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Narcissus Englished : a study of the Book of Thel, Alastor, and Endymion Harder, Bernhard David 1966

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NARCISSUS ENGLISHED: A STUDY OP THE BOOK OP THEL, ALASTOR, AND ENDYMION. by BERNHARD D. HARDER B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1964 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of A r t s i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 1966 In p resen t ing t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and s tudy. I f u r t h e r agree that permiss ion fo r ex tens ive copying of t h i s t h e s i s fo r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n  c i a l ga in s h a l l not be a l lowed wi thout my w r i t t e n pe rm iss i on . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT The o r i g i n of the s t o r y of Narcissus i s unknown, and the circumstances of h i s death are u n c e r t a i n , but the most popular v e r s i o n of the t a l e as t o l d by Ovid has been read, '<.•:• t r a n s l a t e d , e x p l a i n e d , moralized and disputed by innumerable w r i t e r s and a l l u d e d to by many more. Renaissance w r i t e r s i n England, such as Golding, Edwards and Sandys, were i n t e r e s t e d i n f i r s t i n t r o d u c i n g the myth Into t h e i r own language and then, i n e x p l a i n i n g i t s meanings, lessons and m o r a l i z a t i o n s . Later poets paraphrased t h e i r t r a n s l a t i o n s , o f t e n adding t h e i r own point of view or e l s e using only the ske l e t o n s t r u c t u r e of the myth f o r t h e i r own poetic purposes. The simple s t o r y of a youth who died by a pool a f t e r f a l l i n g h o p e l e s s l y i n love with h i s own r e f l e c t i o n acquired a s i g n i f i c a n c e and immorta l i t y worthy of a Greek god. The Eighteenth Century w r i t e r s , who were l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n the gods than t h e i r predecessors had been, almost completely ignored Narcissus i n t h e i r poetry, but l a t e r poets such as Blake , S h e l l e y and Keats r e v i v e d him once again and transformed the faded youth i n t o a Romantic. In The Book of Thel Blake explores the consequences of s e l f - l o v e , and a n t i c i p a t e s the f u l l e r development of t h i s theme i n The Four Zoas. He uses the arch e t y p a l pattern of the Nar c i s s u s myth f o r p o r t r a y i n g the fading T h e l , who refuses to en t e r the s t a t e of Generation because she i s a f r a i d of the voice of experience that she meets i n her own grave when she des cends i n t o the underworld. Her s t e r i l e s e paration from her Spectre i s s i m i l a r to the unconsummated r e l a t i o n s h i p between Narcissus and Echo. Thel f l e e i n g from her grave escapes back t o non-existence, f a d i n g by the r i v e r l i k e Narcissus and Echo. An understanding of the f u n c t i o n of the Narcissus s t o r y i n S h e l l e y ' s poem, A l a s t o r , i s indispensable t o an i n t e r p r e t a  t i o n of t h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l poem. S h e l l e y ' s a l l u s i o n s to the myth are f a i t h f u l t o the Ovidian v e r s i o n of Narcissus as a youth who sighs away h i s l i f e a f t e r seeing h i s own shadow i n a w e l l . S h e l l e y a s s o c i a t e s the Poet's quest with the N a r c i s  sus myth by g e n e r a l l y p a r a l l e l i n g the n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e of Ovid's s t o r y , and by employing much of i t s imagery. Chapter I I argues that S h e l l e y ' s poem i s both u n i f i e d and c o n s i s t e n t when i t i s i n t e r p r e t e d i n terms of the Narcissus theme. Keats p r i m a r i l y uses the popular myth of Endymion and Cynthia i n h i s poem, Endymion,.; but a l s o includes other myths i n the manner of the Renaissance e p y l l i o n . The most s i g n i f i  cant a d d i t i o n to the main myth i s the s t o r y of Narcissus as a comment on the nature of Endymion's quest. Keats p i c t u r e s the hero at the w e l l , viewing the r e f l e c t i o n of the v i s i o n , i n order t o e s t a b l i s h the s p e c i f i c p a r a l l e l to Ovid's s t o r y . Endymion, however, u n l i k e Narcissus or the Poet i n A l a s t o r , recognizes h i s i l l u s i o n and proceeds towards accepting h i s i i i r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o h i s kingdom and t o the Echo f i g u r e s i n the poem. The a n a l y s i s c o n c l u d e s w i t h a comparison o f the s p e c i  f i c h a n d l i n g o f the N a r c i s s u s myth i n the t h r e e poems i n terms o f t h e v a r i o u s v e r s i o n s o f the myth, the t r e a t m e n t o f the metamorphosis o f N a r c i s s u s I n t o a f l o w e r , and the d e v e l o p  ment o f t h e theme o f s e l f - l o v e . The t h e s i s e s t a b l i s h e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the N a r c i s s u s myth i n The Book o f T h e l , A l a s t o r and Endymion, and e v a l u a t e s B l a k e ' s , S h e l l e y ' s and K e a t s ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the a t t e m p t s o f the R e n a i s s a n c e w r i  t e r s t o i n t r o d u c e the O v i d i a n s t o r y i n t o E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e . ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would l i k e t o thank Dr. Warren Stevenson f o r h i s academic and personal i n t e r e s t i n the f o r m u l a t i o n and completion of t h i s the-V To Helga f o r the many hours and.... TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page THE FABLE OF QUID TRETING OF NARCISSUS; THE ARGUMENT Frontespiece INTRODUCTION 1 I . BLAKE'S BOOK OF THEL: THE SHADOW OF NARCISSUS 18 I I . SHELLEY'S ALASTOR: THE CONTROVERSIAL NARCISSUS 4 l I I I . KEATS•S ENDYMION: NARCISSUS METAMORPHOSIZED 60 CONCLUSION 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY 93 THE ARGUMENT OP THE FABLE Lireope had a Sonne by Cephicious named N a r c i s s u s , whose contynuaunce of l i f e T y r i c i a s a prophete, affyrmyd to be long, y f the knowledge of hym s e l f e , procuryd not the c o n t r a r y , whose sentence here now Ecco the ca l l y n g e Impe, from whome Iuno had ber e f t e the ryght vse of speche, so loued t h i s Narcyssus, that throughe the thought and care that she sustayned, f o r the gettynge hys good wyl - tha t euer despysed her, she consumed the r e l y k e s , of which con sumed Carcas were torned i n t o stones. The greate dysdayne of Narcys sus , he r e i n Ramusia Straungely reuenged, f o r he heated through h u t i - nge by the drynkynge of a w e l l , supposynge t o quence hys th u r s t e espyed t h e r e i n the shadowe, of hys fac e , wherewyth he was so rauyshed that hauynge no power t o leue hys blynde desyre f o r the attaynyng of an impose- b e l y t e , there he starued. Por the pre p a r a t i o n , whose b u r y a l l the Nim- phes, had ordyned souch f u r - n i t u e r as ther vnto apper- teyned & had. Retornyed t o the solemne Erthynge and b u r y a l l of such a carcase,they found i n sted of the ded Corpis a yelow f l o u r e which with vs beareth the name of d a f f a - d y l l y INTRODUCTION The mirror of poetry has re f l e c t e d Narcissus in more shades and subtleties than most myths. Ovid's popular ver sion was introduced into English by three Renaissance trans l a t i o n s , but the story had already been alluded to by both Chaucer and Gower. The f i r s t of these t r a n s l a t i o n s , The  Fable o f Quid Treting Narcissus, was printed anonymously in 1560 together with a long moralization "very pleasante to rede." 1 Arthur Golding completed the,most important English version of The Metamorphoses in 1567 with an apologetic i n  troduction o u t l i n i n g some of the lessons to be learned in each book, and explaining Ovid's use of the pagan gods. George Sandys! tr a n s l a t i o n appeared in 1632 with his own detailed explanation of each book. The need to j u s t i f y Ovid and explain the tales n a t u r a l l y influences the details of the t r a n s l a t i o n s , and influences the Interpretations of the myths considerably. The Latin Ovid, as a r e s u l t , was not only "englished," 2 but also humanized in the C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n . The Fable Of Quid Treting Narcissus, Traslated Out Of - L a t i n Into Englush Mytre, With A Moral Ther Vnto, Very Plea- •- sante To Redel (Thomas Edwards, Cephalus and P r o c r i s . Narcis  sus ), ed. W.E. Buckley, London, 1882. p George Sandys, trans., Ovid's Metamorphosis Englished, Mythologiz'd And Re present ed~in Figures, Oxford, 1632. "~ - 2 - The most Indispensable elements o f the N a r c i s s u s myth i n c l u d e the hero N a r c i s s u s , Echo, who remains o n l y as a v o i c e a f t e r the hero r e j e c t s her, the w e l l , m i r r o r or p o o l , the shadow, and the n a r c i s s u s f l o w e r . A combination of any two of these i s u s u a l l y s u f f i c i e n t f o r i d e n t i f y i n g an a l  l u s i o n to t h i s myth. In Ovid's o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n , as t r a n s  l a t e d by G o l d i n g , T I r e s i a s prophesies t h a t the boy w i l l grow o l d i f "him s e l f e he doe not know." 3 The youth, Nar c i s s u s , scorns the young men and maids who admire him f o r h i s beauty. Echo, one of these admirers, t r i e s t o win h i s l o v e by f o l l o w i n g him while he hunts. She can o n l y r e p l y by echoing what he speaks because Juno has punished her f o r d e t a i n i n g Jove with her t a l k . A f t e r N a r c i s s u s r e j e c t s Echo's advances, she hides h e r s e l f i n woods and caves and fades away u n t i l o n l y her v o i c e remains. N a r c i s s u s continues t o r e j e c t a l l s u i t o r s and t h e i r l o v e . One of these s u i t o r s hopes t h a t N a r c i s s u s w i l l a l s o f e e l the f i r e o f l o v e , but not be a b l e to enjoy what he d e s i r e s , and h i s curse i s heard by Ramnuse, who a s s e n t s t o punish the hero. While h u n t i n g , N a r c i s s u s goes to d r i n k a t a c l e a r s p r i n g , Which neyther sheepeheirds, nor the Goates t h a t f e d upon the h i l l , Nor other c a t t e l l t r o u b l e d had, nor savage beast had s t y r d , Shakespeare's Ovid Being A r t h u r Golding's T r a n s l a t i o n of  The Metamorphoses, ed. W.H.D. Rouse, London, 1 9 b l , I I I . 133. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d I n t e r n a l l y as Shakespeare's Ovid. - 3 - Nor braunch, nor s t i e k e , nor l e a f e o f t r e e , nor any f o u l e nor byrd. (Shakespeare's Ovid, I I I . 510-512) The i s o l a t i o n of t h i s w e l l i s r e p e a t e d l y emphasized by the Romantics. N a r c i s s u s sees h i s r e f l e c t i o n i n the p o o l , but t h i n k s t h a t i t i s a " l i v e l y boddie," (Shakespeare's Ovid, I I I . 522) and f a l l s i n love with i t . He gazes a t h i s sha dow and complains about i t s e l u s i v e n e s s . Golding's t r a n s l a  t i o n emphasizes h i s d e l u s i o n r a t h e r than h i s r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t he loves h i m s e l f . N a r c i s s u s f l a g e l l a t e s h i m s e l f with h i s f i s t s i n d e s p e r a t i o n , and melts away with d e s i r e u n t i l no t h i n g of him remains. Echo sig h s a f t e r him as he d i e s . Nar c i s s u s i s r e c e i v e d i n t o H e l l , and goes t o "the W e l l of Styx" where he "Standes t o o t i n g on h i s shadow s t i l l as f o n d e l y as be f o r e . " ( I I I . 633-634) The Nymphes come t o mourn h i s death, but f i n d o n l y "A yel l o w f l o u r e with milke white leaves new sprong upon the ground." ( I I I . 642) In the anonymous t r a n s l a t i o n o f 1560, Echo i s more e l u  s i v e and more p l a y f u l than i n G o l d i n g . When N a r c i s s u s asks whether there i s anyone here, she answers "none"'* r a t h e r than " I . " She a c t u a l l y embraces him "aboute the necke" (p. 134) i n s t e a d o f j u s t approaching him, and i s r e j e c t e d p h y s i c a l l y : "her f o u l d e d armes t h a t s p r e d e / about hys necke he caste awaye." (p. 134) T h i s t r a n s l a t i o n a l s o emphasizes the v i o l e n c e The Fable Of Quid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s , p. 134. - 4 - that Narcissus does to himself In h i s sorrow: he re l e a s e s h i s "wretched rage" by beating himself with "stonye f y s t e s . n (p. 137) The use of a d j e c t i v e s i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s f a t e i n H e l l seems to make the punishment even more severe than In Golding. Narcissus i s received " i n t o that h y l l y e p l a c e / be yeke wythin the ogly stype, beheld hys wretched f a c e . " (p. I38) Sandys seems to subordinate N a r c i s s u s 1 own lament to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poet.. N a r c i s s u s 1 r e j e c t i o n of h i s wooers i s immediately i d e n t i f i e d as p r i d e , one of the seven s i n s . As i n the other t r a n s l a t i o n s , he f i n a l l y recognizes h i s shadow, but the s t r e s s i s on h i s love f o r himself instead of f o r h i s shadow. The poet a l s o scorns him f o r t r y i n g to a t  t a i n an i m p o s s i b i l i t y : "0 Poole! that s t r i u ' s t to catch a f l y ing shade!/ Thou seek'st what's no-where ."5 This t r a n s l a t i o n innovates the suggestion that Narcissus i s "Deceiued by the Image of h i s words," (p. 89) as w e l l as by h i s v o i c e , thus making i t p o s s i b l e t o i n t e r p r e t Echo as r e p r e s e n t i n g the same p r i n c i p l e of s e l f - i l l u s i o n as the shadow. Blake , f o r example, interchanges h i s a l l u s i o n s to the shadow and to Echo i n a way tha t suggests a combination of the two f i g u r e s t o represent the same r o l e . Although Sandys c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l s the other two t r a n s l a t i o n s , he allows himself more freedom i n emphasi- Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis, p. 90. - 5 - zing Narcissus 1 self-deception and pride. Golding, who i s more interested in introducing the Ovi- dian tales than in teaching t h e i r supposed lessons, never theless c r y p t i c a l l y summarizes the moral of the Narcissus t a l e with apparently l i t t l e sympathy for either Narcissus or Echo: Narcissus i s of scornfulnesse and pryde a myrror cleere, Where beawties fading van i t i e most playnly may appeere. And Echo in the selfsame t a l e dooth kyndly repre sent The lewd behaviour of a bawd, and his due punish ment . ("The E p i s t l e , " Shakespeare's Ovid, 105-108) The tr a n s l a t o r of The Fable Of Quid Treting Narcissus, on the other hand, i s more concerned with presenting his moralization than with t r a n s l a t i n g the text. In his Moralization of The  Fable In Quid Of Narcissus that follows the t r a n s l a t i o n , he l i s t s the views of several other authors and then adds his own. The f i r s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which i s sim i l a r to Bacon's, describes Narcissus as a very g i f t e d and beautiful young cour t i e r who disdains society and secludes himself with a few f l a t t e r e r s . His pride in his su p e r i o r i t y and fortunes i s soon punished for the same reason that L u c i f e r was cast from heaven (p. 146) because "riches strenghte and power, confesse we muste/ Wyth bewtie eke, to slypper be to truste." (p. 148) Echo, in th i s context, i s the f l a t t e r e r who agrees with the young lord's opinion of himself, (p. 149) According to the author, Boccaccio understands Echo as a - 6 - symbol f o r those people who s t r i v e s i l e n t l y a f t e r a worthy g o a l , but who are f o r s a k e n by some " f o r f o l y s h e p l e a s u r e s sake." (p. 150) The w e l l i s the place wheee these f o o l i s h people see t h e i r own g l o r y and p e r i s h , captured by t h e i r own g l o r y . The f l o w e r resembles the bounty nature has bestowed on them which fades q u i c k l y without f r u i t , (p. 150-151) The o p i n i o n s of P i c i u s , Walles and an I t a l i a n are a l s o Included i n order to please as many readers as p o s s i b l e . P i c i u s n e o p l a t o n i z e s N a r c i s s u s as someone who cannot under stand the proper " o f f i c e which i s s e n t e / Unto the Mnd." The r e f l e c t i o n i s the body "Which onlye i s the shadowe of the rainde." (p. 165) The mind, as a r e s u l t of being sub j e c t e d t o the body, l o s e s i t s proper f u n c t i o n , and Is "drowned with d e s y r e / Of such d e l y g h t i s as to the bodye longe." (p. 166) Walles s i m i l a r l y e x p l a i n s t h a t N a r c i s s u s i s someone who l o s e s the l i f e o f h i s s o u l (p. 169) because he i s puffed up with p r i d e f o r the shadow of h i s own beauty, knowledge or wealth, (p. 168) The I t a l i a n o n l y d e s c r i b e s N a r c i s s u s as soneone who was so proud of h i s own beauty t h a t he completely i s o l a t e d h i m s e l f u n t i l he s t a r v e d i n the woods. He wa,s t r a n s  formed i n t o a f l o w e r to confirm t h a t "youth and bewghte, come and soone be paste." (p. 169) The m o r a l i z a t i o n of the t r a n s l a t o r a l s o p o r t r a y s Nar c i s s u s as a b e a u t i f u l youth who i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y g i f t e d . N a r c i s s u s r e j e c t s the good c o u n c i l of those who would make him wise, and l o s e s every v i r t u e as a consequence of h i s - 7 - pride and s e l f - l o v e , (p.154) Echo, "By whome...good aduice i s mente," (p.153) f o l l o w s Narcissus f a i t h f u l l y i n order to teach him the "endinge sense" of "speche," (p.153) but he refuses to accept her "good aduice" of reason, (p.154) The s p r i n g i n which he sees h i s r e f l e c t i o n i s the " w e l l of prayse" (p . l 6 o ) where he sees the i l l u s i o n of h i s s e l f - love : With i n t h i s w e l l no fautes he euer spies Whereby him s e l f e he anye waye might s p i t e But as eche face appearithe, fayre & quyte Though i t be f o u l e with i n the f l a t r i n g e g l a s This l y i n g e l a k e , shewes euerye g y f t e t o passe. (P . 