Sunday, November 30, 2014

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer -- John Keats (1795-1821)


MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold, 
  And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 
  Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. 
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told         5
  That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: 
  Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
  When a new planet swims into his ken;  10
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes 
  He stared at the Pacific—and all his men 
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise— 
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


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