Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loath?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft
pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit dities of no
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal---yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast
not thy bliss
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the
And, happy melodist, unweari-ed,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us
out of thought
As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth
beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
On October 29, 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley , wrote a letter to Leigh Hunt's wife, Marianne, on Keats' work:
"'Keats' new volume has arrived to us, & the fragment called Hyperion promises for him that he is destined to become one of the first writers of the age. - His other things are imperfect enough.... Where is Keats now? I am anxiously expecting him in Italy where I shall take care to bestow every possible attention on him. I consider his a most valuable life, & I am deeply interested in his safety. I intend to be the physician both of his body & his soul, to keep the one warm & to teach the other Greek & Spanish. I am aware indeed that I am nourishing a rival who will far surpass me and this is an additional motive & will be an added