The Letters of John Keats

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

I have been endeavouring to discover a better Sonnet Stanza than we have. The legitimate does not suit the language over-well from the pouncing rhymes--the other kind appears too elegiac1--and the couplet at the end of it has seldom a pleasing effect--I do not pretend to have succeeded--it will explain itself--

If by dull rhymes our English must be chaind And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet, Fetterd, in spite of pained Loveliness; Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd,2 Sandals more interwoven and complete To fit the naked foot of poesy; Let us inspect the Lyre, and weigh the stress Of every chord, and see what may be gain'd By ear industrious, and attention meet; Misers of sound and syllable, no less Than Midas of his coinage, let us be Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown, So, if we may not let the muse be free, She will be bound with Garlands of her own.

This is the third of May, and everything is in delightful forwardness; the violets are not withered before the peeping of the first rose. You must let me know everything-- how parcels go and come--what papers you have, and what newspapers you want, and other things. God bless you, my dear brother and sister,

Your ever affectionate brother, John Keats.


124. To FANNY KEATS. Thursday 13 May 1819.

Address: Miss Keats Rd Abbey Esqre Walthamstow.

Postmarks: HAMPSTEAD and 13 MY 1819.

My dear Fanny,

I have a Letter from George at last--and it contains, considering all things, good news--I have been with it to day to Mrs Wylie's, with whom I have left it. I shall have it again as soon as possible and then I will walk over and read it to you. They are quite well and settled tolerably in comfort after a great deal of fatigue and harrass. They

____________________
1
He wrote 'elegaiac' and struck out the last a instead of the first.
2
The holograph ends with this line; the rest of the letter is from the Jeffrey-Houghton version.

-342-

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