John Keats

Here you will find the Long Poem Calidore: A Fragment of poet John Keats

Calidore: A Fragment

Young Calidore is paddling o'er the lake; 
His healthful spirit eager and awake 
To feel the beauty of a silent eve, 
Which seem'd full loath this happy world to leave; 
The light dwelt o'er the scene so lingeringly. 
He bares his forehead to the cool blue sky, 
And smiles at the far clearness all around, 
Until his heart is well nigh over wound, 
And turns for calmness to the pleasant green 
Of easy slopes, and shadowy trees that lean 
So elegantly o'er the waters' brim 
And show their blossoms trim. 
Scarce can his clear and nimble eye-sight follow 
The freaks, and dartings of the black-wing'd swallow, 
Delighting much, to see it half at rest, 
Dip so refreshingly its wings, and breast 
'Gainst the smooth surface, and to mark anon, 
The widening circles into nothing gone. 

And now the sharp keel of his little boat 
Comes up with ripple, and with easy float, 
And glides into a bed of water lillies: 
Broad leav'd are they and their white canopies 
Are upward turn'd to catch the heavens' dew. 
Near to a little island's point they grew; 
Whence Calidore might have the goodliest view 
Of this sweet spot of earth. The bowery shore 
Went off in gentle windings to the hoar 
And light blue mountains: but no breathing man 
With a warm heart, and eye prepared to scan 
Nature's clear beauty, could pass lightly by 
Objects that look'd out so invitingly 
On either side. These, gentle Calidore 
Greeted, as he had known them long before. 

The sidelong view of swelling leafiness, 
Which the glad setting sun, in gold doth dress; 
Whence ever, and anon the jay outsprings, 
And scales upon the beauty of its wings. 

The lonely turret, shatter'd, and outworn, 
Stands venerably proud; too proud to mourn 
Its long lost grandeur: fir trees grow around, 
Aye dropping their hard fruit upon the ground. 

The little chapel with the cross above 
Upholding wreaths of ivy; the white dove, 
That on the windows spreads his feathers light, 
And seems from purple clouds to wing its flight. 

Green tufted islands casting their soft shades 
Across the lake; sequester?d leafy glades, 
That through the dimness of their twilight show 
Large dock leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow 
Of the wild cat?s eyes, or the silvery stems 
Of delicate birch trees, or long grass which hems 
A little brook. The youth had long been viewing 
These pleasant things, and heaven was bedewing 
The mountain flowers, when his glad senses caught 
A trumpet's silver voice. Ah! it was fraught 
With many joys for him: the warder's ken 
Had found white coursers prancing in the glen: 
Friends very dear to him he soon will see; 
So pushes off his boat most eagerly, 
And soon upon the lake he skims along, 
Deaf to the nightingale?s first under-song; 
Nor minds he the white swans that dream so sweetly: 
His spirit flies before him so completely. 

And now he turns a jutting point of land, 
Whence may be seen the castle gloomy, and grand: 
Nor will a bee buzz round two swelling peaches, 
Before the point of his light shallop reaches 
Those marble steps that through the water dip: 
Now over them he goes with hasty trip, 
And scarcely stays to ope the folding doors: 
Anon he leaps along the oaken floors 
Of halls and corridors. 

Delicious sounds! those little bright-eyed things 
That float about the air on azure wings, 
Had been less heartfelt by him than the clang 
Of clattering hoofs; into the court he sprang, 
Just as two noble steeds, and palfreys twain, 
Were slanting out their necks with loosened rein; 
While from beneath the threat'ning portcullis 
They brought their happy burthens. What a kiss, 
What gentle squeeze he gave each lady's hand! 
How tremblingly their delicate ancles spann?d! 
Into how sweet a trance his soul was gone, 
While whisperings of affection 
Made him delay to let their tender feet 
Come to the earth; with an incline so sweet 
From their low palfreys o'er his neck they bent: 
And whether there were tears of languishment, 
Or that the evening dew had pearl'd their tresses, 
He feels a moisture on his cheek, and blesses 
With lips that tremble, and with glistening eye 
All the soft luxury 
That nestled in his arms. A dimpled hand, 
Fair as some wonder out of fairy land, 
Hung from his shoulder like the drooping flowers 
Of whitest Cassia, fresh from summer showers: 
And this he fondled with his happy cheek 
As if for joy he would no further seek; 
When the kind voice of good Sir Clerimond 
Came to his ear, like something from beyond 
His present being: so he gently drew 
His warm arms, thrilling now with pulses new, 
From their sweet thrall, and forward gently bending, 
Thank'd heaven that his joy was never ending;