158) Narcissus degenerates from "disdayn" t o "contempte" to the "poyson p r i d e , " ( p p . l 6 0 - l 6 l ) and loses a l l the g i f t s t hat he d e s i r e s most because, t h i s aboundaunce who s h a l l e u e l l abuse and q u i t e f b r g e t from whence these vertues flowe • • • Mysuse of good thus them s h a l l . o u e r throuwe.(p.162) The myth teaches that beauty and wit w i l l destroy the owner i f he i s guided by pride and s e l f - l o v e instead of by reason and good advice of others. In h i s e x p l i c a t i o n "Vpon The T h i r d Booke Of Ovid's Meta morphosis," Sandys c l o s e l y f o l l o w s Bacon's and P i c i u s 1 i n t e r  p r e t a t i o n s as given i n the 1560 t r a n s l a t i o n . Narcissus i s a youth who perishes when the soul i s a l i e n a t e d from the body because he admires the shadow of the s o u l , and a l s o an endowed person who sequesters himself from others and dies from the madness of s e l f - l o v e . (p.106) The concentration - 8 - of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , however, i s not on N a r c i s s u s nor Echo, but on Nemesis or Ramnuse, who " i s introduced t o r e  venge such p r i d e and i n s o l e n c y ; and to make h i s v i c e s h i s owne d e s t r u c t i o n . " (p. 106) Sandys g i v e s a d e t a i l e d i c o n o - g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s " D e i t y severe and i n e x o r a b l e to the proud,and a r r o g a n t , " emphasizing her power, her s w i f t  ness and her vengeance: "she t e r r i f i e s those, whom she con founds not, with b l a c k and ominous v i s i o n s ; as with the per- f i d i o u s n e s s e of f r i e n d s , the circumventions of enemies, mis f o r t u n e s , s i c k n e s s e , and death, which i n c o u n t e r them i n the midst of t h e i r f e l i c i t i e s . " (p. 104) S h e l l e y may have been a l l u d i n g t o t h i s f i g u r e when he named h i s poem A l a s t o r . Keats, t o o , who knew Sandys' t r a n s l a t i o n , d e s c r i b e s Eridymlon as being v i s i t e d ' with b l a c k and ominous v i s i o n s . . . i n the midst of ... f e l i c i t i e s . * The f e a r f u l f i g u r e of vengeance i s c e r t a i n l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n these poems and i n The Book of  T h e l by B l a k e . Sandys' e x p l i c a t i o n a l s o i n s e r t s Pausanlas' non- O v i d i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which argues a g a i n s t the view t h a t Nar c i s s u s d i e d a t the f o u n t a i n because he d i d not r e c o g n i z e h i s own shadow. Pausanlas e x p l a i n s i n s t e a d , t h a t the shadow was the image of N a r c i s s u s ' i d e n t i a l twin s i s t e r , who r e p a i r e d t o the f o u n t a i n a f t e r her death, (pp. 105-106) T h i s s u g g e s t i o n i s not emphasized i n T h e l , A l a s t o r or Endymlon, although the shadowy v i s i o n s i n rboth S h e l l e y ' s and Keats's poems are portrayed as nymphs. Two other Renaissance poems, f r e e r than the more l i t e r a l - 9 - Ovidian t r a n s l a t i o n s , t e l l the s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s . The f i r s t , simply c a l l e d N a r c i s s u s , was w r i t t e n by Thomas Ed wards and imprinted i n 1595. The other poem by James S h i r  l e y , c a l l e d Narcissus or S e l f - L o v e r , was entered i n the S t a  t i o n e r ' s R e g i s t e r i n 1618.^ These poems can be c l a s s i f i e d w ith the minor epics of the Renaissance, or the more con t r o v e r s i a l genre of the " e p y l l i o n . " 7 The e p y l l i o n , which includes Marlowe's Hero and Leander and Shakespeare's Venus  and Adonis, i s a poem of medium length t r e a t i n g m y t h o l o g i c a l subject matter, often from Ovid, and "employs the formal d i g  r e s s i o n , a secondary s t o r y contained w i t h i n the f i r s t and f r e - o quently q u i t e unconnected with i t i n s u b j e c t . " The d i g r e s  s i o n s , o f t e n reduced to short a l l u s i o n s i n the E l i z a b e t h a n poems, may be connected with the main s t o r y by p a r a l l e l i n g e i t h e r i t s theme or p l o t . 9 These poems, as perfected by Mar lowe, can be characterizedoby t h e i r personal note, t h e i r complaints of l o v e , a l l u s i o n s to c l a s s i c a l or other myths, and t h e i r d e l i g h t i n a r t i f i c e . 1 0 The d e l i g h t i n the a r t i f i c e E l i z a b e t h S t ory Donno, ed., " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " E l i z a b e t h a n  Minor E p i c s , London, 1963, p . l 8 . Hereafter abbreviated as EME. 7 Donno, ed., " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " p . l 8 . 3 Paul W. M i l l e r , "The E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c , " SP,LV ( 1958) , P . 32 . / 9 M i l l e r , "The E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c , " p.37. 1 0 Donno, ed., " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " pp.6-8. - 10 - and love complaints "explains why the writers of e p y l l i a f r e q u e n t l y use only the core of a myth for t h e i r story line."*"' - The secondary story may even be of equal impor tance with the f i r s t , as i n Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis, where the shy Adonis and dominating Venus are probably mo delled a f t e r Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, or even "the some- 12 what si m i l a r story of Narcissus and Echo." Both Edwards' and Shirley's poems on Narcissus employ Ovid's myth for t h e i r basic narrative structure, but l i k e the e p y l l i o n , they i n t r o  duce numerous c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s , an apparently personal note, and a great deal of a r t i f i c e . Edwards' often humorous poem, i s a long complaint that the poet overhears Narcissus utter at the well just before fading away. Narcissus Is portrayed as'the youth who almost innocently scorns the love of a l l his female admirers: I knew not I what ioyes they gaue to men, But as the banquet past, they as the shot, Pleasing e u i l s acting or acting not, Gods know I knew not, nor accounted euer - Of f a i r e s t woemen but as fowlest weather. ^ Narcissus complains most b i t t e r l y about the sorrow and a f f - l i c t i o n that he must now experience as a punishment for scorning the dalliance of love. He l i e s In "vgly dungeon 1 1 Donno, "Introduction," 'p. 9. 12 Douglas Bush, Mythology and the Renaissance T r a d i t i o n in  English Poetry, New York, I9b3, p. 139. 13 Thomas Edwards, Narcissus, ed. Buckley, p. 3 8 . "11 - where the serpents l i e , " because " T h e i r musicke s h a l l c o n s o r t m e l o d i o u s l i e " with h i s s i g h s , (p. 45) N a r c i s s u s does not r e c o g n i z e h i s own shadow i n the w e l l , but t h i n k s i n s t e a d t h a t what he sees i s the " f a i r e s t f a i r e . " (p. 50) S h i r l e y n e a t l y compromises the o l d argument as to whether N a r c i s s u s sees h i s r e f l e c t i o n or a nymph by having the hero deck h i m s e l f with the jewels of h i s wooers, so t h a t when he looks i n t o the w e l l the shadow i s h i s own r e f l e c t i o n , but does look l i k e a woman. The r e f l e c t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , as i n A l a s t o r and Endymion, r e p r e s e n t s the "shaddowed m i s t r e s , " (p. 60) and Echo the r e j e c t e d wooer, (p. 59) Edwards' N a r c i s s u s , i n the t r a d i t i o n of t h i s genre, i n  troduces numerous a l l u s i o n s t o other myths to decorate and i l l u s t r a t e v a r i o u s aspects of the herote complaints. Nar c i s s u s appeals to Adonis to j o i n him because Adonis s i m i l a r  l y scorned Venus' l o v e , and i s t h e r e f o r e the o n l y one a b l e to h e l p him expose "beauties b l i n d n e s . " (p. 42) T a n t a l u s i s a l s o l i k e N a r c i s s u s because he t r i e d t o "touch those see ming a p p l e s " (p. 52) t h a t are comparable to the r e f l e c t i o n . And l i k e Orpheus, N a r c i s s u s decides t o go "to h e l againe" (p. 52) to pursue h i s o b j e c t of a f f e c t i o n . S h i r l e y ' s poem i s c l o s e r to the o r i g i n a l Ovidian s t o r y , although he Introduces a number of h i s own i n n o v a t i o n s and f o l l o w s the t r a d i t i o n t h a t has been a s c r i b e d to the e p y l l i o n . Echo's c h a r a c t e r and p e r s o n a l i t y are developed more f u l l y than i n any of the other v e r s i o n s of the myth. The poet's - 12 - sympathy i s d i r e c t e d p r i m a r i l y towards hert he invokes her as the muse and t e l l s the s t o r y from her point of view. Echo does not j u s t t r y t o k i s s him once, as i n Ovid's s t o r y , but f i n d s Narcissus while he i s s l e e p i n g , and p l i e s h i s l i p s 14 with k i s s e s u n t i l they bleed. The a l l u s i o n t o Endymion I d e n t i f i e s the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two myths. (Stanza 31) S h i r l e y has, i n f a c t , digressed from the n a r r a t i v e of the Narcissus myth and i n s e r t e d an element e s s e n t i a l l y bor rowed from the s t o r y of Endymion, but d i s g u i s e d i n a d i f f e  r e n t mask. Keats may have been f o l l o w i n g t h i s precedent i n reverse order when he introduced the Narcissus myth i n t o h i s poem on Endymion. In S h i r l e y ' s poem Echo, r a t h e r than one of the other s u i t o r s , asks Ramnusia to punish her "contemners p r i d e . " (Stanza 84) The shadow Is unambiguously N a r c i s s u s ' own r e  f l e c t i o n meant as a punishment f o r h i s r e j e c t i o n of Echo: But whether i s my wiser reason f l e d ? I t i s the shadow of my s e l f e , I see, And I am c u r s t to be enamoured. Where did I l o s e my soule? or where am I? What god s h a l l pardon me t h i s s i n , i f here. I must become my owne I d o l a t e r ? (Stanza 98) S h i r l e y includes the m o r a l i z a t i o n found i n the 156O t r a n s l a  t i o n of Ovid, but a l s o includes other i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . The idea that Narcissus loses h i s soul when he sees h i s shadow i n N a r c i s s u s , or S e l f - l o v e r , EME, Stanzas 27-44. 0 - 13 - the water i s apparently an o l d Greek s u p e r s t i t i o n connected with t h i s myth. Fva&ev t h i n k s that the Narcissus myth pro bably o r i g i n a t e d i n the Greeks' f e a r "that the w a t e r - s p i r i t s would drag the person's r e f l e c t i o n or s o u l under water, l e a v i n g him s o u l l e s s to p e r i s h " I f a man saw h i s r e f l e c t i o n i n the water.*5 The concept that Narcissus i s h i s own ' I d o l a t e r ' i s S h i r l e y ' s v a r i a t i o n of P i c i u s ' m o r a l i z a t i o n . M i l t o n adapts t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n Paradise L o s t , Book IV, 16 where Eve admires the beauty of her own r e f l e c t i o n . Blake a l s o describes the f a l l e n Man worshipping h i s own shadow i n a s i m i l a r a l l u s i o n i n The Four Zoas. S h i r l e y ' s poem ends, as i t begins, with Echo, d e s c r i b i n g how she too sees her sha dow i n the water while searching f o r Narcissus and throws h e r s e l f i n t o the stream i n order to end her g r i e f . The myth Is now no longer sacred to Ovid and the t r a n s l a t o r s , but has been r e t o l d with so many m o r a l i z a t i o n s and v a r i a t i o n s that the poet can e x e r c i s e almost complete freedom i n h i s own r e t e l l i n g as long as he includes N a r c i s s u s , Echo, the w e l l and the sha dow somewhere i n h i s n a r r a t i v e . A l l u s i o n s to Narcissus a l s o appear i n a number of the other E n g l i s h e p y l l i a , thus demonstrating the widespread know ledge and p o p u l a r i t y of the myth. In Lodge's S c l l l a e s X 7 James George Fraizer, The Golden Bough: A Study i n Magic and R e l i g i o n , London, 1933, P. 192. Jay Macpherson, "Narcissus: Some Uncertain R e f l e c t i o n s , " Alphabet, Number 1 (September i 9 6 0 ) , pp. 41 - 4 2 . - 14 - Metamorphosis Echo r e p l i e s "With piteous voice from out her hollow den" 1^ to the moans of S e i l l a , who i s being punished with unrequited love a f t e r having r e j e c t e d Glaucus. This a l l u s i o n decorates the n a r r a t i v e , but a l s o comments i n d i  r e c t l y on the s i m i l a r i t i e s between S c i l l a ' s and N a r c i s s u s 1 . s i t u a t i o n . Both Marlowe and Shakespeare a l l u d e to Narcissus as an example of unsurpassed beauty. Marlowe summarizes the - myth f o r i t s own beauty when Hero f a v o r a b l y compares Leander's eyes to N a r c i s s u s ' : Leander's e i e s , Those o r i e n t cheekes and l i p p e s , exceeding h i s That l e a p t i n t o the water f o r a k i s Of h i s owne shadow, and despsing many, „ Died ere he could enjoy the love of a n y . y Shakespeare a l s o r e f e r s to N a r c i s s u s ' beauty i n two a l l u  s ions d e s c r i b i n g Adonis and Lucrece. He adapts the myth to h i s own whim without t r y i n g to f o l l o w the o r i g i n a l d e t a i l s : when he sees " h i s shadow i n the brook,/ The f i s h e s spread on i t t h e i r golden g i l l s , " (Venus and Adonis, 1099-1100) and i f Narcissus had seen Lucrece "as she s t o o d / S e l f - l o v e had never drowned him i n the f l o o d . " (The Rape of Lucrece, 265-266) Shakespeare a l s o uses the myth i n a t r a d i t i o n a l a l l u  s i o n i n Venus and Adonis. Venus scolds Adonis f o r r e j e c t i n g S c l l l a e s Metamorphosis, EME, Stanza 117. Hero and Leander, EME, I . 72-76. - 15 - her by u t t e r i n g the curse of the young men who ask Ramnuse to punish N a r c i s s u s : Then woo t h y s e l f , be of t h y s e l f r e j e c t e d , S t e a l thine own freedom and complain of t h e f t . Narcissus so himself himself forsook, And died to k i s s h i s shadow In the brook. (Venus and Adonis, 159-162) Marston employs t h i s same meaning when r e f e r r i n g to P i g - malion, who a f t e r d i s d a i n i n g "to yeeld s e r v i l e a f f e c t i o n , " i s punished by Love who f i n a l l y f o r c e s "him t o know h i s f a t e , / And love the shade, whose substance he d i d h a t e . " 1 ^ Narcissus disappeared from -the p a s t o r a l world of poetry i n the Eighteenth Century and passed i n t o the r e l a t i v e l y ob scure w r i t i n g s of a few lexicographers and philosophers. Lempriere summarizes the myth with only a b r i e f reference t o the Ovidian v e r s i o n . According t o him, Narcissus sees h i s image r e f l e c t e d i n the f o u n t a i n , but k i l l s h imself because he t h i n k s I t i s a nymph of the place and, according to Ovid, i s changed i n t o a f l o w e r . Lempriere a l s o adds Pausanlas" s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n . 2 0 Taylor again r e v i v e d the Neoplatonlc i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P i c i u s i n h i s comments on N a r c i s s u s . The "vain shadows" tha t Narcissus t r i e s i n vain to grasp are "corporeal beauties" which "*are only images, traces and adumbrations of a s u p e r i o r The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image, EME, Stanza 1. Lempriere's C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y of Proper Names men tion e d i n Ancient Authors, ed. P.A. Wright, London, 1958, pp. 396-397. - 16 - p r i n c i p l e . " Whoever l e t s h imself be. misled by the p u r s u i t of these shadows "would resemble that senseless (Narcissus) who, wishing t o grasp that image h i m s e l f , according to the f a b l e , disappeared, c a r r i e d away by the c u r r e n t . " 2 1 The sha dow i s only an i l l u s i o n t h a t cannot be a t t a i n e d . In the Ro mantic poems, The Book of T h e l , A l a s t o r and Endymion, the 'corporeal beauties' are no longer i l l u s i o n , but i n d i v i s i b l e with beauty and essence. The shadow i s now beauty or love or any other i d e a l that i s I s o l a t e d from nature, mind and c o r p o r e a l i t y . When the Romantics came to pay t h e i r t r i b u t e to the f a  ded Narcissus of the Eighteenth Century, they found only the flower beside the brook. Keat'srs poet, wandering, on the bank a l o n e l y flower ... s p i e d , A meek and f o r l o r n f l o w e r , with naught of p r i d e , Drooping i t s beauty o'er the watery c l e a r n e s s , To woo I t s own sad image i n t o nearness. 