200 years ago Keats began his 12-week writing marathon

On Friday 2 July 1819, Keats began writing ‘Lamia’. Over the next 12 weeks he would complete that narrative poem, co-write a five-act tragedy, revise ‘Hyperion’, write numerous letters — and compose one of the best-loved poems in the English language. Here is the opening of ‘Lamia’:
Upon a time, before the faery broods
Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods,
Before King Oberon’s bright diadem,
Sceptre, and mantle, clasp’d with dewy gem,
Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns
From rushes green, and brakes, and cowslip’d lawns,
The ever-smitten Hermes empty left
His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft:
From high Olympus had he stolen light,
On this side of Jove’s clouds, to escape the sight
Of his great summoner, and made retreat
Into a forest on the shores of Crete.

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