In this category:

Or see the index

All categories

  1. CINEMA, RADIO & TV
  2. DANCE
  3. DICTIONARY OF IDEAS
  4. EXHIBITION – art, art history, photos, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ready-mades, video, performing arts, collages, gallery, etc.
  5. FICTION & NON-FICTION – books, booklovers, lit. history, biography, essays, translations, short stories, columns, literature: celtic, beat, travesty, war, dada & de stijl, drugs, dead poets
  6. FLEURSDUMAL POETRY LIBRARY – classic, modern, experimental & visual & sound poetry, poetry in translation, city poets, poetry archive, pre-raphaelites, editor's choice, etc.
  7. LITERARY NEWS & EVENTS – art & literature news, in memoriam, festivals, city-poets, writers in Residence
  8. MONTAIGNE
  9. MUSEUM OF LOST CONCEPTS – invisible poetry, conceptual writing, spurensicherung
  10. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – department of ravens & crows, birds of prey, riding a zebra
  11. MUSEUM OF PUBLIC PROTEST- photos, texts, videos, street poetry
  12. MUSIC
  13. PRESS & PUBLISHING
  14. REPRESSION OF WRITERS, JOURNALISTS & ARTISTS
  15. STORY ARCHIVE – olv van de veestraat, reading room, tales for fellow citizens
  16. STREET POETRY
  17. THEATRE
  18. TOMBEAU DE LA JEUNESSE – early death: writers, poets & artists who died young
  19. ULTIMATE LIBRARY – danse macabre, ex libris, grimm and others, fairy tales, the art of reading, tales of mystery & imagination, sherlock holmes theatre, erotic poetry, the ideal woman
  20. ·




  1. Subscribe to new material:
    RSS     ATOM

Keats, John

· John KEATS: Ode On A Grecian Urn · LEIGH HUNT: On Receiving A Crown Of Ivy From JOHN KEATS · LETTER TO LEIGH HUNT BY JOHN KEATS · LEIGH HUNT: TO JOHN KEATS · SIDNEY LANIER: CLOVER · JOHN KEATS: TO MRS REYNOLDS’S CAT · LIZETTE WOODWORTH REESE: KEATS · John Keats: When I Have Fears · John Keats: Fancy · John Keats: When I Have Fears · John Keats: Ode to a nightingale, vertaling C. W. Schoneveld · John Keats: To some ladies

»» there is more...

John KEATS: Ode On A Grecian Urn

John Keats
Ode On A Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d 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 loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
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 endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
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,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
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 waste,
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.”

John Keats (1795 – 1821)
Ode On A Grecian Urn
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Keats, John


LEIGH HUNT: On Receiving A Crown Of Ivy From JOHN KEATS

huntLEIGH011

Leigh Hunt
(1784 – 1859)

On Receiving A Crown Of Ivy From John Keats

A Crown of of ivy! I submit my head
To the young hand that gives it, –young, ’tis true,
But with a right, for ’tis a poet’s too.
How pleasant the leaves feel! and how they spread
With their broad angles, like a nodding shed
Over both eyes! and how complete and new,
As on my hand I lean, to feel them strew
My sense with freshness, — Fancy’s rustling bed!
Tress-tossing girls, with smell of flowers and grapes
Come dancing by, and downward piping cheeks,
And up-thrown cymbals, and Silenus old
Lumpishly borne, and many trampling shapes,–
And lastly, with his bright eyes on her bent,
Bacchus, — whose bride has of his hand fast hold.

Leigh Hunt poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive K-L, Hunt, Leigh, Keats, John