2 From t h i s flower the poet r e c o n s t r u c t s the " t a l e / Of young N a r c i s s u s , and sad Echo's ba l e . " (179-180) S h e l l e y , too, f i n d s the " n a r c i s s i " among the f l o w e r s : the f a i r e s t among them a l l , Who gaze on t h e i r eyes i n the stream's r e c e s s , 2 1 Thomas T a y l o r , t r a n s . , P l o t i n o s : Complete Works, Lon don, 1918, I . 6.8. ^ 2 2 " I Stood Tip-Toe;" The P o e t i c a l Works of John Keats, ed. H.W. Garrod, London, 1961* 171-174. Hereafter Keats' s poems w i l l be c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y from t h i s volume. T i l l they die of t h e i r own dear l o v e l i n e s s . J B l a k e , S h e l l e y and Keats a l l transform t h i s myth i n t o poetry i n The Book of T h e l , A l a s t o r and Endymion. T h e i r i n t e r p r e  t a t i o n s bear only o c c a s i o n a l resemblances to those of e a r l i e r poets, but they keep the e s s e n t i a l s of the myth which has com pleted the mythic c y c l e of l i f e , death and metamorphosis, be coming the r i g h t f u l possession of the E n g l i s h poets. 0 "The S e n s i t i v e P l a n t , " The Complete Works of Percy  Bysshe S h e l l e y , ed. Thomas Hutchinson, London, 1961, 18-20. Her e a f t e r S h e l l e y ' s poems w i l l be c i t e d I n t e r n a l l y from t h i s volume. CHAPTER I BLAKE'S BOOK OP THELr THE SHADOW OP NARCISSUS Thel i s the c r e a t i o n of Blake's own imagination f o r a s p e c i f i c r o l e i n h i s mythology. She has no s p e c i f i c coun t e r p a r t i n c l a s s i c a l myths, but l i k e U r i z e n , Ore and Thar- mas of the l a t e r prophecies, T h e l , too, echoes some of the w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d archetypes of the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a r y t r a  d i t i o n . She combines the r o l e s of the p a s t o r a l shepher dess, t r a d i t i o n a l l y p e r s o n i f i e d by Persephone, E u r i d i c e , or even Venus, and the epic hero, U l y s s e s , Dante, and Aeneas i n her descent to the "land unknown." 1 Like Per sephone and E u r i d i c e , Thel descends i n t o the realm of death, but l i k e the journey of the hero to the underworld, her journey i s a movement towards greater v i s i o n and know ledge. The Book of Thel deals with the problem of Thel's f a i l u r e t o complete her descent, and t r i e s t o i n t e r p r e t her a c t i o n i n terms of Blake's comprehensive poetic v i s i o n . The poem explores the e f f e c t s of s e l f - l o v e , or 1 W i l l i a m Blake, The Book-of T h e l , The Prophetic W r i t i n g s  of W i l l i a m B l a k e , Volumes I - I I , ed. D.J. S l o s s and J.P.R. W a l l i s , London, 1957, I I * IV. 2 . Hereafter c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y as Prophetic W r i t i n g s . A l l quotations from The Book of T h e l , The Four Zoas and T i r i e l are from t h i s e d i t i o n , and w i l l be c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y . - 19 - s e l f i s h n e s s , as opposed to. s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i n the n a t u r a l c y c l e . This theme of selfhood i s one of Blake's most domi nant and most u n i f y i n g themes. In the song "Love and Har mony Combine}" of the P o e t i c a l Sketches, love and harmony entwine the two souls whose branches and roo t s are mixed and joined together. "On Another's Sorrow" emphasizes the n e c e s s i t y of i d e n t i f y i n g with another's g r i e f i n order to share h i s woe: Can I see another's woe, And not be i n sorrow t o o ? 2 S i m i l a r l y , i n "Night IX," one of the E t e r n a l Men summari zes t h i s theme as the key of the l a t e r prophecy, The Four  Zoas, i n h i s proclamation t h a t , Man l i v e t h not by S e l f alone; but i n his brother's face Each s h a l l behold the E t e r n a l Father, & love~& joy abound. ( 639-640) The Clod of Clay r e i t e r a t e s t h i s p r i n c i p l e i n The Book of > Thel i n the l a s t attempt to make Thel understand that "we l i v e not f o r o u r s e l v e s . " ( I I I . 10) This lesson on the dangers of s e l f love has been common l y a s s o c i a t e d with the myth of Narcissus by the t r a n s l a t o r s and m o r a l i z e r s of Ovid. Although Blake never s p e c i f i c a l l y mentions Narcissus i n The Book of T h e l , he must have used t h i s myth as a basic concept f o r the development of the d William. B l a k e , The P o e t i c a l Works of W i l l i a m Blake, ed. John Sampson, London, 1949, p . 7 8 . Hereafter c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y as Works. - 20 - theme of h i s poem. Blake r e j e c t e d . o l d e r mythology because "the l i t e r a l n e s s and the e x t e r n a l i t y t o which o l d e r myths had been subjected... had rendered them unadaptable t o f r e s h h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n s , " 3 but he, n e v e r t h e l e s s , agreed with h i s predecessors that " 'the Greek Fables O r i g i n a t e d i n S p i r i t u a l Mystery & Real V i s i o n s ' . " 1 * Blake, according t o h i s f r i e n d Tatham, "was v e r y i f o n d of Ovid," and knew both the Metamorphoses and Thomas Taylor's t r a n s l a t i o n s of the Neo- p l a t o n i s t s . B l a k e , however, was l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n r e i n  t e r p r e t i n g these myths than i n c r e a t i n g h i s own organic m y t h o l o g i c a l framework from whatever source he found a p p l i  c a b l e . The number of phrases echoing the s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s , as w e l l as the theme i t s e l f , i n d i c a t e s that Blake was con s c i o u s l y employing t h i s myth i n The Book of T h e l . T h e l , l i k e N a r c i s s u s , " i s a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s , l i k e shadows i n the water." ( I . 9) She abandons the other daughters and seeks "the s e c r e t a i r , " j u s t as Narcissus leaves h i s f r i e n d s and f i n a l l y a r r i v e s at the w e l l to which no one had ever come. Thel fades away by the r i v e r , ( I . 3-4) as Narcissus -> Mark Shorer, W i l l i a m Blake: The P o l i t i c s of V i s i o n , New York 1946, p. 35 . ~~~ ~ 4 George M i l l s Harper, "Taylor and Blake's Drama of Per sephone," P£, 34 (1955) , P. 378.'• Quoted from Poetry and  Prose of W i l l i a m B l a k e , ed. Geoffrey Keynes, 3rd ed., New York and London, 1932, p. 830. 5 Northrop Frye, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " Selected Poetry and  Prose of W i l l i a m B l a k e , New York, 1953, p. xx. - 21 - disappears by the pool a f t e r r e j e c t i n g a l l h i s l o v e r s . She even descends i n t o the underworld, and meets her own voice almost i n the same way that Narcissus sees h i s own shadow as he crosses the Styx: And afterward when i n t o H e l l receyved was b i s s p r i g h t , He goes me to the Well of Styx, and there both day and night Standes t o o t i n g on h i s shadow s t i l l as fondely as before. (Shakespeare's Ovid, I I . 632-634) The Book of Thel opens with Thel's lament by the r i v e r . She has l e f t the other daughters of Mne Seraphim i n order to seek a q u i e t spot f o r her g r i e f . The L i l l y of the v a l l e y introduces h e r s e l f , and asks her why she i s complai n i n g . A f t e r Thel compares h e r s e l f to the L i l l y , and con cludes that she i s more l i k e a c l o u d , the L i l l y responds by asking the Cloud to descend and meet T h e l . The Cloud now e x p l a i n s i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the flowers and the dew, but t e l l s Thel that she i s not l i k e the cloud e i t h e r , but i s only the food f o r worms. The iworm, i n t u r n , answers the Cloud's summons, but cannot speak to T h e l . The Worm s i t s s i l e n t l y on a L i l l y l e a f while Thel speaks, but the Clod of Clay answers f o r them both, e x p l a i n i n g that God loves even them. The matron Clay i n v i t e s T h e l Into her house, and t e l l s Thel that she has the s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e of both en t e r i n g and r e t u r n i n g . Thel goes i n t o the unknown land through the e t e r n a l gates, and sees the land of the dead, and hears t h e i r - 22 - lamentations. When she comes to her own grave plot, a sorrowful voice asks her a number of questions. Thel is frightened by what she sees and hears, and flees back to the vales of Har. The poem is divided into four symmetrical movements, each introducing and developing the theme of Thel's self hood. In each section Thel meets a figure with whom she hopes to identify, but discovers each time that the appa rent similarity i s , in fact, an i l l u s i o n . This discovery is the discovery of Narcissus,who f a l l s In love with his shadow, and tries to embrace i t , only to find that he is mistaken, ^hel's self-portrait in the f i r s t part is almost completely disproved by the end of the poem. She identifies herself with "the lotus of the water," with "a parting cloud." and the "smile upon an infant's face." (I. 6-10) But this apparent identity is false. After meeting the L i l l y , she must pass on, because the lotus Is not like Thel. The similarity of the imagery associated with both Thel and the L i l l y does not emphasize their essential iden t i f i c a t i o n with each other,^ but rather emphasizes Thel's basic i l l u s i o n in her false state of innocence. Her world is similar to the well of Narcissus where Illusion and rea l i t y are Indistinguishable: Stanley Gardner, Infinity on the Anvil: a C r i t i c a l  Study of Blake's Poetry, Oxford, 1954, ~p. 36. - 23 - The s t a t e of Innocence Is a world of deceptive r e f l e c t i o n s , a shadowy l o o k i n g glass where two appearances of the one r e a l i t y w i l l seem equa l  l y t r u e . 7 When she meets the cloud her i l l u s i o n i s again s h a t t e r e d , f o r c i n g her to admit: " I f e a r that I am not l i k e thee." ( I I . 17) Her metaphorical d e s c r i p t i o n of the worm as "an i n f a n t wrapped i n the L i l l y ' s l e a f " ( I I I . 3) r e c a l l s the e a r l i e r p i c t u r e of h e r s e l f as 'a smile upon an I n f a n t ' s f a c e J ' The apparent I d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s sustained u n t i l the l a s t part of the poem when Thel f l e e s from the ma t r o n Clay because, u n l i k e the worm,she cannot dwell there. In "Night IX" the E t e r n a l Man summarizes the necessary con d i t i o n s f o r true I d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the flower and the worm: "Man i s a Worm. Wearied with j o y , he seeks the caves of sleep Among the Flowers of Beulah, i n h i s S e l f i s h c o l d repose Forsaking Brotherhood & U n i v e r s a l l o v e , i n S e l  f i s h c l a y F o l d i n g the pure wings of h i s mind, seeking the places dark, A b s t r a c t e d from the roots of Science; then i n c l o s ' d around In w a l l s of Gold we cast him l i k e a Seed i n t o the E a r t h T i l l times & spaces have pass'd over him. Duly every morn We v i s i t him, covering with a V e i l the Immortal Seed. (625-632) T h e l , however, refuses to become a seed and be covered by 7 Harold Bloom, Blake's Apocalypse: A Study In P o e t i c Argument, New York, 1963, p. 58 . " " - 24 - the v e i l . She can, t h e r e f o r e , not even be the worm that w i l l be transformed i n t o l i f e by the E t e r n a l s . T h e l , p e r s o n i  f y i n g h e r s e l f as a f l o w e r , a cloud and a worm, must r e j e c t her mistaken i d e n t i f i c a t i o n because k i n s h i p with the L i l l y , the Cloud and the Worm i s as unattainable f o r her as the shadow i s f o r N a r c i s s u s . In s p i t e of t h i s c l o s e p a r a l l e l between Thel and Nar c i s s u s , a unique and more s i g n i f i c a n t a p p l i c a t i o n of the myth to the poem i s p o s s i b l e l f Thel's words that she i s "Like a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s , l i k e shadows i n the wate r , " ( I . are taken l i t e r a l l y . In t h i s context she represents the shadow of Narcissus r e f l e c t e d i n the po o l , a very important image both i n t h i s poem and i n Blake's l a t e r works. I n  stead of being the deluded Narcissus who does not recognize her i l l u s i o n s about the Cloud, she i s i n f a c t the shadow of the L i l l y , the Cloud, the Worm and the Clod of Clay. She d i s c o v e r s , not that they are u n r e a l , but that she Is only a shadow of t h e i r r e a l i t y . In "Night I I I " the Dark'ning Man, re p r e s e n t i n g an as pect of the f a l l e n A l b i o n , sees the spectre and emanation of Luvah and Vala as h i s shadow r e f l e c t e d i n the water: Above him rose a Shadow from h i s wearied i n t e l  l e c t , Of l i v i n g g o l d , pure, p e r f e c t , holy; i n white l i n e n pure he hover'd, A sweet entrancing s e l f d e l u s i o n , a wat'ry v i  s i o n of Man, Sof t e x u l t i n g i n e x i s t e n c e , a l l the Man absor bing. (45-48) - 25 - This i s , without a doubt, a d i r e c t a l l u s i o n t o the Nar c i s s u s myth, and demonstrates that Blake i s c o n s c i o u s l y using the myth f o r h i s own poetic purposes. The meaning of t h i s Narcissus shadow i n the context of The Four Zoas c l a r i f i e s some of the imaginative concepts that Blake was working with when he wrote The Book of T h e l , and d e f i n i t e  l y e s t a b l i s h e s Thel's s e l f p o r t r a y a l as a " r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s " ( I . 9) as a conscious a l l u s i o n to the myth. The shadow i n "Night I I I " i s connected with i l l u s i o n , s e l f - love and punishment of the Narcissus f i g u r e , as I t i s i n both the myth and The Book of T h e l . The f a l l e n Man, l i k e Narcissus i n S h i r l e y ' s poem, i s "Idolatrous to h i s own Shadow" ("Night I I I , " 54) because he mistakenly t h i n k s t h a t i t i s h i s Lord. His worship, t h e r e f o r e , i s a worship of himself as Narcissus 1' love f o r h i s shadow i s a love of s e l f . He i s the p a r t i e whome he wooes, and suter that doth wooe, He i s the flame that s e t t e s on f i r e , and t h i n g that burneth tooe. (Shakespeare's Ovid, I I I . 535-536) A l b i o n foresees the doom that must f o l l o w t h i s perversion and prophesies from h i s s l e e p : - I can nof.longer hide The dismal v i s i o n of mine eyes. 0 love & l i f e & l i g h t ! Prophetic dreads urge me to speak: f u t u r i t y i s before me Lik e a dark lamp. E t e r n a l death haunts a l l my ex p e c t a t i o n . (!lNight I I I , " 67-70) The reason f o r t h i s doom i s the same as the punishment f o r - 26 - N a r c i s s u s 1 s e l f - l o v e , because when we are "Rent from E t e r  n a l Brotherhood, we d i e , & are no more." ("Night I I I , " 71) T h e l , t o o , r e t u r n s to e s s e n t i a l non-existence because she could not l e a r n from the Cloud that "every t h i n g t h a t l i v e ; L i v e s not alone nor f o r I t s e l f . " ( I I . 26-27) When Urize n f a l l s and separates himself from h i s f e  male p r i n c i p l e , Ahania, and casts her to the earth as a separate e n t i t y , he, too, describes her i n terms of a Nar c i s s u s r e f l e c t i o n : And thou hast r i s e n with thy moist l o c k s i n t o a wat'ry image R e f l e c t i n g a l l my indolence, my weakness & my death. ("Night I I I , " 119-120) Tharmas, "emerging from the Smoke/ Of U r i z e n , dashed i n pieces from h i s p r e c i p i t a n t f a l l , " ("Night I I I , " 152-153) i d e n t i f i e s h i s l o s t emanation, Enion, as Echo: For now no more remain'd of Enion i n the dismal a i r , Only a voice e t e r n a l w a l l i n g i n the Elements. ("Night I I I , " 199-200) The emanations of the f a l l e n gods a r e , t h e r e f o r e , I n t e r  changeable as Echo or the shadow of the Narcissus s t o r y . Blake has combined the r e f l e c t i o n of Narcissus and the Q f i g u r e of Echo, to mean the same t h i n g i n h i s a l l u s i o n s . T h i s innovation e x p l a i n s the d e s c r i p t i o n s of Thel as both a r e f l e c t i o n and as someone who i s fa d i n g ..away. Thel i s , Northrop Frye, F e a r f u l Symmetry: A Study of W i l l i a m B l a k e , Boston, 1962, p. 2S3. - 27 - - t h e r e f o r e , Blake's v e r s i o n of N a r c i s s u s ' shadow, and can be c l a s s e d with the female p r i n c i p l e s separated from U r i - zen and Tharma;. : Ahania and Enion. The opening l i n e s of The Book of Thel emphasize Thel's lamenting voice "by the r i v e r Adona" as she seeks "the secret a i r , / To fade away l i k e morning beauty." Echo, too, leaves Narcissus and fades i n t o a mere v o i c e : She gate h i r to the Moods, And hid h i r head f o r v e r i e shame among the leaves and buddes. And ever sence she lyves alone i n dennes and h o l  low Caves. • • • Through r e s t l e s s e carke and care H i r bodie pynes to skinne and bone, and waxeth wonderous bare. - (Shakespeare's Ovid, I I I . 489-W_ The shadow of N a r c i s s u s , s i m i l a r l y , g l i d e s away and v a n i  shes as he t r i e s to touch i t . L i k e Echo who l i s t e n s f o r the voice of N a r c i s s u s , Thel a l s o wants to "hear the v o i c e / Of him that walketh i n the garden i n the evening time." ( I . 