The Letters of John Keats

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

55. To BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON. Saturday 〈4〉 March 1818.

Address: B R Haydon Esq-- ∣ Lisson Grove North ∣ Paddington ∣ Middx

Postmarks: TEIGNMOUTH and 23 MR 1818.

Teignmouth Saturd. Morn

My dear Haydon--

In sooth, I hope you are not too sanguine about that seal1--in sooth I hope it is not Brumidgeum--in double sooth I hope it is his--and in tripple sooth I hope I shall have an impression. Such a piece of intelligence came doubly welcome to me while in your own County and in your own hand--not but I have blown up said County for its urinal qualifications--the 6 first days I was here it did nothing but rain and at that time having to write to a friend I gave Devonshire a good blowing up--it has been fine for about three days and I was coming round a bit; but to day it rains again--with me the County is yet upon its good behaviour. I have enjoyed the most delightful Walks these three fine days beautiful enough to make me content here all the summer could I stay.

I

2For there's Bishop's teign
And King's teign
And Coomb at the clear teign head.
Where close by the Stream
You may have your cream
All spread upon barley bread.

II

There's Arch Brook
And there's larch Brook

55. On the 25th of March Keats wrote to Reynolds of the weather as if the county's trial had lasted three weeks: this gives the 4th as the day of his arrival; and the tenth day from that (when he was writing this letter to Haydon) would be the 14th of March, which was a Saturday. I presume from the dated postmarks, one of which is a London one, that the letter was either detained by Keats, or by Tom who wrote the address, or delayed in the post.

____________________
1
See note 3 on p. 115.
2
In the holograph the spacing between the stanzas is quite clear; the upright strokes between are of obvious intention and inaccuracy, though in the 'Devon Maid' similar strokes provide accurate numbering.

-116-

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