LETTER TO LEIGH HUNT BY JOHN KEATS

huntLEIGH011Letter to Leigh Hunt by John Keats

Margate, May 10th, 1817

My dear Hunt

The little Gentleman that sometimes lurks in a gossips bowl ought to have come in very likeness of a coasted crab and choaked me outright for not having answered your Letter ere this – however you must not suppose that I was in Town to receive it, no, it followed me to the isle of Wight and I got it just as I was going to pack up for Margate, for reasons which you anon shall hear. On arriving at this treeless affair I wrote to my Brother George to request C. C. C. to do the thing you wot of respecting Rimini; and George tells me he has undertaken it with great Pleasure; so I hope there has been an understanding between you for many Proofs – – C. C. C. is well acquainted with Bensley. Now why did you not send the Key of your Cupboard which I know was full of Papers? We would have lock’d them all in a trunk together with those you told me to destroy; which indeed I did not do for fear of demolishing Receipts. There not being a more unpleasant thing in the world (saving a thousand and one others) than to pay a Bill twice. Mind you – old Wood’s a very Varmant – sharded in Covetousness – And now I am upon a horrid subject – what a horrid one you were upon last sunday and well you handled it. The last Examiner was a Battering Ram against Christianity – Blasphemy – Tertullian – Erasmus – Sr. Philip Sidney. And then the dreadful Petzelians and their expiation by Blood – and do Christians shudder at the same thing in a Newspaper which they attribute to their God in its most aggravated form? What is to be the end of this? I must mention Hazlitt’s Southey – O that he had left out the grey hairs! Or that they had been in any other Paper not concluding with such a Thunderclap – that sentence about making a Page of the feeling of a whole life appears to me like a Whale’s back in the Sea of Prose. I ought to have said a word on Shakspeare’s Chrisitanity – there are two, which I have not looked over with you, touching the thing: the one for, the other against. That in favour is in Measure for Measure Act 2. S. 2 Isab. Alas! alas!

Why all the Souls that were, were forfeit once And he that might the vantage best have took, Found out the Remedy –

That against is in Twelfth Night. Act 3. S. 2. Maria – for there is no Christian, that means to be saved by believing rightly, can ever believe such impossible Passages of grossness! Before I come to the Nymphs I must get through all disagreeables – I went to the Isle of Wight – thought so much about Poetry so long together that I could not get to sleep at night – and moreover, I know not how it was, I could not get wholesome food – By this means in a Week or so I became not over capable in my upper Stories, and set off pell mell for Margate, at least 150 Miles – because forsooth I fancied that I should like my old Lodging here, and could contrive to do without Trees. Another thing I was too much in Solitude, and consequently was obliged to be in continual burning of thought as an only resource. However Tom is with me at present and we are very comfortable. We intend though to get among some Trees. How have you got on among them? How are the Nymphs? I suppose they have led you a fine dance – Where are you now. In Judea, Cappadocia, or the Parts of Lybia about Cyrene, Strangers from “Heaven, Hues and Prototypes. I wager you have given several new turns to the old saying “Now the Maid was fair and pleasant to look on” as well as made a little variation in “once upon a time” perhaps too you have rather varied “thus endeth the first Lesson” I hope you have made a Horseshoebusiness of – “unsuperfluous lift” “faint Bowers” and fibrous roots. I vow that I have been down in the Mouth lately at this Work. These last two days however I have felt more confident – I have asked myself so often why I should be a Poet more than other Men, – seeing how great a thing it is, – how great things are to be gained by it – What a thing to be in the Mouth of Fame – that at last the Idea has grown so monstrously beyond my seeming Power of attainment that the other day I nearly consented with myself to drop into a Phæton – yet ’tis a disgrace to fail even in a huge attempt, and at this moment I drive the thought from me. I began my Poem about a Fortnight since and have done some every day except travelling ones – Perhaps I may have done a good deal for the time but it appears such a Pin’s Point to me that I will not coppy any out. When I consider that so many of these Pin points go to form a Bodkin point (God send I end not my Life with a bare Bodkin, in its modern sense) and that it requires a thousand and more unpleasant (it may come among the thousand and one) than to be so journeying and miss the Goal at last. But I intend to whistle all these cogitations into the Sea where I hope they will breed Storms violent enough to block up all exit from Russia. Does Shelley go on telling strange Stories of the Death of Kings? Tell him there are strange Stories of the death of Poets – some have died before they were conceived “how do you make that out Master Vellum”. Does Mrs. S. cut Bread and Butter as neatly as ever? Tell her to procure some fatal Scissors and cut the thread of Life of all to be disappointed Poets. Does Mrs Hunt tear linen in half as straight as ever? Tell her to tear from the book of Life all blank Leaves. Remember me to them all – to Miss Kent and the little ones all.

