by John Keats
Book II

Book III

   Thus in alternate uproar and sad peace,   Amazed were those Titans utterly.   O leave them, Muse! O leave them to their woes;   For thou art weak to sing such tumults dire:   A solitary sorrow best befits   Thy lips, and antheming a lonely grief.   Leave them, O Muse! for thou anon wilt find   Many a fallen old Divinity   Wandering in vain about bewildered shores.   Meantime touch piously the Delphic harp,   And not a wind of heaven but will breathe   In aid soft warble from the Dorian flute;   For lo! 'tis for the Father of all verse.   Flush every thing that hath a vermeil hue,   Let the rose glow intense and warm the air,   And let the clouds of even and of morn   Float in voluptuous fleeces o'er the hills;   Let the red wine within the goblet boil,   Cold as a bubbling well; let faint-lipp'd shells,   On sands, or in great deeps, vermilion turn   Through all their labyrinths; and let the maid   Blush keenly, as with some warm kiss surpris'd.   Chief isle of the embowered Cyclades,   Rejoice, O Delos, with thine olives green,   And poplars, and lawn-shading palms, and beech,   In which the Zephyr breathes the loudest song,   And hazels thick, dark-stemm'd beneath the shade:   Apollo is once more the golden theme!   Where was he, when the Giant of the Sun   Stood bright, amid the sorrow of his peers?   Together had he left his mother fair   And his twin-sister sleeping in their bower,   And in the morning twilight wandered forth   Beside the osiers of a rivulet,   Full ankle-deep in lilies of the vale.   The nightingale had ceas'd, and a few stars   Were lingering in the heavens, while the thrush   Began calm-throated. Throughout all the isle   There was no covert, no retired cave   Unhaunted by the murmurous noise of waves,   Though scarcely heard in many a green recess.   He listen'd, and he wept, and his bright tears   Went trickling down the golden bow he held.   Thus with half-shut suffused eyes he stood,   While from beneath some cumbrous boughs hard by   With solemn step an awful Goddess came,   And there was purport in her looks for him,   Which he with eager guess began to read   Perplex'd, the while melodiously he said:   "How cam'st thou over the unfooted sea?   Or hath that antique mien and robed form   Mov'd in these vales invisible till now?   Sure I have heard those vestments sweeping o'er   The fallen leaves, when I have sat alone   In cool mid-forest. Surely I have traced   The rustle of those ample skirts about   These grassy solitudes, and seen the flowers   Lift up their heads, as still the whisper pass'd.   Goddess! I have beheld those eyes before,   And their eternal calm, and all that face,   Or I have dream'd." - "Yes," said the supreme shape,   "Thou hast dream'd of me; and awaking up   Didst find a lyre all golden by thy side,   Whose strings touch'd by thy fingers, all the vast   Unwearied ear of the whole universe   Listen'd in pain and pleasure at the birth   Of such new tuneful wonder. Is't not strange   That thou shouldst weep, so gifted? Tell me, youth,   What sorrow thou canst feel; for I am sad   When thou dost shed a tear: explain thy griefs   To one who in this lonely isle hath been   The watcher of thy sleep and hours of life,   From the young day when first thy infant hand   Pluck'd witless the weak flowers, till thine arm   Could bend that bow heroic to all times.   Show thy heart's secret to an ancient Power   Who hath forsaken old and sacred thrones   For prophecies of thee, and for the sake   Of loveliness new born." - Apollo then,   With sudden scrutiny and gloomless eyes,   Thus answer'd, while his white melodious throat   Throbb'd with the syllables. - "Mnemosyne!   Thy name is on my tongue, I know not how;   Why should I tell thee what thou so well seest?   Why should I strive to show what from thy lips   Would come no mystery? For me, dark, dark,   And painful vile oblivion seals my eyes:   I strive to search wherefore I am so sad,   Until a melancholy numbs my limbs;   And then upon the grass I sit, and moan,   Like one who once had wings. - O why should I   Feel curs'd and thwarted, when the liegeless air   Yields to my step aspirant? why should I   Spurn the green turf as hateful to my feet?   Goddess benign, point forth some unknown thing:   Are there not other regions than this isle?   What are the stars? There is the sun, the sun!   And the most patient brilliance of the moon!   And stars by thousands! Point me out the way   To any one particular beauteous star,   And I will flit into it with my lyre,   And make its silvery splendour pant with bliss.   I have heard the cloudy thunder: Where is power?   Whose hand, whose essence, what divinity   Makes this alarum in the elements,   While I here idle listen on the shores   In fearless yet in aching ignorance?   O tell me, lonely Goddess, by thy harp,   That waileth every morn and eventide,   Tell me why thus I rave, about these groves!   Mute thou remainest - mute! yet I can read   A wondrous lesson in thy silent face:   Knowledge enormous makes a God of me.   Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions,   Majesties, sovran voices, agonies,   Creations and destroyings, all at once   Pour into the wide hollows of my brain,   And deify me, as if some blithe wine   Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk,   And so become immortal." - Thus the God,   While his enkindled eyes, with level glance   Beneath his white soft temples, stedfast kept   Trembling with light upon Mnemosyne.   Soon wild commotions shook him, and made flush   All the immortal fairness of his limbs;   Most like the struggle at the gate of death;   Or liker still to one who should take leave   Of pale immortal death, and with a pang   As hot as death's is chill, with fierce convulse   Die into life: so young Apollo anguish'd;   His very hair, his golden tresses famed   Kept undulation round his eager neck.   During the pain Mnemosyne upheld   Her arms as one who prophesied. - At length   Apollo shriek'd; - and lo! from all his limbs   Celestial * * * * * * * * * *   * * * * * * * * * * * * *