1 3-14) These a l l u s i o n s to the Narcissus myth gain importance i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n to The Four Zoas. Frye i d e n t i f i e s the r i v e r Adona with the f o u r r i v e r s of the B i b l i c a l Eden, or Blake's equivalent of Beulah, because of the e t y m o l o g i c a l connection between "the Hebrew 'Eden' and the C l a s s i c a l hortus A d o n i . " 9 This i d e n t i f i c a - Frye, F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 229. - 28 - t l o n c l a r i f i e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Vales of Har where Thel d w e l l s . Har Is the e a r l y concept of Beulah i n the l a t e r Prophecies, one of the four lands of Blake's cosmos. Beulah " i s the bed i n which we bury the seed be f o r e i t r i s e s a g a i n , and the bed of s l e e p i n g love i n which new human l i f e i s c r e a t e d . 1 0 I t i s the land of "the Caverns of the Grave & places of Human Seed," (Night I I I , " 136) i n t o which Uri z e n and Ahania f a l l a f t e r t h e i r s e p a r a t i o n . Prom here the seed must f a l l i n t o e x i s t e n c e , as Adam had t o f a l l from Eden, because "from the e t e r n a l point of view i t i s a s t a t e of repose and of dormant l i f e . " 1 1 T h e l , t h e r e  f o r e , i s l i k e Man i n The Pour Zoas, who "seeks the caves of s l e e p / Among the Flowers of Beulah," (Night IX," 625-626) and waits f o r a v i s i t from the Immortal world: 'the v o i c e / of him that walketh i n the garden.' This voice i s the voice of God t a l k i r g t o Adam i n Eden before the necessary f a l l . T h e l , however, wants to remain i n her garden r a t h e r than p a r t i c i p a t e i n regeneration. In the Songs of Experience t h i s "Holy Word" c a l l s t o the "lapsed s o u l , " not to s l e e p , but t o , A r i s e from out the dewy grass; Night i s worn, And the morn Rises from the slumberous mass. (Works, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " 12-15) F r y e , , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 229. Frye, p. 232. - 29 - Thel hears t h i s voice as i t i s embodied i n the words of the L i l l y , the Cloud, t?he Clay and the "voice of sorrow," (IV. 10) but she i s u n w i l l i n g t o experience the necessary symbolic b i r t h , and f l e e s back to the vales of Har. The vales of Har i s the d w e l l i n g place of Mnetha and her c h i l d r e n , Har and Heva, i n the unengraved poem, T i r i e l • The unexplained "Mne" i n the f i r s t l i n e of The  Book of Thel Is probably a d e l i b e r a t e a l l u s i o n t o Mnetha, i d e n t i f y i n g Thel as one of her daughters. The word was not scratched from the p l a t e (Prophetic W r i t i n g s J I , f o o t  note I , p. 271) and i s , i n f a c t , necessary f o r the metre of the l i n e . The vales of Har i s the place of unborn innocence, a s t a t e of death before existence f o r those who remain t h e r e : "Har i s the human Selfhood which, thzomgh men spend most of t h e i r time t r y i n g to express i t , never achieves r e a l i t y and i s i d e n t i f i e d only as death. Har, u n l i k e Adam, never outgrows h i s garden but remains there shut up from the world i n a permanent s t a t e of n e a r - e x i s t e n c e . " 1 2 T h e l , l i k e the ol d T i r i e l , f l e e s back to t h i s land f o r s a f e t y . Innocence here i s f a l s e and equated, not with childhood, but with s e n i l i t y : T i r i e l " i s an innocent o l d man" ( T i r i e l , 2 . 2 6 - 30) because he Is harmless without h i s s t a f f . The imagery d e s c r i b i n g Har and Heva i n T l r l e l i d e n t i f i e s the "daughters of Mne Seraphim" as the daughters of Mnetha: 12 Prye, F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 242. And Har & Heva, l i k e two c h i l d r e n , sat beneath the Oak. Mnetha, now aged, waited on them, & brought them food & c l o t h i n g ; But they were as the shadow of Har & as the years f o r g o t t e n . P l a y i n g with flowers & running a f t e r b i r d s they spent the day, And i n the night l i k e i n f a n t s s l e p t , d e l i g h t Ce\d with i n f a n t dreams. ( T i r i e l , 2. 5-9) T h e l , as one of these daughters, i s a l s o l i k e a f o r g o t t e n shadow i n the "secret a i r " ( T h e l , I . 2 ), who plays with f l o  wers, and whose transience i s "Like dreams of i n f a n t s . " ( T h e l , I . 1-0) The E a r t h , i n a l a t e r stage of the process of r e g a i n i n g Eden, answers the 'Holy Word' with the "Earth's Answer," i n order t o escape i t s f a l l e n s t a t e i n the Songs  of Experience: 'Break t h i s heavy chain That does freeze my bones around. S e l f i s h ! v a i n ! E t e r n a l bane! That f r e e Love with bondage bound.' (Works, 21-25) T h e l , too, should break from her chains of s e l f - l o v e , but remains i n s t e a d , the shadow of Narcissus because she i s unable to enter the c y c l e of s e l f l e s s n e s s i n the world of experience. "Thel's Motto" i n d i c a t e s the n e c e s s i t y of a descent Into the p i t of experience i n order to .obtain "Wisdom" and "Love": " 'Thel's Motto' i s a s e r i e s of questions which suggest the moral n e c e s s i t y of immersion i n l i f e , but, at the same time, the d i s t a s t e f u l n e s s of the immersion.... Since the Eagle does not know what i s In the p i t , one has to ask the Mole, and In order to ask him one must go to the p i t . But the Eagle i s so much more g l o r i o u s than the Mole that one won-- 31 - ders why i t i s d e s i r a b l e t o know what i s i n the p l t . " 1 ^ But experience i n Blake demands s a c r i f i c e , and the p r i c e must be paid i n order to a t t a i n the higher s t a t e . Enion, i n "Night I I , " asks the c r i t i c a l question that demands an answer i n Blake's mythology: What i s the p r i c e of Experience? do men buy i t f o r a song, Or wisdom f o r a dance i n the str e e ? No! i t i s bought with the p r i c e Of a l l that man h a t h — h i s house, h i s w i f e , h i s c h i l d r e n . Wisdom i s s o l d in:the desolate market where none come to buy, And i n the wither'd f i e l d where the farmer plows f o r bread i n v a i n . (605-609) This i s the p r i c e that Thel i s asked t o pay, but r e f u s e s . The L i l l y of the v a l l e y , the symbol of the r e s u r r e c  ted C h r i s t , gives Thel the f i r s t l esson on how she must descend i n t o the p i t . The voice that the L i l l y hears i s not the voice of God i n the garden, but the voice of C h r i s t i n Matthew 6 : 2 8 - 3 1 , who promises to c l o t h e and feed h i s d i s  c i p l e s I f they w i l l "take no thought" f o r themselves. The v i r g i n i t y of the L i l i y i s s p o i l t by the lamb, the cow and the " f i r e - b r e a t h i n g steed," ( I . 35) but u n l i k e Thel's v i r  g i n i t y i t i s productive. A f t e r l e a r n i n g that she must d i s s o c i a t e h e r s e l f from the L i l l y , Thel must l e a r n next that she Is not " l i k e a x~> E.D. H i r s c h , J r . , Innocence and Experience: An In — t r o d u c t i o n to B l a k e , New Haven, 1954 ™pp. 305-3O6. - 32 - wat'ry bow, and l i k e a p a r t i n g cloud." ( I . 8) The Cloud must f i r s t inform Thel that i t s "steeds d r i n k of the g o l  den s p r i n g s / Where Luvah doth renew h i s horses." ( I I . 7-8) This f a c t does not apply to T h e l , who t h i n k s of the Cloud only as vanishing from i t s " p e a r l y throne." ( I . 37) She does not want to leave her throne any more than she wants to change from an eagle to a mole. But as the L i l l y tamed the steed, so now the Cloud d r i n k s with the horses of Luvah. Thel does n e i t h e r . Luvah, i n the l a t e r poems, w i l l "represent the sexual aspect of e x i s t e n c e , " c a l l e d "Generation" 1 1* the world to which Thel must descend i n o r  der to be born so that she can reascend i n t o the true Eden. The Cloud symbolizes the s t a t e of Generation. Unlike Thel i t passes away "to t e n f o l d l i f e " by descending to the " s h i n i n g t e n t " of Generation and by wedding "the f a i r ' e y e d dew" i n order to reascend to a higher innocence, " l i n k ' d i n a golden band and never p a r t , / But walk u n i t e d , bearing food to a l l our tender f l o w e r s . " ( I I . 11-16) Like the L i l l y , the Cloud a l s o ascends to an e t e r n a l s t a t e of Innocence and u n i t y . The l o s s of i d e n t i t y of the Cloud and the v i r g i n dew w i t h i n each other symbolizes Blake's concept of i d e a l u n i t y . When Luvah and Urizen f a l l i n "Night I I I , " they are Frye, F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 235. - 33 - separated from t h e i r female counterparts which are a c t u a l  l y a part of themselves i n the e t e r n a l and u n f a l l e n s t a t e . Once Ahania i s separated from Urizen she becomes a shadow i n the same way that Thel i s a shadow. In Blake's Eden the whole human world e x i s t s i n "the shape of a s i n g l e i n  f i n i t e human body," the " p e r f e c t Man." 1^ The four e t e r n a l archetypes, Urthona, Luvah, Urizen and Tharmas, e x i s t In pe r f e c t harmony as t h i s body, A l b i o n . However, when any, "one of the e t e r n a l f a m i l y usurps f o r himself the r o l e of e t e r n a l man,"1^ the Spectre of that E t e r n a l i s formed, se pa r a t i n g I t s e l f from i t s Emanation. When Tharmas f a l l s i n "Night I , " he becomes a Spectre who complains, "Lost! L o s t ! Lost! are my Emanations!" (19) The "Spectre i s a 'ravening devouring l u s t , ' l o o k i n g outside himself f o r g r a t i  f i c a t i o n , " and h i s former Emanation i s "everything he can l o v e " as part of h i m s e l f . 1 7 When man worships Luvah as a separate p r i n c i p l e of himself and c a l l s him Lord, Luvah becomes the Spectre separated from h i s Emanation, V a l a . The Cloud and the dew who are ' l i n k ' d i n a golden band and ne ver p a r t , ' exemplify the u n i f i e d existence of the e t e r n a l archetypes, whereas Thel i s s t i l l the separated v i r g i n Prye, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , p . x x x v i i . Robert P. Gleckner, "Blake's R e l i g i o n of Imagination," JAAC, XIV (September 1955)* P. 360. 17 Prye, p. x x v i . - 34 - dew, the l o s t Emanation, who remains "without a use." (11.22) Thel i s l i k e Echo because she remains an u n f u l f i l l e d v i r g i n , f a d i n g to a mere v o i c e , and l i k e N a r c i s s u s 1 shadow because her existence i s a c t u a l l y a s t a t e of non-existence and s t e r i l i t y i n terms of Blake's c a t e g o r i e s . In The Marriage of Heaven and  H e l l , selfhood as found i n Thel i s represented by the "Devou- r e r , " whereas s e l f l e s s n e s s i s the " P r o l i f i c . " The union of these p r i n c i p l e s i s necessary i n order t o " r e i n s t i t u t e the c o n d i t i o n s of unconscious selfhood which preceded Urizen's r e  v o l t . " 1 8 The Clod of Clay, l i k e the Cloud, i s a l s o bound i n "nup t i a l bands," (111.14) and l i k e the L i l l y and the Cloud i t too has learned that "we l i v e not f o r o u r s e l v e s . " ( I I I . 10) As the L i l l y has been promised the " e t e r n a l v a l e s , " ( I . 25) and the Cloud has been promised e t e r n a l union, so C h r i s t of 19 Revelations 2:10 7 has promised to give the Clay "a crown that none can take away." ( T h e l , III. 1 6 ) Only Thel remains without a promise, but the matron Clay now i n v i t e s her to enter her house, and promises t h a t " t i s given thee t o e n t e r / And to r e t u r n . " ( I I I . 23-29) This promise i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y given t o the epic hero such as Homer, Aeneas, and Dante as an i n v i t a t i o n to share the s e c r e t s of the 1 0 Gleckner, "Blake's R e l i g i o n of the Imagination," p.365. 1 9 "be thou f a i t h f u l unto death, and I w i l l give thee a crown of l i f e . " - 35 - underworld. In C h r i s t i a n mythology C h r i s t , too, descends to and returns from Hades, and i n t h i s context Thel i s being i n v i t e d to become C h r i s t . Por B l a k e , C h r i s t i s the 20 e t e r n a l essence, and the i d e a l oneness which man becomes when he enters Eden. Thel i s , t h e r e f o r e , asked to des cend i n t o the grave i n order t o be able to reascend i n t o Eden. The source f o r the northern gates has been i d e n t i f i e d , both as "one of the few genuine and i n d i s p u t a b l e borrowings on Blake's part from Neoplatonic t r a d i t i o n , " 2 1 and as the d i s c u s s i o n of the entrances to Jerusalem i n E z e k i e l 4 6 : 9 . 2 £ : ; In h i s a l l e g o r y on Ulysses' descent i n t o the Cave of the Nymphs, Porphyry s t a t e s t h a t t h i s cave i s " f u l l o f ancient wisdom," and s i g n i f i e s "the descent of the s o u l Into sub lunary r e g i o n s . " 2 3 The Odyssey e x p l a i n s that the Cave of the Nymphs "has two doors; one turned to the n o r t h , by which mortal men may descend; one on the south, meant r a t h e r f o r gods, by which men do not e n t e r , but t h i s i s the road of 2 0 Gleckner, "Blake's R e l i g i o n of Imagination," p. 360. 21 Bloom, Blake's Apocalypse, p. 6 0 . 2 2 Gleckner, "Blake's Theland the B i b l e , " BNYPL,LXIV ( I 9 6 0 ) , pp. 579-580. 2 3 Thomas T a y l o r , t r a n s . , "On the Cave of the-Nymphs," S e l e c t Works of Porphyry, London, 1823, pp. 174-175. - 36 - the immortals The Neoplatonic interpretation of th i s cave with i t s two gates explains i t as a place of generation for souls: The northern parts, likewise, pertain to souls descending into generation. And the gates of the cavern which are turned to the north, are r i g h t l y said to be pervious to the descent of men; but the southern gates are not the avenues ofpthe Gods, but of souls ascending to the Gods. Both Blake and Porphyry think of this cave as a place of generation. Thel, l i k e Ulysses of the Neoplatonic a l l e g o r i zation, i s given the opportunity of being born to immor t a l i t y by passing through t h i s cave. The verse in Ezekiel does not specify who can go through the north and the south gates, but i t emphasizes that those who enter by one gate must ex i t by the other: he that entereth i n by the way of the north gate to worship s h a l l go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate s h a l l go forth by the way of the north gate: he s h a l l not return by the way of the gate whereby he came i n , but s h a l l go forth over against i t . (46:9) The V i r g i n , refuses generation when she fl e e s back the same way by which she came. The land that Thel enters, however, i s f i l l e d with "Dolours & lamentations." (IV, 7) Neither the Cave of the Homer, The Odyssey, trans.1. W.H.D. Rouse, New York, 1937, P. 140. 2 5 Taylor, Select Works of Porphyry, pp. 186-189. - 37 - Nymphs nor Jerusalem i s described i n t h i s way. And the " e t e r n a l g a t e s 1 t e r r i f i c p o r t e r " (IV. 1) seems to remain u n i d e n t i f i e d . But Aeneas 1 v i s i t to the underworld i n V i r  g i l ' s e pic seems to have some a f f i n i t y with Thel's descent. The S i b y l suggests that P l u t o , the k i n g of the underworld, or p o s s i b l y Cerberus, i s the porter of the gatet "every 26 night and every day black P l u t o ' s door stands wide open." She a l s o t e l l s him, as the Clay t e l l s T h e l , that he has been given the p r i v i l e g e of both e n t e r i n g and r e t u r n i n g . The s o r  rows that meet Thel as soon as she enters the gate, a l s o meet Aeneas: "In f r o n t of the very Entrance H a l l , i n the very Jaws of Hades, G r i e f and R e s e n t f u l Care have l a i d t h e i r beds. Shapes t e r r i b l e of aspect '.have t h e i r d w e l l i n g t h e r e , p a l l i d Diseases, Old Age f o r l o r n , Pear, Hunger, the Coun s e l l o r of E v i l , ugly Poverty, Death, and P a i n . " 2 7 T h e l , too, sees the "couches of the dead." (IV. 3) Thel's descent i s , t h e r e f o r e , a p o t e n t i a l Neoplatonic r e b i r t h and an opportunity to:.enter i n t o the land of v i s i o n . Blake d i v i d e s h i s cosmos i n t o the f o u r - f o l d d i v i s i o n 2 3 of U l r o , Generation, Beulah and Eden. U l r o i s the lowest 2 6 V i r g i l The Aeneid, W . P . Jackson Knight, t r a n s . , London, I 9 6 0 , V I . 123-154. 2 7 V i r g i l The Aeneid, V I . 255-287. 