Your sincere friend

John Keats alias Junkets

Letter to Leigh Hunt (1784 – 1859) by John Keats (1795 – 1821)
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive K-L, Hunt, Leigh, Keats, John


LEIGH HUNT: TO JOHN KEATS

leighunt

Leigh Hunt
(1784 – 1859)

To John Keats

‘Tis well you think me truly one of those,
Whose sense discerns the loveliness of things;
For surely as I feel the bird that sings
Behind the leaves, or dawn as it up grows,
Or the rich bee rejoicing as he goes,
Or the glad issue of emerging springs,
Or overhead the glide of a dove’s wings,
Or turf, or trees, or, midst of all, repose.
And surely as I feel things lovelier still,
The human look, and the harmonious form
Containing woman, and the smile in ill,
And such a heart as Charles’s, wise and warm,–
As surely as all this, I see, ev’n now,
Young Keats, a flowering laurel on your brow.

Leigh Hunt poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive K-L, Hunt, Leigh, Keats, John


SIDNEY LANIER: CLOVER

lanier_sc111
Sidney Lanier
(1842 – 1881)

Clover
Inscribed to the Memory of John Keats

Dear uplands, Chester’s favorable fields,
My large unjealous Loves, many yet one —
A grave good-morrow to your Graces, all,
Fair tilth and fruitful seasons!
Lo, how still!
The midmorn empties you of men, save me;
Speak to your lover, meadows! None can hear.
I lie as lies yon placid Brandywine,
Holding the hills and heavens in my heart
For contemplation.
‘Tis a perfect hour.
From founts of dawn the fluent autumn day
Has rippled as a brook right pleasantly
Half-way to noon; but now with widening turn
Makes pause, in lucent meditation locked,
And rounds into a silver pool of morn,
Bottom’d with clover-fields. My heart just hears
Eight lingering strokes of some far village-bell,
That speak the hour so inward-voiced, meseems
Time’s conscience has but whispered him eight hints
Of revolution. Reigns that mild surcease
That stills the middle of each rural morn —
When nimble noises that with sunrise ran
About the farms have sunk again to rest;
When Tom no more across the horse-lot calls
To sleepy Dick, nor Dick husk-voiced upbraids
The sway-back’d roan for stamping on his foot
With sulphurous oath and kick in flank, what time
The cart-chain clinks across the slanting shaft,
And, kitchenward, the rattling bucket plumps
Souse down the well, where quivering ducks quack loud,
And Susan Cook is singing.
Up the sky
The hesitating moon slow trembles on,
Faint as a new-washed soul but lately up
From out a buried body. Far about,
A hundred slopes in hundred fantasies
Most ravishingly run, so smooth of curve
That I but seem to see the fluent plain
Rise toward a rain of clover-blooms, as lakes
Pout gentle mounds of plashment up to meet
Big shower-drops. Now the little winds, as bees,
Bowing the blooms come wandering where I lie
Mixt soul and body with the clover-tufts,
Light on my spirit, give from wing and thigh
Rich pollens and divine sweet irritants
To every nerve, and freshly make report
Of inmost Nature’s secret autumn-thought
Unto some soul of sense within my frame
That owns each cognizance of the outlying five,
And sees, hears, tastes, smells, touches, all in one.

