Imagens da página

Grateful for thy little store,
Never murmuring thou for more,
Yet some wanton, cruel boy
In a moment may destroy

All thy joys, and scatter wide
The home which love and skill provide,
And thou to fill the bag of game,
Fall victim to the sportsman's aim.

Let man, endowed with reason-sense,
Likened to omnipotence,
Murmuring e'er at God's decrec,
Learn the lesson taught by thee!


All that the imagination can conceive of a poet is to be found in the beautiful portrait of Keats. The high, intellectual forehead, with its clustering curls, those dreamy eyes, the saddened expression which appears to premise a future, ever casting its shadow before, would seem to excite the sympathy as well as admiration of the beholder. Born in obscurity, with surroundings that would vulgarize an ordinary mind, he, by the force of the “divine within him," raised himself above all obstacles to a recognition high, even among the gifted of the land.


Those impediments or barriers which might deter one less earnest were to him incen. tives. He felt himself to be the arbiter of his own destiny, and he labored with a manly independence and a lofty determination to win for himself the glory of the poet's bay. His life was circled in the short span of twenty-four years. The seeds of disease

sown in his infancy. His days were a struggle between weakness of body and vigor of intellect (averse as this may be to the popular idea of corporeal sympathy, it was in his case nevertheless true), and yet he determined to follow the path of his choice, to win for himself that position from which his lowly lot would seem to debar him.

Keats is best known to us as the author of “Endymion” and “St. Agnes' Eve;" either one is an immortality. The opening of “ Endymion” is an earnest of the whole. As a proof of its beauty, the first line is a popular quotation :

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness, but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams and health and quiet breathing."

[ocr errors]

The pleasure of his muse is told in what follows:

[ocr errors]

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my. being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys; so I will begin


while cannot hear the city's din; Now while the early budders are just new, And run in mazes of the youngest hue About old forests; while the willow trails In delicate ambers, and the dairy pails Bring home increase of milk. And as the year Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer My little boat for many quiet hours, With streams that deepen freshly into bowers. Many and many a verse I hope to write Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white, Hide in deep herbage, and ere yet the bees Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas, I must be near the middle of my story. O, may no wintry season bare and hoary See it half finished ; but let autumn bold, With universal tinge of sober gold, Be all about me when I make an end. And now at once adventuresome I send My herald thoughts into a wilderness; There let its trumpet blow and quickly dress

« AnteriorContinuar »