Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

[The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream] CANTO II

  • “Mortal, that thou mayst understand aright,
  • I humanize my sayings to thine ear,
  • Making comparisons of earthly things;
  • Or thou might’st better listen to the wind,
  • Whose language is to thee a barren noise,
  • Though it blows legend-laden through the trees.
  • In melancholy realms big tears are shed,
  • More sorrow like to this, and such-like woe,
  • Too huge for mortal tongue, or pen of scribe.
  • The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
  • Groan for the old allegiance once more,
  • Listening in their doom for Saturn’s voice.
  • But one of our whole eagle-brood still keeps
  • His sov’reignty, and rule, and majesty;
  • Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
  • Still sits, still snuffs the incense teeming up
  • From man to the Sun’s God yet unsecure,
  • For as upon the earth dire prodigies
  • Fright and perplex, so also shudders he:
  • Nor at dog’s howl, or gloom-bird’s even screech,
  • Or the familiar visitings of one
  • Upon the first toll of his passing bell
  • But horrors, portion’d to a giant nerve,
  • Make great Hyperion ache. His palace bright,
  • Bastion’d with pyramids of glowing gold,
  • And touch’d with shade of bronzed obelisks,
  • Glares a blood red through all the thousand courts,
  • Arches, and domes, and fiery galeries;
  • And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
  • Flush angerly when he would taste the wreaths
  • Of incense breath’d aloft from sacred hills,
  • Instead of sweets, his ample palate takes
  • Savour of poisonous brass and metals sick.
  • Wherefore when harbour’d in the sleepy west,
  • After the full completion of fair day,
  • For rest divine upon exalted couch
  • And slumber in the arms of melody,
  • He paces through the pleasant hours of ease,
  • With strides colossal, on from hall to hall;
  • While, far within each aisle and deep recess,
  • His winged minions in close clusters stand
  • Amaz’d, and full of fear; like anxious men
  • Who on a wide plain gather in sad troops,
  • When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
  • Even now, while Saturn, rous’d from icy trance
  • Goes, step for step, with Thea from yon woods,
  • Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
  • Is sloping to the threshold of the west.
  • Thither we tend.” — Now in clear light I stood,
  • Reliev’d from the dusk vale. Mnemosyne
  • Was sitting on a square edg’d polish’d stone,
  • That in its lucid depth reflected pure
  • Her priestess-garments. My quick eyes ran on
  • From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
  • Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light.
  • And diamond paved lustrous long arcades.
  • Anon rush’d by the bright Hyperion;
  • His flaming robes stream’d out beyond his heels,
  • And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
  • That scar’d away the meek ethereal hours
  • And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. [The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream] CANTO II. Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.3 , University of Victoria, 5 September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_hyperion_a_dream_canto_ii.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, [The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream] CANTO II. Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_hyperion_a_dream_canto_ii.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. [The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream] CANTO II. Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_hyperion_a_dream_canto_ii.html.