The Letters of John Keats

By Maurice Buxton Forman; John Keats | Go to book overview

Yet be the Anchor e'er so fast, room is there for a prayer That Man may never loose his Mind on Mountains bleak and bare;
That he may stray league after League some great Berth- place to find
And keep his vision clear from speck, his inward sight unblind--1


80. To THOMAS KEATS 〈Thursday 23〉--Sunday 26 July 1818. Address: Mr Thos Keats ∣ Well Walk ∣ Hampstead ∣ Middx-- Imperfect postmarks: 31 JUL 18 and AU 318.

Dun an cullen2

My dear Tom,

Just after my last had gone to the Post in came one of the Men with whom we endeavoured to agree about going to Staffa--he said what a pitty it was we should turn aside and not see the Curiosities. So we had a little talk and finally agreed that he should be our guide across the Isle of Mull--We set out, crossed two ferries, one to the isle of Kerrara of little distance, the other from Kerrara to Mull 9 Miles across--we did it in forty minutes with a fine Breeze--The road through the Island, or rather the track is the most dreary you can think of--betwe〈e〉n dreary Mountains--over bog and rock and river with our Breeches tucked up and our Stockings in hand. About eight oClock we arrived at a Shepherd's Hut into which we could scarcely get for the Smoke through a door lower than my Shoulders--We found our way into a little compartment with the rafters and turf thatch blackened with smoke-- the earth floor full of Hills and Dales--We had some white Bread with us, made a good Supper and slept in our Clothes in some Blankets, our Guide snored on another little bed about an Arm's length off--This morning we came about sax Miles to Breakfast by rather a better path and we are now in by comparison a Mansion---Our Guide is I think a very obliging fellow--in the way this morning he sang us two Gaelic songs--one made by a Mrs Brown

____________________
1
Lines 1-6, 25-6, and 41-8 of this poem were printed at the close of an article by Charles Brown entitled "'Mountain Scenery'" which appeared in 'The New Monthly Magazine', 1822, vol. iv, pp. 247-52.
2
Possibly a mistake of Keats's for Derrynaculen. The letter is endorsed by Tom 'Recd. August 3rd, Ansd. Do. Do.'

-197-

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