Tell me, dear Clover (since my soul is thine,
Since I am fain give study all the day,
To make thy ways my ways, thy service mine,
To seek me out thy God, my God to be,
And die from out myself to live in thee) —
Now, Cousin Clover, tell me in mine ear:
Go’st thou to market with thy pink and green?
Of what avail, this color and this grace?
Wert thou but squat of stem and brindle-brown,
Still careless herds would feed. A poet, thou:
What worth, what worth, the whole of all thine art?
Three-Leaves, instruct me! I am sick of price.
Framed in the arching of two clover-stems
Where-through I gaze from off my hill, afar,
The spacious fields from me to Heaven take on
Tremors of change and new significance
To th’ eye, as to the ear a simple tale
Begins to hint a parable’s sense beneath.
The prospect widens, cuts all bounds of blue
Where horizontal limits bend, and spreads
Into a curious-hill’d and curious-valley’d Vast,
Endless before, behind, around; which seems
Th’ incalculable Up-and-Down of Time
Made plain before mine eyes. The clover-stems
Still cover all the space; but now they bear,
For clover-blooms, fair, stately heads of men
With poets’ faces heartsome, dear and pale —
Sweet visages of all the souls of time
Whose loving service to the world has been
In the artist’s way expressed and bodied. Oh,
In arms’ reach, here be Dante, Keats, Chopin,
Raphael, Lucretius, Omar, Angelo,
Beethoven, Chaucer, Schubert, Shakespeare, Bach,
And Buddha (sweetest masters! Let me lay
These arms this once, this humble once, about
Your reverend necks — the most containing clasp,
For all in all, this world e’er saw!) and there,
Yet further on, bright throngs unnamable
Of workers worshipful, nobilities
In the Court of Gentle Service, silent men,
Dwellers in woods, brooders on helpful art,
And all the press of them, the fair, the large,
That wrought with beauty.
Lo, what bulk is here?
Now comes the Course-of-things, shaped like an Ox,
Slow browsing, o’er my hillside, ponderously —
The huge-brawned, tame, and workful Course-of-things,
That hath his grass, if earth be round or flat,
And hath his grass, if empires plunge in pain
Or faiths flash out. This cool, unasking Ox
Comes browsing o’er my hills and vales of Time,
And thrusts me out his tongue, and curls it, sharp,
And sicklewise, about my poets’ heads,
And twists them in, all — Dante, Keats, Chopin,
Raphael, Lucretius, Omar, Angelo,
Beethoven, Chaucer, Schubert, Shakespeare, Bach,
And Buddha, in one sheaf — and champs and chews,
With slantly-churning jaws, and swallows down;
Then slowly plants a mighty forefoot out,
And makes advance to futureward, one inch.
So: they have played their part.
And to this end?
This, God? This, troublous-breeding Earth? This, Sun
Of hot, quick pains? To this no-end that ends,
These Masters wrought, and wept, and sweated blood,
And burned, and loved, and ached with public shame,
And found no friends to breathe their loves to, save
Woods and wet pillows? This was all? This Ox?
“Nay,” quoth a sum of voices in mine ear,
“God’s clover, we, and feed His Course-of-things;
The pasture is God’s pasture; systems strange
Of food and fiberment He hath, whereby
The general brawn is built for plans of His
To quality precise. Kinsman, learn this:
The artist’s market is the heart of man;
The artist’s price, some little good of man.
Tease not thy vision with vain search for ends.
The End of Means is art that works by love.
The End of Ends . . . in God’s Beginning’s lost.”

Summer of 1876

Sidney Lanier poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, CLASSIC POETRY, Keats, John


JOHN KEATS: TO MRS REYNOLDS’S CAT

keatsjohn2

John Keats
(1795-1821)

To Mrs Reynolds’s Cat

Cat! who hast passed thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroyed? How many tit-bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears – but prithee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me, and up-raise
Thy gentle mew, and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists –
For all thy wheezy asthma, and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nicked off, and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enteredst on glass-bottled wall.

John Keats poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Keats, John


LIZETTE WOODWORTH REESE: KEATS

Woodworth_Reese_lizette11

Lizette Woodworth Reese
(1856–1935)

Keats

An English lad, who, reading in a book,
A ponderous, leathern thing set on his knee,
Saw the broad violet of the Egean Sea
Lap at his feet as it were village brook.
Wide was the east; the gusts of morning shook;
Immortal laughter beat along that shore;
Pan, crouching in the reeds, piped as of yore;
The gods came down and thundered from that book.
He lifted his sad eyes; his London street
Swarmed in the sun, and strove to make him heed;
Boys spun their tops, shouting and fair of cheek:
But, still, that violet lapping at his feet,—
An English lad had he sat down to read;
But he rose up and knew himself a Greek.

Lizette Woodworth Reese poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, CLASSIC POETRY, Keats, John


John Keats: When I Have Fears

- keats

John Keats

(1795 – 1821)

 

When I Have Fears

 

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-piled books, in charactery,

Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;

 

When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

 

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the fairy power

Of unreflecting love; – then on the shore

 

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

 

John Keats poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, John Keats, Keats, John


John Keats: Fancy

John Keats
(1795-1821)

 

Fancy

Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter’s night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overaw’d,
Fancy, high-commission’d:–send her!
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
From dewy sward or thorny spray;
All the heaped Autumn’s wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:–thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same moment, hark!
‘Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plum’d lillies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearled with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering,
While the autumn breezes sing.

Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?
Where’s the eye, however blue,
Doth not weary? Where’s the face
One would meet in every place?
Where’s the voice, however soft,
One would hear so very oft?
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
Let, then, winged Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind:
Dulcet-ey’d as Ceres’ daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her
How to frown and how to chide;
With a waist and with a side
White as Hebe’s, when her zone
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet
And Jove grew languid.–Break the mesh
Of the Fancy’s silken leash;
Quickly break her prison-string
And such joys as these she’ll bring.–
Let the winged Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.

 

John Keats poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, John Keats, Keats, John


John Keats: When I Have Fears

John Keats

(1795 – 1821)

When I Have Fears

 

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-piled books, in charactery,

Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;

 

When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

 

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the fairy power

Of unreflecting love; – then on the shore

 

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

 

John Keats poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, John Keats, Keats, John


John Keats: Ode to a nightingale, vertaling C. W. Schoneveld

John Keats
(1795–1821)

 

Ode to a nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,–
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain–
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:–Do I wake or sleep?

 

Ode aan een nachtegaal

Hartzeer en lome sufheid plaagt mijn geest,
Alsof ‘k een kerveldrank mij had bereid,
Of juist aan duffe opium was geweest
En was verzonken in vergetelheid:
‘t Komt niet door afgunst op jouw gunstig lot
Maar door te grote vreugd om jouw geluk, –
Dat jij, die vederlichte nimf van ‘t woud,
Vol melodiegenot
In ‘t schaduwrijke groen, zo druk
En zoetgevooisd een zomerzangfeest houdt.

O, gun mij een goede wijn! gekoeld bewaard
Diep in de grond, in jaren niet verzet,
Smakend naar Flora en de groene gaard,
Dans, Provençaalse zang, en zonnepret!
O, dat vol zuiderwarmte een glas hier stond,
Vol blozende en ware Hippocreen,
Met luchtbelkraaltjes glinsterend aan de rand,
En paars-gevlekte mond;
Dat ik mij laafde en uit het zicht verdween,
Met jou vervaagd in ‘t schimmig bomenland:

Vervaagd naar ver, versmolten, en gans kwijt
Wat tussen ‘t groen jij nooit hebt opgemerkt:
De sleur, de onrust en de narigheid
Alhier, waar men elkaars gekreun verwerkt;
Waar ziekte ‘t laatste, arm, grijs haar aantast,
Waar – ‘n bleke, magere schim – de jongen sterft;
Waar ‘t denken zelf al leidt tot diepe zorgen
En wanhoop’s loden last,
Waar ‘t oog van Schoonheid snel haar schittering derft,
Of nieuwe Liefd’ haar niet begeert na morgen.

Naar ver! naar ver! want ‘k volg jouw melodie,
Niet weggekard door Bacchus’ luipaard-span,
Maar op de blinde wiek der Poëzie,
Hoewel het trage brein dwarsliggen kan:
Teer is de nacht, bij jou daar in ‘t verschiet!
En ook, door al haar sterren-feeën omringd,
Zit op haar vorstentroon tevree de Maan;
Licht is híer echter niet,
Behalve wat uit hemelbriezen blinkt
Op somber groen en ‘t mos der slingerlaan.

Ik heb geen zicht op bloemen aan mijn voet,
Of welke wierook aan de takken hangt,
Maar raad in ‘t donker elk welriekend zoet
Dat bosje, vruchtboom wild, en gras ontvangt,
Geschonken door het passend jaargetij;
Rustieke egelantier en haagdoorn wit;
Viooltjes, snel verwelkt, door blad omhuld;
En ‘t oudste kind van Mei,
De muskusroos, waar nevelwijn in zit,
Op ‘n zomernacht met vlieggezoem gevuld.

