The Poetry Corner

Fragment Of "The Castle Builder."

By John Keats

To-night I'll have my friar, let me think About my room, I'll have it in the pink; It should be rich and sombre, and the moon, Just in its mid-life in the midst of June, Should look thro' four large windows and display Clear, but for gold-fish vases in the way, Their glassy diamonding on Turkish floor; The tapers keep aside, an hour and more, To see what else the moon alone can show; While the night-breeze doth softly let us know My terrace is well bower'd with oranges. Upon the floor the dullest spirit sees A guitar-ribband and a lady's glove Beside a crumple-leaved tale of love; A tambour-frame, with Venus sleeping there, All finish'd but some ringlets of her hair; A viol, bow-strings torn, cross-wise upon A glorious folio of Anacreon; A skull upon a mat of roses lying, Ink'd purple with a song concerning dying; An hour-glass on the turn, amid the trails Of passion-flower; just in time there sails A cloud across the moon, the lights bring in! And see what more my phantasy can win. It is a gorgeous room, but somewhat sad; The draperies are so, as tho' they had Been made for Cleopatra's winding-sheet; And opposite the stedfast eye doth meet A spacious looking-glass, upon whose face, In letters raven-sombre, you may trace Old "Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin." Greek busts and statuary have ever been Held, by the finest spirits, fitter far Than vase grotesque and Siamesian jar; Therefore 'tis sure a want of Attic taste That I should rather love a Gothic waste Of eyesight on cinque-coloured potter's clay, Than on the marble fairness of old Greece. My table-coverlits of Jason's fleece And black Numidian sheep-wool should be wrought, Gold, black, and heavy, from the Lama brought. My ebon sofas should delicious be With down from Leda's cygnet progeny. My pictures all Salvator's, save a few Of Titian's portraiture, and one, though new, Of Haydon's in its fresh magnificence. My wine, O good! 'tis here at my desire, And I must sit to supper with my friar.