Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From Revision of Hyperion

John Keats (1795–1821)
 
          .. ‘HIGH 1 Prophetess,’ said I, ‘purge off, Benign, if so it please thee, my mind’s film.’
 
‘None can usurp this height,’ return’d that shade,
‘But those to whom the miseries of the world
Are misery, and will not let them rest.
All else who find a haven in the world,        5
Where they may thoughtless sleep away their days,
If by a chance into this fane they come,
Rot on the pavement where thou rottedst half.’
 
‘Are there not thousands in the world,’ said I,
Encouraged by the sooth voice of the shade,        10
‘Who love their fellows even to the death,
Who feel the giant agony of the world,
And more, like slaves to poor humanity,
Labour for mortal good? I sure should see
Other men here, but I am here alone.’        15
 
‘Those whom thou spakest of are no visionaries,’
Rejoin’d that voice; ‘they are no dreamers weak;
They seek no wonder but the human face,
No music but a happy-noted voice:
They come not here, they have no thought to come;        20
And thou art here, for thou art less than they.
What benefit canst thou do, or all thy tribe,
To the great world? Thou art a dreaming thing,
A fever of thyself: think of the earth;
What bliss, even in hope, is there for thee?        25
What haven? every creature hath its home,
Every sole man hath days of joy and pain,
Whether his labours be sublime or low—
The pain alone, the joy alone, distinct:
Only the dreamer venoms all his days,        30
Bearing more woe than all his sins deserve’ …
 
Note 1. Keats. From ‘Revision of Hyperion’. [back]
 
 
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