28 Gleckner, "Blake's R e l i g i o n of the Imagination," p. 364. - 38 - l e v e l of death and Non E n t i t y : the place to which the seed must descend i n order to r i s e i n t o Eden. The Ovidian and Dantean metamorphoses of "everyheart on e a r t h " ( T h e l , IV. 4) i n t o a t r e e picture:: i t as i n f i x i n g "deep I t s r e s t  l e s s t w i s t s " i n t o t h i s land of the dead. In the dialogue between the Spectre of Urthona and the Shadow of Enitharmon, the Shadow e x p l a i n s how Urizen f e l l from the " p l a i n s of Beulah." (Night V I I , " 249) When t h i s happened Enitharmon was wrapped up i n f o r g e t f u l n e s s " i n the Cavern dark, enslav'd to ..vegetative forms." ("Night V I I , " '260) In The Book of T h e l , Thel meets these vegetative forms i n the grave. This i s the land of U l r o , the place of d i v i s i o n and the source of a new union: t h i s d e l i g h t f u l Tree Is given us f o r a S h e l t e r from the tempests of Void & S o l i d , T i l l once again the morn of ages s h a l l renew us, To r e u n i t e i n those mild f i e l d s of happy E t e r  n i t y Where thou:' & I i n undivided Essence walk'd about Imbodled, thou my garden of D e l i g h t & I the s p i r i t i n the garden. ("Night V:II," 265-270) The existence of U l r o i s a r e s u l t of a d i v i s i o n i n the "Uni v e r s a l Manhood" i n t o Spectre and Shadow: One dread morn— L i s t e n , 0 v i s i o n of d e l i g h t ! — One dread morn of goary blood. The manhood was d i v i d e d ; O r"Night V I I , " 275-277) The Spectre of Urthona i s now "a ravening devouring l u s t , c o n t i n u a l l y / Craving and devouring," ("Night V I I , " 301-302) and cannot pass back i n t o "the Gates of E t e r n a l l i f e " ("Night - 39 - V I I , " 305) u n t i l t h i s d i v i s i o n i s destroyed, Consummating by pains & labours That mortal body, & by S e l f a n n i h i l a t i o n back r e t u r n i n g To L i f e E t e r n a l . ("Night V I I , " 339-341.T1 This challenge t o go through the 'pains and labours' of reunion faces Thel as she encounters her own Spectre i n her "grave p l o t . " (IV.9) Her f e a r i s the f e a r of paying the 'pr i c e of Experience, 1 and she f l e e s back to the vales of Har to remain the f a d i n g v i r g i n Echo and the shadow of N a r c i s s u s . The questions from the hollow p i t are those of expe r i e n c e , i n c o n t r a s t to Thel's questions of innocence i n Part I . Her f e a r i s the f e a r of f a l s e innocence because the t h r e a t of d e s t r u c t i o n i s the means towards l i f e r a t h e r than death. Urthona w i t h i n the "New born Man" ("Night IX," 831) asks: 'How i s i t we have walk'd t h r o ' f i r e s , & yet are not consum'd? How i s i t that a l l things are chang'd, even as i n ancient time?' ("Night IX," 842-843) The p r i c e i s the p r i c e of selfhood. Man must become i n f i n i t e i n order to become e t e r n a l . The Book of Thel i s Blake's e a r l y e x p l o r a t i o n of the problem of s e l f i s h n e s s , the u l t i m a t e s i n In h i s mythology. He employs the Narcissus s t o r y as a v e h i c l e ~ f o r h i s poetic v i s i o n by combining the r o l e s of Echo and the shadow of Narcissus t o represent the ephemeral and i l l u s o r y nature. - 40 - of s e l f h o o d . He f u l l y explores the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of t h i s theme i n The Pour Zoas where selfhood i s destroyed by an a p o c a l y p t i c union ushering man i n t o an Innocence that i s gained a f t e r the s e l f i s l o s t i n experience. In The Book  of T h e l , however, Thel i s unable t o pass to " t e n f o l d l i f e * w ith the Cloud and t h e r e f o r e remains a "weeping v i r g i n before the r i s e n sun." .1 CHAPTER I I SHELLEY'S ALASTOR: THE CONTROVERSIAL NARCISSUS The use of the Narcissus myth i n A l a s t o r , S h e l l e y ' s most c r i t i c a l l y disputed poem, has been conceded, but has not been i n t e r p r e t e d as the o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r the poem's u n i t y of s t r u c t u r e , imagery and theme. Jay Macpber- son has c a l l e d t h i s poem "the most Nar c i s s u s - r i d d e n poem, i n E n g l i s h , " 1 and has i n t e r p r e t e d some of the imagery i n these terms. Contrary to those c r i t i c s who see the Poet as a p o s i t i v e h e r o , 2 Miss Macpherson c l e a r l y recognizes that h i s search i s "delusive and s e l f - d e v o u r i n g " because he i s unable "to recognize i n the v i s i o n a r y maiden h i s own cr e a  t i o n . " 3 Jones f i n d s a serious i n c o n s i s t e n c y between the e a r l y and l a t e r parts of the poem. According to h i s view, A l a s t o r begins with the purpose of i l l u s t r a t i n g the f a t a l consequen ces of l i v i n g a s e l f - c e n t e r e d l i f e , but then abandons t h i s pur pose and ends with u n q u a l i f i e d p r a i s e of the Poet "as the 1 Jay Macpherson, "Narcissusr Some Uncertain R e f l e c t i o n s , " Alphabet, Number 1 (i960), p.46. 2 W i l l i a m H. Hildebrand, A Study of A l a s t o r , Kent, Ohio, 1954. 3 Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s : Some Uncertain R e f l e c t i o n s : or Prom *LycIdas' to Donovan's B r a i n , " Alphabet, Number 2 (1961), p.63. - 42 - highest conceivable type." Gibson attac k s Jones' c r i t i c i s m t hat S h e l l e y deviates from the purpose s t a t e d i n the "Preface" i n the l a s t h a l f of the poem, and f i n d s instead a complete u n i t y of thought throughout, c o n s i s t e n t with S h e l l e y ' s s t a t e d purpose.5 He argues, however, that the poem i s not s t r u c t u  r a l l y u n i f i e d because S h e l l e y changes h i s method from n a r r a  t i v e to a l l e g o r y at the point where the Poet embarks onto the sea i n the " l i t t l e s h a l l o p . " ( 2 9 9 ) 6 N e i t h e r I n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s completely s a t i s f y i n g , f o r A l a s t o r possesses a d e f i n i t e s t r u c  t u r a l u n i t y supported by the u n i f y i n g theme and imagery of the Narcissus myth. The journey of the Poet, which begins with l e a v i n g the " a l i e n a t e d home" ( A l a s t o r , 76) and ends with death, Is the bas i s f o r the s t r u c t u r e of the poem. Sh e l l e y ' s i n v o c a t i o n and prologue (1-66) and the c l o s i n g lament (672-720) the- m a t i c a l l y introduce and summarize t h i s journey. The s t r u c  ture of the s t o r y i s d i v i d e d i n t o halves of a continu i n g cy c l e with c l o s e u n i f y i n g p a r a l l e l s at the point where the Poet goes to search f o r h i s v i s i o n . (222-223) The Poet's e n t i r e t r a v e l s , both before and a f t e r the Fre d e r i c k L. Jones, "The Inconsistency of S h e l l e y ' s A l a s  t o r . " ELH. 13 ( 1946) , p. 2^1. 5 E.K. Gibson, " A l a s t o r ^ A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " PMLA, 62 (1947) , p. 1022. " Gibson, " A l a s t o r : A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " p. 1036. - 43 - v i s i o n , take place i n the geographical landscape of c i t i e s , sea, r i v e r s and mountains. O'Malley's argument that the hero's " t r a v e l s o b viously were amid s p i r i t u a l landscapes, not t o any geographical Thebes or Cashmire" 7 i s only p a r t l y t r u e . The Poet does, i n true Romantic f a s h i o n , recognize the ima g i n a t i v e value of the scenery, but the source of the image i s always i n r e a l nature: •0 stream! Whose source i s i n a c c e s s i b l y profound, Whither do thy mysterious waters tend? Thou imagest my l i f e . 1 ( A l a s t o r , 502-505) Although nature becomes animated and mysterious during the boat t r i p , the Poet, n e v e r t h e l e s s , does not leave the p h y s i  c a l world f o r a purely s p i r i t u a l realm. These concepts are two aspects of the same r e a l i t y i n S h e l l e y ' s metaphysics, and t h e r e f o r e i n d i v i s i b l e . As S h e l l e y f e l t i n h i s ascent to Mont Blanc, that i t "was a l i v i n g being & that the f r o z e n blood f o r e v e r c i r c u l a t e d s l o w l y t h r o 1 h i s stony g X v e i n s , " so a l s o the Poet experiences the l i f e of the r i v e r s and mountains. The Poet i s , t h e r e f o r e , going on a s i n g l e journey, experiencing the landscape both o b j e c t i v e l y and s u b j e c t i v e l y . The u n i t y of t h i s s t r u c t u r e encompasses a s i n g l e theme: 7 Glenn O'Malley, S h e l l e y and Synesthesia, Evanston, I l l i  n o i s , 1964, p. 52. The L e t t e r s of Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y , ed. F r e d e r i c k L. Jones, Oxford, 19b*i, I , p. 500. Hereafter c i t e d I n t e r n a l l y as L e t t e r s I or I I . - 44 - the d e l u s i v e search f o r t r u t h . This theme i s u n i f i e d be cause the search a f t e r the Poet leaves home i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same as the search a f t e r the v i s i o n appears. The Poet, u n l i k e S h e l l e y , does not r e a l i z e that there i s no d i v i s i o n between h i s o b j e c t i v e and s u b j e c t i v e worlds. The v i s i o n t h a t he seeks has no r e a l i t y except as i t i s embodied i n the Arab maiden, the peasants, and the n a t u r a l scenery. 9 The s p i r i t u a l essence, according, to S h e l l e y , i s inseparable from the p h y s i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s : When we speak of the soul of man, we mean that unknown cause which produces the observable e f  f e c t evinced by h i s i n t e l l i g e n c e & b o d i l y anima t i o n which are i n t h e i r nature conjoined, and as we suppose, as we observe, in s e p a r a b l e . ( L e t t e r s I , p. 100) The Poet i s the Narcissus f i g u r e who i s mi s d i r e c t e d i n t o searching f o r the shadow of t r u t h , and th e r e f o r e doomed to f a i l u r e . The c o n s i s t e n t imagery of the m i r r o r , the shadow and the eyes, a s s o c i a t e d with the quest f o r the v i s i o n , iden t i f i e s i t as the r e f l e c t i o n i n the f a t a l Narcissus p o o l . S h e l l e y ' s "Preface" to A l a s t o r supports t h i s i n t e r p r e  t a t i o n . The "Being" the youth "images t o h i m s e l f . . . u n i t e s a l l of wonderful, or wise, or b e a u t i f u l , which the poet, the philosopher, or the l o v e r could d e p i c t u r e . " (p.l4) This image i s the " s o u l w i t h i n our s o u l " that S h e l l e y discusses C E . Pul o s , The Deep T r u t h : A Study of S h e l l e y ' s S c e p t i  cism, L i n c o l n , 1954, p.81. - 45 - i n the essay, "Oh Love": We dimly see w i t h i n our i n t e l l e c t u a l nature a minia ture as i t were of our e n t i r e s e l f , yet deprived of a l l that we condemn or despise, the i d e a l prototype of everything e x c e l l e n t or l o v e l y that we are ca pable of conceiving as belonging t o the nature of man. This "mirror whose surface r e f l e c t s only the forms of pu r i t y and b r i g h t n e s s , " 1 0 i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the Narcissus myth by Miss Macpherson. She f i n d s t h a t the "De I n e r e d i b i - l i b u s , " the f i r s t d o c t r i n e e x p l a i n i n g the Narcissus myth, i n t e r p r e t s the water i n which Narcissus i s drowned as the " 'stream of nature and the p h y s i c a l body'," and the r e f l e c  t i o n with which he f e l l i n love as " 'the f a i n t e s t r e f l e c  t i o n of h i s true s o u l ' . " 1 1 According to her, there were two divergent i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the mirror-symbolism: the Renaissance considered the m i r r o r Image to be f a r i n f e r i o r to the o r i g i n a l , but the Romantics tended to suggest that i t was more b e a u t i f u l than the r e a l i t y . 'The Fable Of Quid  T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s , w r i t t e n i n 1560, however, already i n t e r  prets the w e l l as r e f l e c t i n g only what i s praiseworthy: With i n t h i s w e l l no fautes he euer spies Whereby him s e l f e he anye waye might s p i t e But as eche face appearithe, fayre & quyte 1 0 Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y , "On Love," E n g l i s h Romantic Poetry  and Prose, ed. R u s s e l l Noyes, New York, 195b, p. 1093. 1 1 Macpherson, "Narcissus," Alphabet, Number 1, p. 44. ' Macpherson, "Narcissus," Alphabet, Number 1, p, 46. - 46 - Thougheitt be f o u l e w i t h i n the f l a t r i n g e g l a s .„ This l y i n g e l a k e , sbewes: euerye gyfte t o passe. J S h e l l e y i s , t h e r e f o r e , working with a t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a  t i o n of the r e f l e c t i o n as being more b e a u t i f u l than the o r i g i  n a l . At the same time, he i s a l s o borrowing the explanation i n "De I n c r e d i b i l i b u s . " This combination produces the 'soul w i t h i n our s o u l ' as p u r i f i e d r e f l e c t i o n of the t o t a l man. The second paragraph of the "Preface" e x p l a i n s S h e l l e y ' s a t t i t u d e towards the Poet. Hildebrand's reading of the "but" i n the t h i r d sentence 1 1* over-emphasizes S h e l l e y ' s p r a i s e of the Poet as a luminary. The protagonist of the poem i s one of the "luminaries of the world" under the dominion of the Power, as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the "meaner s p i r i t s t hat dare to abjure i t s dominion." He i s nevertheless "avenged by the f u r i e s of an i r r e s i s t i b l e passion pursuing him t o speedy r u i n " as a punish ment f o r h i s " s e l f - c e n t e r e d s e c l u s i o n . " 'The f u r i e s ' l i t e r a l l y r e f e r s to the Poet's u n c o n t r o l l e d emotional r e a c t i o n to h i s f r u s t r a t e d search, but i t a l s o embodies the mythological con cept of Nemesis, as explained i n Sandys' comments, who punishes' Narcissus f o r h i s s e l f - l o v e . The Power, or " s p i r i t of sweet hu man l o v e " (203) sends the Poet the v i s i o n that d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from those who are "morally dead." The Poet m i s d i r e c t s h i s search when he i s o l a t e s himself from human sympathy Instead of dedlca- x3 ''The Fable Of Ouid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s / 1 ed. Buckleye, p. 158: 14 Hildebrand, A Study of A l a s t o r , p. 28. - 47 - t i n g h i s i n s i g h t t o the s e r v i c e of humanity. S h e l l e y ' s sym pathy a t the end of the poem does not c o n t r a d i c t h i s c r i t i  cism of the Poet's ' s e l f - c e n t e r e d s e c l u s i o n * ' but r a t h e r expres ses h i s sorrow t h a t one who, l i k e N a r c i s s u s , i s more b e a u t i f u l than the r e s t should p e r i s h because he Is deluded by a generous e r r o r . S h e l l e y d i s t i n g u i s h e s h i s i d e a l i s m from the Poe t ' s : I am und e c ( e ) i v e d i n the b e l i e f t h a t I have powers deeply to i n t e r e s t , or s u b s t a n t i a l l y t o improve, mankind ... I.am an outcas t from human s o c i e t y ; my name i s execrated by a l l who under stand i t s e n t i r e i m p o r t , — b y those very beings whose happiness I a r d e n t l y d e s i r e . ( L e t t e r s I,p.517) He does not b e l i e v e t h a t the " i d e a l i s e t e r n a l , immutable, 16 and above the m o r t a l i t y of space and time and death." J The i d e a l f o r S h e l l e y i s immutable, but only as i t i s a s s o c i a t e d with space and time. He does not c l a i m t o have any knowledge o f an i d e a l a f t e r death. Power, God, Love or the i d e a l are c o e x i s t e n t with the u n i v e r s e : "the essence o f the u n i v e r s e , the u n i v e r s e i s the essence of i t . " ( L e t t e r s I , p.101) A l  though he may have a l t e r e d h i s views when he was o l d e r , he ex p l i c i t l y b e l i e v e d a t t h i s time t h a t "God i s another s i g n i f i  c a t i o n f o r the U n i v e r s e . " ( L e t t e r s I , p.215) The Poet must s e a r c h f o r h i s v i s i o n through sympathy f o r humanity or e l s e be punished by the curse t h a t a f f l i c t s N a r c i s s u s . In the i n v o c a t i o n , S h e l l e y develops the three f u n c t i o n s which t o g e t h e r form the essence of h i s concept of the human 5 H i l d e b r a n d , A Study of A l a s t o r , p . 