The Poetry Corner


By John Keats

Not Aladdin magian Ever such a work began; Not the wizard of the Dee Ever such a dream could see; Not St. John, in Patmos' Isle, In the passion of his toil, When he saw the churches seven, Golden aisl'd, built up in heaven, Gaz'd at such a rugged wonder. As I stood its roofing under Lo! I saw one sleeping there, On the marble cold and bare. While the surges wash'd his feet, And his garments white did beat. Drench'd about the sombre rocks, On his neck his well-grown locks, Lifted dry above the main, Were upon the curl again. "What is this? and what art thou?" Whisper'd I, and touch'd his brow; "What art thou? and what is this?" Whisper'd I, and strove to kiss The spirit's hand, to wake his eyes; Up he started in a trice: "I am Lycidas," said he, "Fam'd in funeral minstrely! This was architectur'd thus By the great Oceanus! Here his mighty waters play Hollow organs all the day; Here by turns his dolphins all, Finny palmers great and small, Come to pay devotion due Each a mouth of pearls must strew. Many a mortal of these days, Dares to pass our sacred ways, Dares to touch audaciously This Cathedral of the Sea! I have been the pontiff-priest Where the waters never rest, Where a fledgy sea-bird choir Soars for ever; holy fire I have hid from mortal man; Proteus is my Sacristan. But the dulled eye of mortal Hath pass'd beyond the rocky portal; So for ever will I leave Such a taint, and soon unweave All the magic of the place." - - - - - - - So saying, with a Spirit's glance He dived!