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So that the waving of his plumes would be
pendent, And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent.
Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated, The sweet-lipp'd ladies have already greeted All the green leaves that round the window clamber, To show their purple stars, and bells of amber. Sir Gondibert has doff'd his shining steel, Gladdening in the free and airy feel Of a light mantle; and while Clerimond Is looking round about him with a fond And placid eye, young Calidore is burning To hear of knightly deeds, and gallant spurning
Of all unworthiness; and how the strong of arm
OMAN! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
fancies; Without that modest softening that enhances ' The downcast eye, repentant of the pain That its mild light creates to heal again;
E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,
E'en then my soul with exultation dances, For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain : But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,
Heavens! how desperately do I adore
Thy winning graces ;- to be thy defender
I hotly burn - to be a Calidore — A very Red Cross Knight - a stout Leander
Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.
Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair;
Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;
Are things on which the dazzled senses rest Till the fond, fixed eyes forget they stare. From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare
To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd
They be of what is worthy, though not drest In lovely modesty, and virtues rare. Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;
These lures I straight forget,-e'en ere I dine, Or thrice my palate moisten : but when I mark
Such charms with mild intelligences shine, My ear is open like a greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.
Ah! who can e'er forget so fair a being ?
Who can forget her half-retiring sweets ?
God! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,
Will never give him pinions, who intreats
Such innocence to ruin - who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty; when I hear
A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near:
Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.
[This poem was suggested to Keats by a delightful summer's-day, as he stood beside the gate that leads from the pathway on Hampstead Heath into a field by Caen Wood: he told his friend Clarke that when he wrote “ Linger awhile upon some bending planks,” etc., he had in his mind the rail of a foot-bridge that spanned a little brook in the last field upon entering Edmonton, and over which they had often walked together.]
Places of nestling green for poets made.
Story of Rimini.
STOOD tiptoe upon a little hill,
The air was cooling, and so very still, That the sweet buds which with a modest pride Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside, Their scanty-leaved, and finely-tapering stems, Had not yet lost their starry diadems Caught from the early sobbing of the morn. The clouds were pure and white as flocks new-shorn, And fresh from the clear brook; sweetly they slept On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept A little noiseless noise among the leaves, Born of the very sigh that silence heaves; For not the faintest motion could be seen Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green. There was wide wandering for the greediest eye, To peer about upon variety; Far round the horizon's crystal air to skim, And trace the dwindled edgings of its brim; To picture out the quaint and curious bending Of a fresh woodland alley never-ending: Or by the bowery clefts, and leafy shelves, Guess where the jaunty streams refresh themselves. I gazed awhile, and felt as light and free
As though the fanning wings of Mercury
A filbert hedge with wildbriar overtwined, And clumps of woodbine taking the soft wind Upon their summer thrones; there too should be The frequent chequer of a youngling tree, That with a score of light green brethren shoots From the quaint mossiness of aged roots : Round which is heard a spring-head of clear waters, Babbling so wildly of its lovely daughters, The spreading blue-bells: it may haply mourn That such fair clusters should be rudely torn From their fresh beds, and scatter'd thoughtlessly By infant hands, left on the path to die.
Open afresh your round of starry folds, Ye ardent marigolds ! Dry up the moisture from your golden lids, For great Apollo bids That in these days your praises should be sung On many harps, which he has lately strung; And when again your dewiness he kisses, Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses : VOL. II.