200 years ago, Keats completes Book 2 of ‘Endymion’.

On Tuesday 26 August 1817, Keats completed the second of four books of ‘Endymion: a A Poetic Romance’. Here’s a sample:

Thus spake he, and that moment felt endued
With power to dream deliciously; so wound
Through a dim passage, searching till he found
The smoothest mossy bed and deepest, where
He threw himself, and just into the air
Stretching his indolent arms, he took, O bliss!
A naked waist: “Fair Cupid, whence is this?”
A well-known voice sigh’d, “Sweetest, here am I!”
At which soft ravishment, with doting cry
They trembled to each other. — Helicon!
O fountain’d hill! Old Homer’s Helicon!
That thou wouldst spout a little streamlet o’er
These sorry pages; then the verse would soar
And sing above this gentle pair, like lark
Over his nested young: but all is dark
Around thine aged top, and thy clear fount
Exhales in mists to heaven.

John Keats: ‘Endymion’ Book II lines 707-723.
Among other faults, Keats’s critics judged ‘Endymion’ to be too erotic.

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