In ‘t duister luister ik; en ik heb vaak
De Dood, die kalm maakt, half verliefd gekust,
Liefkoosde hem ook vaak met dichtersspraak,
Om lucht te geven aan mijn ademrust;
Nu meer dan ooit schijnt mij het sterven rijk,
Een middennachtelijk einde, vrij van pijn,
Terwijl jouw ziel zich uitstort uit ‘t gewas
En hoe hartstochtelijk!
Dan zong jij door: mijn oor zou nietig zijn –
En bij jouw requiem was ik wat gras.

Eeuwige Vogel! boreling vrij van dood;
Geen hongerbende ondermijnt jouw lot;
De stem die mij dit nachtuur heeft genood
Hoorde vanouds de keizer en de zot:
Misschien dezelfde zang die toegang vond
Tot ‘t droeve hart van Ruth, van heimwee ziek,
In tranen tussen ‘t vreemde koren staand;
Dezelfde die ‘t bestond
Vensters te openen, magisch met muziek,
Naar zeeschuim wild, in ‘n eens betoverd land.

Betoverd! juist het woord dat als een klok
Van jou mij terugluidt enkel naar mijzelf!
Vaarwel! De illusie mist de toverstok
Vaak toegedicht aan die misleidende elf.
Vaarwel! vaarwel! Jouw klaaglied vlucht ook al
Langs weiden hier, over de stille stroom,
De heuvel op, heeft nu een duik gemaakt
Diep in het volgend dal:
Was het een visioen, of wakkere droom?
Weg is het lied: – Slaap ik of ben ‘k ontwaakt?

Vertaling: Cornelis W. Schoneveld


Uit: Bestorm mijn hart, de beste Engelse gedichten uit de 16e-19e eeuw gekozen en vertaald door Cornelis W. Schoneveld, tweetalige editie. Rainbow Essentials no. 55, Uitgeverij Maarten Muntinga, Amsterdam, 2008, 296 pp, € 9,95 ISBN: 9789041740588

Bestorm mijn hart bevat een dwarsdoorsnede van vier eeuwen lyrische Engelse dichtkunst. Dichters uit de zestiende tot en met de negentiende eeuw dichter onder andere over liefde, natuur, dood en religie. Niet alleen de Nederlandse vertaling is in deze bundel te vinden, maar ook de originele Engelse versie. Deze prachtige bloemlezing, met gedichten van onder anderen Shakespeare, Milton, Pope en Wordsworth, is samengesteld en vertaald door Cornelis W. Schoneveld. Hij is vele jaren docent historische Engelse letterkunde en vertaalwetenschapper aan de Universiteit van Leiden geweest.

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, John Keats, Keats, Keats, John


John Keats: To some ladies

John Keats

(1795 – 1821)

 

To some ladies

 

What though while the wonders of nature exploring,

I cannot your light, mazy footsteps attend;

Nor listen to accents, that almost adoring,

Bless Cynthia’s face, the enthusiast’s friend:

 

Yet over the steep, whence the mountain stream rushes,

With you, kindest friends, in idea I rove;

Mark the clear tumbling crystal, its passionate gushes,

Its spray that the wild flower kindly bedews.

 

Why linger you so, the wild labyrinth strolling?

Why breathless, unable your bliss to declare?

Ah! you list to the nightingale’s tender condoling,

Responsive to sylphs, in the moon beamy air.

 

‘Tis morn, and the flowers with dew are yet drooping,

I see you are treading the verge of the sea:

And now! ah, I see it–you just now are stooping

To pick up the keep-sake intended for me.

 

If a cherub, on pinions of silver descending,

Had brought me a gem from the fret-work of heaven;

And smiles, with his star-cheering voice sweetly blending,

The blessings of Tighe had melodiously given;

 

It had not created a warmer emotion

Than the present, fair nymphs, I was blest with from you,

Than the shell, from the bright golden sands of the ocean

Which the emerald waves at your feet gladly threw.

 

For, indeed, ’tis a sweet and peculiar pleasure,

(And blissful is he who such happiness finds,)

To possess but a span of the hour of leisure,

In elegant, pure, and aerial minds.

 

john keats poetry

fleursdumal.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive K-L, John Keats, Keats, John


Older Entries »

Thank you for reading FLEURSDUMAL.NL - magazine for art & literature