Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
Cynthia’s Bridal Evening (from Miscellaneous Poems)
By John Keats (1795–1821)
(See full text.)

THE EVENING weather was so bright and clear,
That men of health were of unusual cheer;
Stepping like Homer at the trumpet’s call,
Or young Apollo on the pedestal:
And lovely women were as fair and warm,        5
As Venus looking sideways in alarm.
The breezes were ethereal and pure,
And crept through half closed lattices to cure
The languid sick; it cooled their fevered sleep,
And soothed them into slumbers full and deep.        10
Soon they awoke clear-eyed: nor burned with thirsting,
Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples bursting:
And springing up, they met the wondering sight
Of their dear friends, nigh foolish with delight;
Who feel their arms and breasts, and kiss, and stare,        15
And on their placid foreheads part the hair.
Young men and maidens at each other gazed,
With hands held back, and motionless, amazed
To see the brightness in each other’s eyes;
And so they stood, filled with a sweet surprise,        20
Until their tongues were loosed in poesy.
Therefore no lover did of anguish die:
But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken,
Made silken ties, that never may be broken.

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