Keats's Endymion: A Critical Edition

By John Keats; Stephen T. Steinhoff | Go to book overview

To a sleeping lake, whose cool and level gleam
A Poet caught as he was journeying
To Phoebus' shrine; and in it he did fling
His weary limbs, bathing an hour's space,
And after, straight in that inspired place
He sang the story up into the air,
Giving it universal freedom."

We have no more room for extracts. Does the author of such poetry as this deserve to be made the sport of so servile a dolt as a Quarterly Reviewer?--No. Two things have struck us on the persual of this singular poem. The first is, that Mr. Keats excels, in what Milton excefled--the power of putting a spirit of life and novelty into the Heathen Mythology. The second is, that in the structure of his verse, and the sinewy quality of his thoughts, Mr. Keats greatly resembles old Chapman, the nervous translator of Homer. His mind has "thews and limbs like to its ancestors." Mr. Gifford, who knows something of the old dramatists, ought to have paused before he sanctioned the abuse of a spirit kindred with them. If he could not feel, he ought to know better.


Patmore's Review in the London Magazine*

That the periodical criticism of the present day, as criticism, enjoys but a slender portion of public respect,--except among mere bookbuyers and blue-stockings,--cannot be denied. It would be unjust not to confess that it has its uses. But, in

____________________
*
London Magazine, April, 1820, 380-90. The most perceptive of the replies to the attacks of Endymion. Patmore recognizes the nature of dream-work in Endymion, suggests that a new concept of what constitutes a poem is needed, and asserts that the good and bad qualities of Keats's style "are inextricably linked together."

-276-

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Keats's Endymion: A Critical Edition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction Biographical Background 1
  • Notes 50
  • Endymion: Text and Notes 57
  • Preface 58
  • Book I 59
  • Book II 84
  • Book II 109
  • Book II 135
  • Notes to Book I 160
  • Notes to Book II 197
  • Notes to Book II 218
  • Notes to Book II 234
  • The Original Dedication and Preface 259
  • Review in the Champion 261
  • Croker's Attack in the Quarterly Review 265
  • Reynold's Reply to Croker in the Examiner 270
  • Patmore's Review in the London Magazine 276
  • Bibliography of References Cited 293
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