4 l . - 48 - s o u l , as opposed to the Poet's understanding of the Image that he p i c t u r e s to h i m s e l f . In the f i r s t s e c t i o n (1-17) Shelley- describes how h i s own senses have perceived Nature i n terms of a p h y s i c a l l o v e . He has responded to the " t i n g l i n g s i - l e n t n e s s , " "hollow s i g h s , " "winter r o b i n g with pure snow," "voluptuous pantings," and "sweet k i s s e s " of Nature. (7-12) Sensual p e r c e p t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , i s the f i r s t f u n c t i o n . The second focuses on the i n t e l l e c t u a l search f o r the "deep mys t e r i e s " i n Nature. The s i n i s t e r imagery of the " c h a r n e l s , " " c o f f i n s , " "black death," "lone ghost," and "desperate a l  chemist" (18-41) develops t h i s search p o e t i c a l l y , suggesting t h a t i t i s a search f o r a forbidden and f a t a l t r u t h . He ends the i n v o c a t i o n with the image of the l y r e and the wind, sym b o l i z i n g the f u n c t i o n of the imagination. In h i s essay, "On Love," S h e l l e y i d e n t i f i e s these three f u n c t i o n s as the f u l f i l m e n t of the human being. The reason, the imagination and the senses compose the t o t a l i t y of what we experience w i t h i n ourselves and f o r which we seek a response outside of o u r s e l v e s . This t o t a l i t y i s the nature of that "something w i t h i n us which ... more and more t h i r s t s a f t e r i t s l i k e n e s s . " This 'something' i s the miniature i n which we concentrate "our i n t e l l e c t u a l nature," t o which we " r e f e r a l l sensations," and which i s acted upon by the imagination. The miniature i s the "mirror whose surface r e  f l e c t s only the forms of p u r i t y and b r i g h t n e s s : a soul w i t h i n our s o u l . " l t : ) S h e l l e y has, t h e r e f o r e , described the three func- S h e l l e y , "On Love," p. IO93. - 49 - t i o n s of the soul w i t h i n the i n v o c a t i o n of the poem. The Poet, however, searches f o r t h i s essence i t s e l f r a t h e r than f o r a human being who w i l l respond to t h i s s o u l w i t h i n him, j u s t as Narcissus wants to embrace h i s own shadow r a t h e r than respond to Echo, who admires h i s beauty. The i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the s t o r y of the Poet (50-66) es t a b l i s h e s the mood of sorrowing and melancholic l o n e l i n e s s , and introduces the tragedy of the Poet's l a c k of response to human lo v e . The v i r g i n s who waste away f o r l o v e , and the youth's " w i l d eyes" both echo imagery from the Ovidian Nar c i s s u s myth. 17 The f i r s t h a l f of the s t r u c t u r a l c y c l e (67-IO6) begins when the Poet leaves h i s home f o r the "undiscovered lands." He f i r s t pursues "Nature's most secret steps, " v i s i t i n g " f i e l d s of snow," "bitumen l a k e s " and "secret caves." This p u r s u i t culminates i n a bond of k i n s h i p with Nature. (100- 106) His "wandering step" proceeds to the old ruined c i t i e s where he f i n a l l y perceives the " t h r i l l i n g s e c r e t s of the b i r t h of time." (106-128) On h i s journey he r e j e c t s the love of the Arab maiden, and continues through A r a b l e , P e r s i a and the Carmanian waste, f i n a l l y ending i n a " n a t u r a l bower," (147) where he f a l l s asleep. As hie s l e e p s , a v i s i o n comes to him, and when he awakes the world which p r e v i o u s l y was Ovid, The Metamorphoses, t r a n s . Horace Gregory, New York, 1963. Hereafter c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y as Ovid. - 50 - f u l l of ' t h r i l l i n g s e c r e t s ' (128) has been transformed Into a dark and "empty scene." (201) Hope changes to despair. The f i r s t h a l f of the c y c l e ends here, because the world i n which he has f e l t "strong i n s p i r a t i o n " (127) and k i n s h i p with na t u r e has disappeared, and he i s now i n a world of f e a r , l e d on by.the " f i e r c e f i e n d " of h i s passion. (225) The theme of the t r i p l e response of the soul t o Na ture introduced i n the i n v o c a t i o n i s reintroduced and de veloped w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of the search. The Poet i s iden t i f i e d as one nurtured by " v i s i o n , and b r i g h t s i l v e r dream ^imagination]," (67) and who " f e l t ^functions of sense] and knew [ i n t e l l e c t ] " the t r u t h of nature and knowledge. (68- 75) These are p r e c i s e l y the f u n c t i o n s which S h e l l e y i d e n  t i f i e s as the 'soul w i t h i n our s o u l ' i n "On Love," making i t p o s s i b l e t o i n t e r p r e t t h i s Poet as one of those who r e  cognizes that'something'which 'more and more t h i r s t s a f  t e r i t s l i k e n e s s . ' This theme i s expanded t o include the Narcissus t e n  dency towards s e c l u s i o n from s o c i e t y when the Poet leaves "His c o l d f i r e s i d e and a l i e n a t e d home." (76) In h i s essay, S h e l l e y defines love as the search f o r the soul's " a n t i  type: the meeting with an understanding capable of c l e a r l y e s t i m a t i n g our own" 1 3 w i t h i n another person. Since t h i s S h e l l e y , "On Love," p. IO93. - 51 - c e n t r a l idea i s completely c o n s i s t e n t with the c e n t r a l idea i n the "Preface" to A l a s t o r , i t may be s a f e l y assumed tha t the general ideas i n "On Love" are re l e v a n t f o r an i n  t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem. The Poet, contrary t o S h e l l e y f s i d e a l s , searches f o r the f u l f i l m e n t of his de s i r e s i n Na t u r e , r a t h e r than i n s o c i e t y . S h e l l e y develops t h i s double theme of the Poet's d e s i r e f o r t r u t h and h i s a l i e n a t i o n i n three p a r t s . ( 7 3 - 2 3 9 ) He f i n d s some response t o h i s inner longing i n h i s f e e l i n g of k i n s h i p with Nature and h i s f l a s h e s i n t o the sec r e t s of time. The imagery of the animals e a t i n g from h i s hand por t r a y s t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The a l i e n a t i o n i s re-emphasized i n the p i c t u r e of the Arab maiden who pines away f o r h i s lo v e . (129-139) This maiden symbolizes the a n t i - t y p e which S h e l l e y mentions i n "On Love," who could respond to the Poet's reason, imagination and f e e l i n g . She comes "to gaze" ( 1 3 5 ) upon the Poet i n the same way that he "gazed/And gazed*' ( 1 2 5 - 126) on the awful r u i n s , both of them seeking a response f o r the same d e s i r e . The maiden i s a l s o the r e j e c t e d Echo, who pines away f o r the love of N a r c i s s u s , here the Poet. The Poet i s one who, as explained i n the "Preface," searches f o r an Ideal which Is the r e f l e c t i o n of h i s s o u l , but t r i e s t o e x i s t w i t h  out human sympathy. Hildebrand challenges the view that the Poet i s punished f o r not responding to the Arab maiden because "the Poet did" - 52 - not yet know about love i n the personal sense; he had not experienced i t yet and could not u n t i l he was properly pre p a r e d . " 1 9 This suggestion i s untenable. N a r c i s s u s , too, i s only a youth when he r e j e c t s Echo, sometimes s i x t e e n , some times twenty-one, and yet the gods must punish him. L i k e N a r c i s s u s , the Poet does notoonly r e j e c t the Arab maiden, the Echo of the myth, but a l s o other maidens and youths who s i g h a f t e r him. S h e l l e y a l ready emphasizes the Poet's i n d i f f e r e n c e i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the n a r r a t i v e : Strangers have wept to hear h i s passionate notes, And v i r g i n s , as unknown he passed, have pined And wasted f o r fond love of h i s w i l d eyes. (61-63) This i s the f i r s t c l e a r reference to the Narcissus s t o r y i n the poem. Both heroes are too involved with t h e i r own beauty to respond to those whom they a t t r a c t . A f t e r the Poet's v i s i o n , when he i s supposedly ready f o r human l o v e , the c o t t a g e r s , mountaineers, i n f a n t s and maidens show t h e i r devotion (254-271),' but he i s s t i l l unable to love them. S h e l l e y e s t a b l i s h e s the Ovidian pattern of demonstrating the hero's s e l f " l o v e through h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e to others. The theme of the l a s t two s e c t i o n s of the beginning of the Poet's journey f u l l y develops the i d e n t i t y of h i s a s p i  r a t i o n s . The v i s i o n (149-191) i s represented as an i n t e l l e c  t u a l i d e a l : "Knowledge, and t r u t h and v i r t u e were her theme," Hildebrand, A Study of A l a s t o r , p. 23. (153) as an Imaginative i d e a l : " w i l d numbers t h e n / She r a i s e d , " and as a sensual i d e a l . ( 161-165) These three r e  sponses had a l l been described i n the Invocation. This v i  s i o n i s , t h e r e f o r e , p o e t i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with the essence of the Poet's own soul described at the beginning of h i s journey. ( 6 7 - 7 5 ) I t i s unmistakably the 'soul w i t h i n our s o u l ' f o r which the Poet must f i n d an a n t i t y p e . 1 L i k e Nar c i s s u s , the Poet mistakes the a n t i t y p e f o r the prototype: h i s v i s i o n i s but a shadow of h i m s e l f . The f i n a l s e c t i o n ( 1 9 2 - 2 2 2 ) develops the Poet's des p a i r and h i s mistake i n i d e n t i f y i n g the v i s i o n as the a n t i  type and object of h i s search, r a t h e r than as the r e f l e c t i o n of h i s s o u l . His "wan eyes/ Gaze on the empty scene," ( 2 0 0 - 201) but do not f i n d the e a r l i e r i n s p i r a t i o n because Nature cannot s a t i s f y h i s soul now that he has f u l l y experienced i t s 20 d e s i r e . L i k e N a r c i s s u s , he mistakes the r e f l e c t e d s o u l f o r the object of h i s search. The Poet's d e s i r e f o r the v i s i o n , l i k e N a r c i s s u s ' d e s i r e f o r h i s r e f l e c t i o n , i s emphasized by m i r r o r images. His eyes that gaze on the empty scene "as ocean's moon looks on the moon i n heaven," (222) are s i m i l a r t o N a r c i s s u s ' eyes when he " l a y to look deep, deeper/ Into two s t a r s that were h i s eyes." (Ovid, p. 98) The deluding d K J The connection between t h i s statement and the C h r i s t i a n Myth of the P a l l of Man i s obvious. His i n i t i a l wanderings are i n a kind of Eden, and now that he has eaten the apple, ( v i s i o n ) , he has l o s t Paradise. - 54 - Narcissus predicament i s p a r a l l e l e d by S h e l l e y : Does the b r i g h t arch of rainbow clouds, Andpendent mountains seen i n the calm l a k e , Lead only t o a black and watery depth? (213-215) S h e l l e y ' s suggestion that the v i s i o n i s a r e t r i b u t i v e act of t h e ' S p i r i t of sweet human l o v e , " corresponds t o the Ovidian source i n which Nemesis traps Narcissus i n answer to Echo's curse. The i d e a l of the v i s i o n embodies the Poet's d e s i r e , f i r s t m o t i v a t i n g him to leave h i s home, and i n the second h a l f of the c y c l e becoming i t s e l f the conscious object of hi s c o n t i n u i n g search. The Being he imagines i s the 'soul w i t h i n our s o u l 1 which cannot s a t i s f y i t s e l f , but must f i n d the a n t i t y p e i n the "corresponding powers of other human beings." ("Preface," p. 14) The second part of the journey continues, i n many ways p a r a l l e l to the f i r s t . The Poet again wanders through o l d r u i n s , Petra's steep and Bal k , as he had done i n the f i r s t journey. (106-123) Again he r e j e c t s human companionship and the maidens* l o v e . The encounter with the swan i s p a r a l  l e l t o the feeding of the w i l d animals. The f l a s h i n g i n s p i r a  t i o n i n the f i r s t part of the journey i s now converted to a "desperate hope" that " s l e e p " and "death" contain the se c r e t "shadowy l u r e . " (292-294) The r i v e r voyage i n the s h a l l o p can be i n t e r p r e t e d as the crossing Into the m y s t i c a l world of dream, or as the escape i n t o Nature. He f i n a l l y ends i n the " s i l e n t nook" (572) where Death overtakes him. - 55 - The explanation in the "Preface" is now f u l f i l l e d : "He seeks in vain for the prototype of his conception." (p. 14-15) To t h i s s t r u c t u r a l development Shelley adds the theme of the mistaken search for the shadow of the i d e n t i f i e d soul. The Poet is not pursuing the representative of a l l p truth and beauty, which " i t would be a crime not to pursue," but rather the shadow of this t r u t h : and s i l e n t death exposed, Faithl e s s perhaps as sleep, a shadowy lure, With doubtful smile mocking i t s own strange charms. (293-295) The theme of his search among the ruined c i t i e s empha sizes his fear and anguish in pursuing the "shadow of that l o v e l y dream." (233) He becomes both the pursuer and the pursued: " S t a r t l i n g with careless steps.../ He f l e d " ( 2 3 6 - 237) because the pursued Shadow is a c t u a l l y " i n his own deep mind." (298) He is l i k e Narcissus in Ovid's account: Himself the worshipped and the worshipper, He sought himself and was pursued. (Ovid, p. 98) The image of the eagle, f a t a l l y bitten by the snake within i t s own grasp, p a r a l l e l s the Poet, whose own soul i s now a deadly snake. (325) The depressing d i c t i o n : "fiend," "green serpent," "poison," "glare," "desolate," "tombs," "decaying," "withered skin," (226-251) emphasizes the theme Jones, "The Inconsistency of Shelley's Alastor," p. 295. - 56 - of f e a r and death. When the Poet ignores the cottagers and maidens, the theme of the r e j e c t i o n of. human love as the source f o r r e q u i t i n g d e s i r e i s r e a f f i r m e d . The "glare of those w i l d eyes,"(264) suggests the deceived eyes i n the e a r l i e r s e c t i o n (200) and N a r c i s s u s ' eyes. The maidens no longer 'gaze' at him, but / watch him "dim through t e a r s , " (270) as Echo was doomed to watch Narcissus from a f a r . The swan scene (272-295) , s i m i l a r to the one i n which the Poet fed the animals, f u r t h e r develops the theme of the l o s s of k i n s h i p with Nature. The f l e e i n g swan symbolizes Nature's f i n a l r e j e c t i o n of the Poet. I r o n i c a l l y the swan f l e e s to i t s "sweet mate," while the Poet i s a l i e n a t e d because he has d e l i b e r a t e l y r e j e c t e d a l l such a f f i l i a t i o n with h i s p o s s i b l e mates. This experience leaves him with the "despe r a t e hope" that he w i l l be able t o see i n t o the secrets of Death, (290-295) but as h i s f i r s t i n s i g h t , i n t o the " t h r i l l i n g s e c r e t s " (128) ended i n d i s i l l u s i o n , so t h i s hope w i l l r e s u l t i n u l t i m a t e death. The search now takes him to the Narcissus w e l l where, yellow flowers For- ever gaze on t h e i r own drooping eyes, R e f l e c t e d i n the c r y s t a l calm. (406-408) The Poet i s a l i e n a t e d from nature, l i k e Thel who i s not wed ded as the Cloud and the Dew, and l i k e Endymion who f i n d s no beauty i n Nature a f t e r h i s f i r s t v i s i o n . The trees and f l o w e r s , u n l i k e the Poet, are c l o s e l y united i n wedlock, symbolizing the i d e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p : These twine t h e i r t e n d r i l s with the wedded boughs U n i t i n g t h e i r c l o s e union; the woven leaves Make net-work of the dark blue l i g h t of day. (444 -446 ) The Poet, however, l i k e the s e l f - i s o l a t e d N a r c i s s u s , comes to the l o n e l y " w e l l " that"Images a l l the woven boughs above." (457-459) and sees h i s own r e f l e c t i o n : H i t h e r the Poet came. His eyes beheld T h e i r own wan l i g h t through the r e f l e c t e d l i n e s Of h i s t h i n h a i r , d i s t i n c t i n the dark depth Of that s t i l l f o u n t a i n ; as the human heart Gazing i n dreams over the gloomy grave, Sees i t s own treacherous l i k e n e s s t h ere. (469-474) The v i s i o n i s now a s s o c i a t e d with t h i s shadow. The Poet t h i n k s he sees the " S p i r i t .../ stand beside him," (479-480) but, i n f a c t , there are only "two eyes,/ Two s t a r r y eyes." (439-490) He i s by now i n the clutches of h i s ' f u r i e s 1 : which w i l l mock him i n t o f o l l o w i n g the 'shadowy l u r e . ' The Poet's l a s t desperate search, (492-671) s t r u c t u r a l l y l i n k e d to h i s wandering i n nature, (81-106) demonstrates the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of f i n d i n g the Narcissus v i s i o n . He r e a l i z e s t h a t the universe can no longer t e l l him "where these l i v i n g thoughts r e s i d e . " (512) The imagery c o n s t a n t l y suggests t h a t he i s pursuing a r e f l e c t i o n , r a t h e r than an a n t i t y p e . He i s "Obedient to the l i g h t / That shone w i t h i n h i s s o u l , " (493-494) a c t u a l l y the v i s i o n i t s e l f . "Following h i s eager s o u l " (311) he searches f o r "those beloved eyes," (332) a l r e a d y i d e n t i f i e d as h i s own. In the cave he sees the re-::- f l e e t e d Narcissus f l o w e r , whose 'drooping eyes,/ R e f l e c t e d - 53 - i n the c r y s t a l calm.' The l i g h t leads him down the m i r r o r  l i k e r i v u l e t , t a k i n g him t o the ' s i l e n t nook|' where he sees the "two l e s s e n i n g points of l i g h t alone," (654) suggesting N a r c i s s u s ' ' s t a r s that were his eyes.' In the d e s c r i p t i o n of the l a s t moments of the Poet's l i f e , (625-671) S h e l l e y once more repeats the three f u n c t i o n s of the s o u l i n order to emphasize the mistaken r e f l e c t i o n of the search. These fu n c t i o n s fade as the Poet's l i f e e x p i r e s . This d e s c r i p t i o n i s reminiscent of the beginning of the Poet's growth and thereby completes the c y c l e of h i s quest. The Poet once more "resignTs!] h i s high and holy s o u l / To images," (628- 629) communicates with Nature through the senses? "place tsl / His lean hattdupon the rugged trunk," " R e c l i n e t s l h i s l a n - gued head" "Upon an i v i e d stone" (632-605) and allows "the stream of thought" (644) to flow through him. The c y c l i c a l journey of the Poet l i n k s him with the a r c h e t y p a l hero quest, ob v i o u s l y employed as the u n i f y i n g s t r u c t u r e of the poem. The c o n c l u s i o n r e c a l l s the s i n i s t e r themes of the i n  v o c a t i o n , and the lament i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n . The imagery of "Medea's wondrous alchemy" and the "dream/ Of dark magi c i a n i n h i s v i s i o n e d cave, Raking the cinders of a c r u c i b l e " (672-683) e s t a b l i s h e s a f i r m connection with the imagery i n the i n v o c a t i o n of the"desperate a l c h e m i s t / Staking h i s very l i f e on some dark hope." (31-32) The repeated d i c t i o n suggesting despairs "poison," "deathless wrath," " s l a v e , " " i n c a r n a t e death," "decay," (676-685) i m p l i e s that t h i s death i s not a v i c t o r y , but r a t h e r a mysterious l o s s . A f t e r e s t a b l i s h i n g these images, S h e l l e y expresses h i s sympathy f o r the Poet, and h i s pr a i s e f o r h i s high s p i r i t . The c a r e f u l choice of d i c t i o n , c o n s i s t e n t with that of the i n t r o d u c t i o n , emphasizes the l o s s and the tragedy of h i s death, " F r a i l , " " p a l l i d , " "worm's outrage," "woe," and "c o l d t r a n q u i l l i t y " .