me ships
882
Of moulted feathers, touchwood, alder chips,
883
With leaves stuck in them; and the Neptune be
884
Of their petty ocean. Oftener, heavily,
885
When love-lorn hours had left me less a child,
886
I sat contemplating the figures wild
887
Of o’er-head clouds melting the mirror through.
888
Upon a day, while thus I watch’d, by flew
889
A cloudy Cupid, with his bow and quiver;
890
So plainly character’d, no breeze would shiver
891
The happy chance: so happy, I was fain
892
To follow it upon the open plain,
893
And, therefore, was just going; when, behold!
894
A wonder, fair as any I have told
895
The same bright face I tasted in my sleep,
896
Smiling in the clear well. My heart did leap
897
Through the cool depth.—It moved as if to flee
898
I started up, when lo! refreshfully,
899
There came upon my face, in plenteous showers,
900
Dew-drops, and dewy buds, and leaves, and flowers,
901
Wrapping all objects from my smothered sight,
902
Bathing my spirit in a new delight.
903
Aye, such a breathless honey-feel of bliss
904
Alone preserved me from the drear abyss
905
Of death, for the fair form had gone again.
906
Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain
907
Clings cruelly to us, like the gnawing sloth
908
On the deer’s tender haunches: late, and loth,
909
Tis scar’d away by slow returning pleasure.
910
How sickening, how dark the dreadful leisure
911
Of weary days, made deeper exquisite,
912
By a fore-knowledge of unslumbrous night!
913
Like sorrow came upon me, heavier still,
914
Than when I wander’d from the poppy hill:
915
And a whole age of lingering moments crept
916
Sluggishly by, ere more contentment swept
917
Away at once the deadly yellow spleen.
918
Yes, thrice have I this fair enchantment seen;
919
Once more been tortured with renewed life.
920
When last the wintry gusts gave over strife
921
With the conquering sun of spring, and left the skies
922
Warm and serene, but yet with moistened eyes
923
In pity of the shatter’d