1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Keats

N. R., in "Epistle to W. W." Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany NS 11 (September 1822) 313.



But leaving all such for a truer humanity,
Pure and unhaunted by sick dreams or vanity,
How we'd turn us to Nature's own nursling, John Keats!
And revel deep, deep on his nectarious sweets;
Drinking in the warm beauty, the tremulous graces,
The rich lights, and sweet odours, and glow of bright faces,
Sky-tinted, whose magical influence blended,
Pours on earth the full bliss of the Heaven he's ascended!
How we'd bask in that luscious, yet delicate dream
Of sweet Madeline, steep'd in the beautiful gleam
Of the blessed moonlight, while her lover stood by!
Or list the long-breathing and odorous sigh,
Which swells from the kind poet's heart as he's weeping,
With deep-thoughted grief, o'er fair Isabel, keeping
Her sweet Basil wet with her tears! — then how long
Would we brood o'er that lovely and tender night-song,
Which pours such a warm gush of sorrow, touch'd finely
With all that makes human grief soften divinely,
Into a still heart-wrapping beauty of feeling,
And turns into balm all the woe it is stealing;
Where the notes come all panting and trembling in gushes,
And blend with each other like beautiful flushes
Of rich golden light, on a sweet eve of autumn,
When the quivering heads of the bright flowers have caught 'em.