(711-713) do not suggest unrestrained p r a i s e . S h e l l e y ' s p r a i s e of the Poet as "The brave, the gentle and the b e a u t i f u l , / The c h i l d of grace and genius" does not c o n t r a d i c t the expressed theme of the poem. S h e l l e y admires the Poet because he has recognized and dedicated h i m s e l f to those i d e a l s which S h e l l e y considered valuable i n "OnLove." On the other hand, the organic use of the Narcissus myth with i t s c e n t r a l motif of de l u s i o n i s h i s poe t i c comment on the t r a g i c death of a poet engaged i n a m i s d i r e c t e d search f o r t r u t h . The wheel of the poem has come f u l l c i r c l e , forming a c o n s i s t e n t s t r u c t u r a l and thematic u n i t y . CHAPTER I I I KEATS'S ENDYMION; NARCISSUS METAMORPHOSIZED Keats's Endymion introduces the genre of the Renaissance e p y l l i o n i n t o Romantic poetry. The Book of Thel and A l a s t o r f o l l o w some of the arch e t y p a l patterns of mythology and make s i g n i f i c a n t a l l u s i o n s to c l a s s i c a l myths, but u n l i k e such poems as Venus and Adonis and Hero and Leander, they do not employ these myths as the basic source f o r the develop ment of the p l o t . Endymion, however, l i k e the poems of Shakespeare and Marlowe, uses a s p e c i f i c myth f o r I t s main n a r r a t i v e and includes d i g r e s s i o n s that a l l u d e to other myths: Pan, Venus and Adonis, Arethusa and Alph eus, and Glaucus. Keats f o l l o w s Shakespeare's example•of p o r t r a y i n g Adonis as the shy Narcissus or Hermophraditus, by combining the s t o r y of Endymion and Cynthia with the theme of Nar c i s s u s and Echo. He had already displayed h i s i n t e r e s t i n c l a s s i c a l mythology before he wrote Endymion i n " I Stood Tip-Toe," where he l i s t s the myths of Pan, Cupid and Psyche, N a r c i s s u s , and Endymion. The emphasis i n t h i s poem i s not on the myth i t s e l f , but on the process of the c r e a t i o n of the myth. The d e t a i l s of the c l a s s i c a l myth are sub ordinated to the emotional experience that prompted the poet to create a p a r t i c u l a r t a l e . The stimulus f o r each myth i s the poet's attempt t o convey an emotional response - 61 - to nature in concrete terms. Keats explains that the poet who f i r s t t o l d the myth of Cupid and Psyche f e l t as we do when we see such beauty as the "waving of the mountain pine" (128) or "bloomy grapes laughing from green a t t i r e . " ( l 3 6 ) Such an experience o r i g i n a l l y prompted the poet to create the myth: the voice of c r y s t a l bubbles Charms us at once away from a l l our troubles: So that we f e e l u p l i f t e d from the world, Walking upon the white clouds wreath fd and cu r l ' d . So f e l t he, who f i r s t t o l d , how Psyche went On the smooth wind to realms of wonderment.(137-142) These lines show that Keats understands the essence of the nature of myth as being an.~attempt to o b j e c t i f y an unex-- plainable subjective experience. Keats also endorses the theory that a myth i s an attempt to explain a certain na t u r a l phenomenon. The " t a l e / Of young Narcissus, and sad Echo's bale," (179-180) i s , therefore, a poet's attempt to explain the lonely flower on the bank as well as his own emotional reaction. This approach to myth i s developed in the l a t e r poem, Endymion. The poem is a f u l l e r exploration of the-process of myth making, and the conditions that allow a poet to mytholo- gize his experience with the beauty of nature. In his poem, "To George Pelton Mathew," Keats asks why Mathew has never told how Apollo changed him "from a flower, into a f i s h of gold." (85) Keats, in f a c t , wants to know why Mathew, unlike the poets in "I Stood Tip-Toe," has not been able to create - 62 - any myths. In the preface t o Endymion Keats a l s o expresses the hope th a t he w i l l be able t o preserve the brightness of "the b e a u t i f u l mythology of Greece," Endymion attempts t o solve both problems. The hero must d i s c o v e r how he can be * u p l i f t e d from the world,* so tha t he can mythologize h i s love of the beauty of the moon. Keats*s poem, l i k e the Renaissance e p y l l i o n , Introduces the theme of another myth i n t o i t s main s t o r y . The s t o r y of Endymion o r i g i n a l l y t o l d how the moon f e l l i n love w i t h , and f i n a l l y e x a l t e d , her l o v e r . .Drayton adds the Venus and Adonis theme of the u n w i l l i n g l o v e r who i s being courted by a cgoddess. In Keats's poem, Endymion i s a l s o i n love with the moon-goddess, but he must f i r s t l e a r n t h a t he cannot e s cape h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o s o c i e t y i f he wishes t o consum mate h i s d e s i r e . This theme i s borrowed from the s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s . Narcissus f a l l s i n love w i t h h i s u n a t t a i n a b l e shadow as a punishment f o r r e j e c t i n g h i s f r i e n d s . In the f i r s t book, Endymion, L i k e N a r c i s s u s , r e j e c t s h i s people and i s punished with a d e s i r e f o r an i l l u s i o n , but, u n l i k e Nar c i s s u s , he lear n s t o c o r r e c t h i s e r r o r and love the r e a l Indian maid. He i s now rewarded with the discovery that h i s i n v o l v i n g experience with the human and r e a l Is a l s o an expe r i e n c e with the i d e a l , Cynthia. He i s now the poet who can respond t o the beauty of nature by c r e a t i n g the myth. "Book I " describes how the p a s t o r a l - k i n g , Endymion, a l  most completely withdrawss himself from any p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n - 63 - the elaborate f e s t i v a l of Pan. His sfeter, Peona, takes him t o her bowery i s l a n d to di s c o v e r the reason f o r h i s sorrow and t o counsel him. A f t e r a long r e f r e s h i n g s l e e p , he pro mises her tha t he w i l l renounce h i s i s o l a t i o n and r e t u r n t o h i s former a c t i v i t i e s . He then t e l l s her of h i s three encounters with the v i s i o n as an explanation of h i s sorrow. Every one of these encounters i s ass o c i a t e d with the myth of Narcissus by d e f i n i t e a l l u s i o n s . The f i r s t meeting occurs a f t e r Endymion f a l l s asleep i n a bed of poppies and di t a m i e s . He i s enraptured with the r i s i n g and the s e t t i n g of the moon, when a "completed form of a l l completeness" ( I . 606) descends t o him and he r i s e s t o embrace her p a s s i o n a t e l y . This scene i s an elaborated v e r  s i o n of the Cynthia and Endymion myth: Endymion dreams i n a nook where the r i v e r seems " l i k e a crescent moon," ( I . 544) and the ditamies and poppies, according to Lempriere, are sacred flowers of Diana, another name f o r Cynthia. A f t e r he awakes the "sweet dream/ P e l l i n t o nothing," ( I . 677-678) and he t h i n k s that the wind "brought/ P a i n t f a r e - t h e e - w e l l s , and s i g h - s h r i l l e d adieus." ( I . 689-690) This a l l u s i o n t o the Narcissus myth r e c a l l s the s i g h i n g of Echo f o r the deluded/.'.:^ N a r c i s s u s . Endymion's dream i s th e r e f o r e u n r e a l , and not an a c t u a l v i s i o n a r y meeting with Cynthia. The emphasis, however, i s not on Cynthia's u n r e a l i t y but on Endymion's i n  a b i l i t y t o have the type of v i s i o n experienced by the poets i n " I Stood Tip-Toe." - 64 - The c i r c u m s t a n c e s of the dream and the d e s c r i p t i o n of the awakening, s u p p o r t t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Endyraion's r e a c t i o n t o the breeze and t h e f l o w e r s b e f o r e he f a l l s a s l e e p i s s i m i l a r t o t h e r e a c t i o n s t h a t s t i m u l a t e the myths i n " I Stood T i p - T o e " : t h r o u g h . t h e d a n c i n g poppies s t o l e A b r e e z e , most s o f t l y l u l l i n g t o my s o u l ; And s h a p i n g v i s i o n s a l l about my s i g h t Of c o l o u r s , w i n g s , and b u r s t s o f s p a n g l y l i g h t . ( I . 566-569) The r e p e t i t i o n o f the " s " and "1" sounds, and the open vowels (e,o,a,e) l e n d a m u s i c a l l i l t t o t h e s e p h r a s e s , drawing t h e r e a d e r i n t o the e x p e r i e n c e . The dream o f the moon s i m i  l a r l y r e p e a t s t h i s e x p e r i e n c e : she d i d s o a r So p a s s i o n a t e l y b r i g h t , my d a z z l e d s o u l Commingling w i t h her argent s p h e r e s d i d r o l l Through c l e a r and c l o u d y , ( I . 593-596) p a r a l l e l i n g the r e a c t i o n o f the poet who o r i g i n a l l y sang t h e s t o r y o f Endymion: t o him b r i n g i n g Shapes from the i n v i s i b l e w o r l d , u n e a r t h l y s i n g i n g Prom out t h e m i d d l e a i r , from -flowery n e s t s , And from the p i l l o w y s i l k i n e s s t h a t r e s t s F u l l i n the s p e c u l a t i o n o f the s t a r s . ("I S t o o d T i p - T o e , " I85-I89) But Endymion's v i s i o n , u n l i k e the Poet's i n the e a r l i e r poem, does not produce the myth. Heawakes i n d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and d e s p a i r t o a w o r l d t h a t appears d e s o l a t e r a t h e r t h a n b e a u t i  f u l . The d i c t i o n now emphasizes the c o n t r a s t w i t h the e a r l i e r j o y . The breeze t h a t l u l l e d h i s s o u l b e f o r e , now " B l u s t e r ' d " ; t h e 'spangly l i g h t ' of c o l o u r s , ,'.i,st; now " s o o t y " ; - 65 - the "vermeil rose had blown/ In frightful scarlet.".(I. 687-697) . The vision, like the vision of the poet in Alas  tor, has destroyed Endymion's appreciation for the beauty of nature: a l l pleasant hues Of heaven and earth had faded: deepest shades Were deepest dungeonsj heaths and sunny glades Were f u l l of pestilent light. (I. 691-69?) Instead of innocence, he now finds death: If an innocent bird Before my heedless footsteps s t l r r ' d , and s t i r r ' d In l i t t l e journeys, I beheld in i t A disguis'd demon, missioned to knit My soul with under darkness. (I. 698-702) This seemingly attractive invitation to suicide, however, is an illu s i o n and ends only with "disappointment." (I . 705) The dream has destroyed a l l communication with nature i n  stead of stimulating Endymion to mythologize the beauty. The introduction in "Book I" establishes the opposing view that "A THING of beauty is a joy for ever." "Loveli ness" does not fade, but "increases," and the "sleep/ Pull of sweet dreams" does not destroy our joy in the beauty of the eacth, but rather wreaths "A flowery band to bind us to the earth,/ Spite of despondence." (I. 1-8) In "Sleep and Poetry," )Heats similarly establishes that the purpose of poesy is not to feed upon "the burrs,'/And thorns of l i f e , " but "To sooth the cares, and l i f t the thoughts of man." (244-247) Endymion's reaction to his dream i s , therefore, a misunderstanding of the vision. - 66 - Even i f the nymph i s the Cynthia of "Book IV," h i s i n t e r  p r e t a t i o n i s , n e v e r t h e l e s s , based on an i l l u s i o n r a t h e r than v i s i o n . Lempriere says of Narcissus that he "Vsaw h i s image r e f l e c t e d i n a f o u n t a i n , and becameenamoured of i t , t h i n k  ing i t t o be the nymph of the p l a c e . " 1 Endymion a l s o t h i n k s t h a t he has seen 'the nymph of. the place' but has, i n f a c t , only had an h a l l u c i n a t i o n that beckons him t o death instead of to greater a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the beauty of nature. Peona admonishes her brother f o r h i s "poor weakness," ( I . 718) and t r i e s t o teach him jtow to react t o hi s f a n t a s y . She wants him to be "r a t h e r i n the trumpet's mouth," than to s i g h away h i s l i f e t o death. ( I . 731-737) She too has seen the western cloudiness p i c t u r e d i n s i l v e r lakes t a k i n g , The semblance of gold rocks and b r i g h t gold sands, I s l a n d s , and creeks, and amber-fretted strands With horses prancing o'er them, palaces And towers of amethyst. ( I . 743-746) This f a n t a s t i c r e f l e c t i o n i s s i m i l a r t o the r e f l e c t i o n that Narcissus sees i n the w e l l , f o r Peona recognizes the f o l l y of t r y i n g to "mount/ Into those regions." ( I . 746-747) These dreams are " f i t f u l whims of sl e e p " ( I . 749) that could not even be captured by, the spider's s h u t t l e , C i r c l e d a m i l l i o n times w i t h i n the space Of swallow's nest-door. ( I . 751-753) The dreamer must recognize the i l l u s i o n s of these dreams Lempriere s C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y , p. 396. - 67 - or else be led only to desperation. Dreams themselves are not harmful i f the dreamer r e a l i  zes t h e i r implications. In the sleep in Peona's bower, En dymion also dreams of "golden palaces, strange minstrelsy,/ Fountains grotesque," ( I . 457-458) but when he wakes, he is"calm*d to l i f e again," and opens "his eyelids with a healthier brain." ( I . 464-465) Instead of re j e c t i n g his du t i e s as he does a f t e r his v i s i o n , he determines to follow his s i s t e r ' s l a t e r advice: No, I w i l l once more raise My voice upon the mountain-heights; once more Make my horn parley from t h e i r foreheads hoar. ( I . 477-479) The effects of these dreams on the dreamer are determined by his reaction, and not by the dreams themselves. Endymion's "pleasure thermometer" speech ( I . 769-842) i s introduced in the context of Peona's warning, and must not be interpreted by i t s e l f . The c r i t i c a l arguments as to whether th i s speech represents a Neoplatonic philosophy, or Keats's own natural Platonism, or merely a sensual approach p to l i f e are relevant for an interpretation of the poem, but the context of this passage and i t s application to the hero adds a s i g n i f i c a n t dimension. The f i r s t "fellowship with essence" that Endymion mentions Is s i m i l a r to the ex- Jacob D. Wigod, "The Meaning of Endymion," PMLA, XVIII ( 1 9 5 3 ) , PP .779-790. - 6 8 - periences described i n " l Stood Tip-Toe." The "rose l e a f " and the "Aeolian magic" s t i m u l a t e the poet to hear pro phecies and l u l l a b i e s "Round every spot where t r o d A p o l l o ^ s f o o t " and " i n every place where i n f a n t Orpheus s l e p t . " At the " t i p - t o p " of t h i s type of experience s i t love and f r i e n d  s h i p , w i t h love at, the top because i t i s more s e l f - d e s t r o y  ing and demands a complete "melting i n t o i t s radiance." The progression i s from an involvement with nature to an involvement with humanity at i t s most i d e a l l e v e l . Keats would agree e n t i r e l y with t h i s p o i n t of view. Endymion, how ever, continues h i s argument to j u s t i f y a "sleep i n love's elysium" and an "ardent l i s t l e s s n e s s . " He then concludes that since " t h i s e a r t h l y love has power to make/1 Men1 s being m o r t a l , immortal," ( I . 8 4 - 3 - 8 4 4 ) the d i s r e g a r d of the mortal and the devotion only to an immortal i s j u s t i f i e d . Keats would never agree. The "World" i s one of the necessary m a t e r i a l s " f o r the purpose of forming the Soul."3 Nature and humanity are necessary f o r an ascent to the i d e a l , and can never be disregarded as i r r e l e v a n t . The v i s i o n a r y i s i n a world of i l l u s i o n i f he t r i e s to grasp h i s v i s i o n . b y r e j e c t i n g h i s own m o r t a l i t y . Endymion then describes h i s two other meetings w i t h the nymph as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of h i s p o s i t i o n : 3 The L e t t e r s of John Keats, ed. Maurice Buxton Forman, London, I960, p. 3 3 5 - ' - 69 - I'm sure, My r e s t l e s s s p i r i t never could endure Toubrood so long upon one l u x u r y , Unless i t d i d , though f e a r f u l l y , espy A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.(I.853-357) The next two accounts, c o n t r a r y t o what he b e l i e v e s , prove t h a t the o b j e c t of h i s love i s even more shadowy than one would suspect from the f i r s t dream. The second e x p e r i e n c e , (1.862-917) occurs i n a "deep hollow" enclosed by l e a n i n g bushes, so t h a t "a v u l t u r e c o u l d not g l i d e / Past them." At the bottom of t h i s " c o o l c e l l " i s the " c r y s t a l eye" of a w e l l where Endymion has o f t e n picked flowers t h a t looked, Lilce v e s t a l primroses, but dark v e l v e t Edges them round, and they have golden p i t s . S h i r l e y had s i m i l a r l y d e s c r i b e d the n a r c i s s u s as having • " S a f f r o n - c o l o u r ' d r a y e s " i n h i s poem. (Stanza 121) Endymion's p i c k i n g o f these f l o w e r s a l l u d e s t o the Greek a s s o c i a t i o n of the n a r c i s s u s with the Persephone myth i n the "Hymn to Deme- t e r " w r i t t e n i n the Seventh Century, B.C. A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s v e r s i o n , P l u t o prepares the fl o w e r f o r Persephone, " f , en snare the v i r g i n ' s thoughless mind,/ And please the r u l e r li of the shades." Endymion, l i k e Persephone and N a r c i s s u s , i s i n danger of being c a r r i e d t o the underworld i n t h i s s e t t i n g . The s e t t i n g r e c a l l s the grove where N a r c i s s u s saw h i s r e f l e c t i o n i n the w e l l : "Hymn to Demeter," The Greek Poets, trans.., Moses Hadas, New York, 1953, p . 