200 years ago, Keats completed the first draft of ‘Endymion’

On Friday 28 November 1817, Keats finished the first draft of ‘Endymion’, which he had begun in April.



[Endymion] beheld
Phoebe, his passion! joyous she upheld
Her lucid bow, continuing thus: “Drear, drear
Has our delaying been; but foolish fear
Withheld me first; and then decrees of fate:
And then ’twas fit that from this mortal state
Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook’d for change
Be spiritualiz’d. Peona, we shall range
These forests, and to thee they safe shall be
As was thy cradle; hither thou shalt flee
To meet us many a time.” Next Cynthia bright
Peona kissed, and bless’d with fair good night:
Her brother kiss’d her too, and knelt adown
Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon.
She gave her fair hands to him, and behold,
Before three swiftest kisses he had told,
They vanish’d far away! — Peona went
Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment.

John Keats: ‘Endymion’ Book IV lines 986-1003 (the final part of his epic romance) which he completed at Burford Bridge 28 November 1817.

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