1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Keats

Thomas M—s, "Three Sonnets to John Keats" Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction 12 (5 July 1828) 4-5.



I can think of thee! now that the light spring
Showers live in the rich breezes, and the dyes
Of the glad flowers are won from her blue eyes
Exulting; whilst loud songs, on the fleet wing
Of the Earth's seraphs, bear her welcoming
From it to heaven, and, up the far skies,
From turf-born censers floods of incense rise.
I can think of thee in my wandering;
And when the heart leaps up within to bless
The sights of love and beauty, on each hand,—
The pouring out of sky-sprung happiness
Over the dancing sea and the green land,
Thought wakes one saddening thrill of bitterness—
Thou canst not o'er this Eden smiling stand!

Yes! even as the quick glow of Spring's first smile
Is unto the renewed spirit, — even
As that abundant gush of wine from Heaven
Loosens the dreary grasp of Cares which coil
Round the lone heart like serpents, — the sweet toil
Of draining the dear dream-cup thou hast given
Is unto me, — and thoughts which long have striven
With joyousness, flit far away the while
My lips are prest to it. By the fire-light,
Or in full gaze of sun-set, when the choirs
Of winged minstrels, waking out of light,
Ring requiem meet to those departing fires—
Let me be with thee then — forgetting quite
The world, its scornfulness, and its desires.

O! I could weep for thee! and yet not tears
Of of hopelessness, but triumph, and sit down
And weave for thee wet wild-flowers for a crown—
Then up, and sound rich music in thine ears,
And teach thee, that sweep lips, in coming years,
Shall lisp the songs which cold dull hearts disown,—
That all which hope could pant for thee is thine own,—
Dimmed, for a moment's space, with human fears.
Then watch the new-born glories in thine eye,
Glancing like lightning from its chariot cloud,
And list these words, which know not how to die,—
Joy's inspiration gushing forth aloud:
Then back again unto the world and sigh,
And wrap my heart up in a dusky shroud.