Review of Keats's First Volume of Poems (1817), Page 5|
by Leigh Hunt (1817).
A starry Sky.
PAGE 5 OF 7.
The dark silent blue
With all it's diamonds trembling through and through.
Sound of a Pipe.
And some are hearing eagerly the wild
Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping.
The Specimen of an Induction to a Poem, and the fragment of the Poem itself entitled Calidore, contain some very natural touches on the human side of things; as when speaking of a lady who is anxiously looking out on the top of a tower for her defender, he describes her as one
Who cannot feel for cold her tender feet;
and when Calidore has fallen into a fit of amorous abstraction, he says that
——The kind voice of good Sir Clerimond
Came to his ear, as something from beyond
His present being.
The Epistles, the Sonnets, and indeed the whole of the book, contain strong evidences of warm and social feelings, but particularly the Epistle to Charles Cowden Clarke, and the Sonnet to his own Brothers, in which the "faint cracklings" of the coal-fire are said to be
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
A gentle empire o'er the fraternal souls.
The Epistle to Mr. Clarke is very amiable as well as poetical, and equally honourable to both parties,—to the young writer who can be so grateful towards his teacher, and to the teacher who had the sense to perceive his genius, and the qualities to call forth his affection. It consists chiefly of recollections of what his friend had pointed out to him in poetry and in general taste; and the lover of Spenser will readily judge of his preceptor's qualifications, even from a single triplet, in which he is described, with a deep feeling of simplicity, as one
Who had beheld Belphbe in a brook,
And lovely Una in a leafy nook,
And Archimago leaning o'er his book.
The Epistle thus concludes:—
Picture of Companionship.
But many days have past—
Since I have walked with you through shady lanes,
That freshly terminate in open plains,
* * * * *
In those still moments I have wished you joys
That well you know to honour:—"Life's very toys
With him," said I, "will take a pleasant charm;
It cannot be that ought will work him harm."
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