The Letters of John Keats

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

Inverness. I have three Letters from you and one 〈from〉 Fanny--and one from Dilke. I would set about crossing this all over for you but I will first write to Fanny and Mrs Wilie. Then I will begin another to you and not before because I think it better you should have this as soon as possible--My Sore throat is not quite well and I intend stopping here a few days.

Read me a Lesson, muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis blind in Mist!
I look into the Chasms and a Shroud
Vaprous doth hide them; just so much I wist
Mankind do know of Hell: I look o'erhead
And there is sullen mist; even so much
Mankind can tell of Heaven: Mist is spread
Before the Earth beneath me--even such
Even so vague is Man's sight of himself.
Here are the craggy Stones beneath my feet;
Thus much I know, that a poor witless elf
I tread on them; that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and Crag--not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might--

Good bye till tomorrow

Your most affectionate Brother John --


82. To Mrs. WYLIE. Thursday 6 August 〈1818〉. Address: Mrs Wylie ∣ Henrietta Street ∣ London Postmark: not recorded.

Inverness, 6 August.

My dear Madam--

It was a great regret to me that I should leave all my friends, just at the moment when I might have helped to soften away the time for them. I wanted not to leave my brother Tom, but more especially, believe me, I should like to have remained near you, were it but for an atom of consolation after parting with so dear a daughter; My brother George has ever been more than a brother to me, he has been my greatest friend, and I can never forget the sacrifice you have made for his happiness. As I walk along the Mountains here I am full of these things, and lay in wait, as it were, for the pleasure of seeing you, immediately on my return to town. I wish above all things, to say a

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