117 . - 70 - A Spring there was, whose s.^luer -Vfeters were, , As smooth as any m i r r o r , nor l'esse c l e a r e : Which n e i t h e r Heards-men, tame, nor saluage Beast, Nor w'andring Fowle,' "nor s c a t t e r e d leaues molest; G i r t round w i t h grasse, by neighbouring moysture " ' • ~ f e d , And Woods, against the Sunnes i n v a s i o n spred.2 Endymion, l i k e the Ovidian l o v e r , i s p l a y i n g i n the w e l l when he sees, A wonder, f a i r as" any I have t o l d ' - - J the same b r i g h t face I t a s t e d In my sleepy s m i l i n g In the c l e a r w e l l . My heart d i d leap Through the cool depth. ( I . 894-897) This wonder had been t o l d many times' before, and h i s r e a c t i o n f o l l o w s the well-known p a t t e r n : such a br e a t h l e s s honey-feel of b l i s s Alone preserved me from the drear abyss Of death, f o r the f a i r form had gone' again. ( I . 903-905). The i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Narcissus myth i n t o Endymion's s t o r y represents Keats's comment on Endymion 1s a s s e r t i o n that he i s not being l u r e d by "the shadow of a dream." ( I . 857) The l a s t enchantment appears i n the grdbto of Persephone, ( I . 918-989) or the " c e l l of Echo." The double a l l u s i o n to both Gynthia and Persephone combines the two myths si n c e Persephone i s the underworld m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Cynthia, but Endymion's wandering i n t o her cave a l s o a l l u d e s to Na r c i s s u s ' c r o s s i n g of the Styx a f t e r h i s death. The babbling Echo r e - f e r s to the Echo who i s s i g h i n g a f t e r a Narcissus, now con- J George Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis Englished, Mythologiz'd And Represented i n Fig u r e s . Oxford lbJ2, p. 90. - 71 - sumed " i n . unseen f i r e . " " He sues f o r her help, not r e a l i  z i n g that he i s l i k e her l o v e r whose death she laments. He f o l l o w s the u n i d e n t i f i e d v o i c e i n t o the cave, but does not e x p l a i n what he saw. The i m p l i c a t i o n may be that he i s f o l l o w i n g h i s i l l u s i o n to the realm of Hades l i k e N a r c i s s u s , who disappears from the grave to gaze e t e r n a l l y "Upon the waters of the i n f e r n a l l Styx."7 He,decides, as a r e s u l t of h i s l a s t meeting, to bear up against death w i t h "demurest med i t a t i o n , " and f a s h i o n h i s "pilgrimage f o r the world's dusky b r i n k . " ( I . 975-977) This b r i n k i s the "deadly-dark some r e g i o n " t h a t Ulysses v i s i t s i n The Odyssey: 3 the homes of P l u t o and Persephone. Endymion 1s quest d e t e r i o r a t e s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y from the f i r s t time that he sees the descending nymph. His d e s i r e f o r the highest happiness of immortal love has l e d him down the c l a s s i c a l h i e r a r c h y from Cynthia to Diana and f i n a l l y to Persephone. He has not found joy, but only d e s p a i r , r e s i g  ning himself f i n a l l y to death. L i k e the poet's quest i n A l a s t o r , Endymion's v i s i o n in. "Book I " i s an i l l u s i o n t h a t " P e l l i n t o nothing" ( I . 6-78) and leads only to death. Keats, however, f i n d s a s o l u t i o n to t h i s predicament Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis, p. 92, 7 Sandys, t r a n s . , O vid 1s Metamorphoses. p. 9 2 . Q ° George Chapman, t r a n s . , Homer's Odyssey. V o l I , London, 1874, x i . p. 198. - 72 - i n the l a s t three books. Endymion 1s descent begins h i s s a l v a t i o n from i l l u s i o n . U n l i k e Thel, who f l e e s from her grave, Endymion f o l l o w s the voic e from the caverns and r e  ceives the prophecies. The development i n the next three books i s a gradual change from the type of v i s i o n that he sees i n "Book I , " to a poetic, experience that i n v o l v e s him more and more i n both the n a t u r a l world and i n humanity. As he r e j e c t s h i s d e s i r e f o r other w o r l d l y essences, he l e a r n s the powers of the poet who can create the myth from h i s experience w i t h beauty. In "Book :tEL," Endymion f o l l o w s a b u t t e r f l y to a f o u n t a i n where the b u t t e r f l y changes to a nymph and t e l l s him th a t he must wander f a r i n the regions of the underworld. He meets the s l e e p i n g Adonis and Venus i n the underground caverns, preparing to reascend i n t o the springtime world. Cupid t e l l s him the s t o r y of t h e i r l o v e , and Venus t e l l s him that he w i l l one day be blessed w i t h the love of the f a i r immortal. The earth then c l o s e s before him, and he continues to wander through caves and palaces. An eagle c a r r i e s him to a bower, where he dreams that he meets the human form of Cynthia, who promises t h a t she w i l l soon e x a l t him to j o i n her. He awakens and imagines that he hears Alpheus pursuing the coy Arethusa. In "Book I I I , " Endymion continues h i s journey beneath the sea where he f r e e s Glaucus from h i s curse by h e l p i n g him to r e s u r  r e c t the drowned passengers. Venus again encourages him, and Cynthia's v o i c e t e l l s him that he i s now ready to j o i n her i n - 73 - heaven. In "Book IV," Endymion f i n a l l y l e a r n s the d i s t i n c t i o n between the i l l u s i o n and the true object of h i s quest: he meets the Indian maid and accepts her l o v e . Two steeds take them f o r a r i d e onto a cloud i n the sky, where Endymion goes to sleep and dreams th a t he meets Diana. A f t e r strugg l i n g between h i s love f o r Diana and h i s love f o r the maid, he accepts the sleeper by h i s s i d e , but when they r e t u r n from the cloud, the r i s i n g moon enraptures him once again, and the maiden beside him disappears. In the Cave of quietude he f a l l s asleep while Diana prepares f o r the coming wedding f e a s t . He awakens i n despair and r e j e c t s h i s d e s i r e f o r h i s v i s i o n , and pledjgs himself to the Indian i n s t e a d , but she informs him that she may not be h i s l o v e . When he r e t u r n s home he i s s u r p r i s e d to meet Peona wi t h the g i r l . Endymion pieces' him s e l f to h i s e a r t h l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of r u l i n g the shepherd realm, and the Indian maid now accepts him. Endymion and Peona watch i n amazement as she changes i n t o Cynthia. The unit e d couple k i s s Peona f a r e w e l l and vanish. Peona goes "Home through the gloomy wood i n wonderment." The theme of the l a s t three books s h i f t s from p o r t r a y i n g Endymion as Narcissus who sees h i s shadow i n "Book I , " to p o r t r a y i n g him as the hero who g r a d u a l l y l e a r n s the true na tur e of the d e s i r e d essence, and becomes worthy of possessing i t by descending i n t o the underworld. In "Book I I , " Endy mion's experience at the f o u n t a i n guides him to the r e a l - 7k- Cynthia f o r the f i r s t time. The b u t t e r f l y that leads him to t h i s f o u n t a i n i s born out of a w i l d rose that he p i c k s and dips i n t o the water. This b u t t e r f l y , :;unlike h i s e a r l i e r . v i s i o n s , i s not an i l l u s i o n , but i s a product of Endymion's a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the rose. These circumstances r e c a l l the f i r s t part of the "pleasure thermometer" speech i n which the rose l e a f around the f i n g e r s t i m u l a t e s the happiness i n the music of the wind. The water nymph could be a combination of the goddess who t e l l s Ulysses how to enter the realm of the dead, and the nymphs who mourn N a r c i s s u s ' death. Endymion i s s t i l l the Narcissus at the w e l l and must l e a r n the dangers of i s o l a t i o n and s e l f - l o v e . He i s the " B r a i n - s i c k shepherd p r i n c e , " ( I I . 3^) "wandering i n uncer t a i n ways." ( I I . HQ) The f o u n t a i n , l i k e the Narcissus w e l l , i s i n " s o l i t a r y g l e n , / Where there was never sound of mortal men." ( I I . 77~73) A f t e r hearing the nymph he i s s t i l l i n despair, t h i n k i n g that there i s nothing e a r t h l y worth h i s compassing ( I I . 161-162), but he nevertheless f o l l o w s her v o i c e i n t o the cavern even though he would r a t h e r be wi t h "the s o f t shadow" of h i s " t h r i c e - s e e n l o v e . " ( I I . 168) In the cavern, "thoughts of s e l f " and the "deadly f e e l of s o l i t u d e " ( I I . 275"28U) again "surcharge'd him wit h g r i e f " because he can not see anything of nature*s beauty. ( I I . 285-293) Endymion, now at the n a d i r of h i s quest, experiences the sorrow of the dying N a r c i s s u s . But Endymion r e j e c t s h i s own i s o l a t i o n and f o l l o w s the echoing v o i c e "back i n t o the temple's c h i e f , " ( I I . 298) - 75 - where he'meets Venus and A d o n i s . The s t r u g g l e i s not r e s o l  v ed, but Endymion has a t l e a s t e n t e r e d 'The v a l e o f S o u l - making' t h a t w i l l l e a d him t o an u l t i m a t e i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h the t r u e i d e a l . Endymion's e n c o u n t e r w i t h A d o n i s and Venus i s t h e be g i n n i n g o f h i s sympathy f o r o t h e r l o v e r s and a development of h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f myth which began when he p i c k e d the r o s e . I n "Book I , " Endymion, l i k e N a r c i s s u s , had r e j e c t e d h i s f r i e n d s but now p r o g r e s s e s towards r e i n t e g r a t i o n . Cupid's e x p l a n a t i o n emphasizes A d o n i s ' i m m o r t a l i t y as p a r t o f t h e c y  c l i c death and r e b i r t h o f n a t u r e . The myth emphasizes the u n i t y between n a t u r e and the gods as a guide t o Endymion's own a s p i r a t i o n s . C y n t h i a now comes t o Endymion i n h i s s l e e p as the t r a  d i t i o n a l v e r s i o n of the myth d i c t a t e s . There a r e no i n d i c a  t i o n s i n "Book I I " t h a t t h i s m eeting i s an i l l u s i o n . The Echo o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth, k C y n t h i a , now r e p l a c e s the shadow i n t h e w e l l as Endymion l e a r n s the v a l u e o f human sympathy. Keats i n t e r r u p t s the n a r r a t i v e "For the mere sake o f t r u t h , " (II.829) i n o r d e r t o e x p l a i n t h a t Endymion's dream i s an o l d myth: 'twas t o l d By a c a v e r n wind u n t o a f o r e s t o l d ) And t h e n t h e f o r e s t t o l d i t i n a dream To a s l e e p i n g l a k e , whose c o o l and l e v e l gleam A poet caught as he was j o u r n e y i n g To Phoebus' : s h r i n e ; . . . • • • He sang th e s t o r y up i n t o the a i r , G i v i n g i t u n i v e r s a l freedom. ( I I . 830-839) - 76 - Endymion i s now p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e type o f myth-making t h a t K e a t s d e s c r i b e s i n " I Stood T i p - T o e . " Endymion's r e a c t i o n a f t e r t he "Love's madness" ( I I . 860- 935) i s d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed t o the response t o h i s e a r l i e r v i s i o n s . I n s t e a d o f f o r s a k i n g h i s f r i e n d s , he now ponders "On a l l h i s l i f e , " t h i n k i n g o f "Each t e n d e r maiden whom he once thought f a i r , / W i t h e v e r y f r i e n d and f e l l o w - w o o d l a n d e r . " He does not t r y t o escape the e a r t h but r a t h e r i n s i s t s t h a t e s sences a r e o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t as t h e y r e l a t e t o h i s e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e : ^ essences Once s p i r i t u a l , a r e l i k e muddy l e e s , Meant but t o f e r t i l i z e my e a r t h l y r o o t , And make my branches l i f t a -golden f r u i t I n t o the bloom o f heavens o t h e r l i g h t , • • • ... i s d a r k , Dark as the parentage o f chaos. (11.905-912) R a t h e r t h a n r e j e c t i n g " o t h e r p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s , which he now r e c o g n i z e s as a g e n c i e s o f e s s e n c e , " 1 0 Endymion i s a c t u a l l y d i s p a r a g i n g t h o s e s p i r i t u a l e ssences i n "Book I " which s t i m u  l a t e d h i s h e a v e n l y a s p i r a t i o n s by s e p a r a t i n g him from h i s e a r t h l y r o o t . H i s statement i s p r o b a b l y one o f t h e most s u c c i n c t f o r m u l a t i o n s o f K e a t s * s t h e o r y o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p h y s i c a l and t h e i d e a l . Endymion, however, w r o n g l y i n t e r p r e t s t h e l a s t v i s i o n as r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e 9 WalterHH. E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth i n t h e P o e t r y o f K e a t s , P r i n c e t o n , 1965, pp.130-133. 1 0 E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth, p.133. - 77 - 'golden f r u i t ' that he must l i f t t o heaven. The other meetings with Cynthia must s t i l l teach him that she, too, i s part of the 'muddy l e e s , ' and that only the union of the earth with the tre e can a c t u a l l y produce the desired f r u i t . In s p i t e of t h i s mistake, Endymion has progressed f a r enough to enable him to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the a e s t h e t i c c r e a t i o n of the Alpheus and Arethusa myth from h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with nature. The k i n s h i p with nature d i s p l a c e d by the i l l u s i o n s i s now r e v i v e d . He imagines the dialogue while hearing the echoing from the s h e l l s 1 1 j u s t as the poet imagined the i Endymion myth'while hearing the cavern wind i n the f o r e s t . ( I I . 837-853) From t h i s poetic p a r t i c i p a t i o n with nature he must now advance to a s i m i l a r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with huma n i t y that w i l l culminate i n h i s love f o r the Indian maid. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Glaucus myth has been e x c e l  l e n t l y i n t e r p r e t e d by Evert as a " r e t u r n to human sympathy ... by means of the concrete i l l u s t r a t i v e precept embodied i n the f i g u r e and s t o r y of the ancient G l a u c u s . " 1 2 Through his a c t i o n , Endymion becomes the "new born god," ( I I I . 808) who can r a i s e dead l o v e r s from t h e i r death. He has a l s o won "immortal b l i s s " ( I I I . 1024) f o r Cynthia, not because h i s E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth, p.134. E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth, p.140. - T 8 - act has r a i s e d her to i m m o r t a l i t y , but because h i s i d e n t i f i  c a t i o n w i t h humanity has immortalized h i s d e s i r e f o r the i d e a l . In "Book IV," Endymion l e a r n s to d i s t i n g u i s h between h i s shadowy v i s i o n s of the f i r s t book, and l e a r n s that h i s love f o r the human maiden i s , i n f a c t , the same as love f o r an immortal.. The complications of the p l o t f o l l o w Endymion 1 s i n d e c i s i o n between h i s a t t r a c t i o n f o r the shadowy v i s i o n s and h i s love f o r the.Indian maiden: F o r both, f o r "Both my love i s so immense, I f e e l my heart i s cut f o r them i n twain. (IV. 96-9~() He no longer d e s i r e s to i s o l a t e h i m s e l f from humanity, but he must s t i l l f r e e himself from the l u r e of the shadow i n the w e l l . The Indian had already appeared to him" i n h i s sleep i n the second book, although Endymion was unable to d i s t i n g u i s h between her and h i s i l l u s i o n at that time. She now comes to him i n human form i n order to challenge h i s love f o r the imaginary nymph. Her r o l e r e c a l l s Peona 1s attempts i n "Book I" to persuade him that he i s s a c r i f i c i n g h i s "honour.../ For nothing but a dream," ( I . 759~7'6o) and to encourage him to abandon h i s search and r e t u r n to the f e s t i v a l . When Endymion r e t u r n s home, the Indian maiden and Peona welcome him and i n i t i a t e him Into h i s new r o l e . Endymion's love f o r , t h e g i r l d r i v e s away the i l l u s i o n a r y shadow which had a t t r a c t e d him i n "Book I . " The voic e i n t e r - -- 79 - r u p t i n g t h e i r love scene, c r y i n g "Woe1. Woe to Endymion! Where i s he?" (IV. 321) echoes "Through the wi d e , f o r e s t " as "a shade pass'd by,/ As of a thunder cloud." (IV. 3 2 3 - 326) This shade appears again as he i s dreaming of P.iana while the g i r l i s sl e e p i n g beside him. When he turns from h i s dream to k i s s her, "the shadow wept, m e l t i n g away." (IV. 456) The two shadows and the Diana he meets i n h i s dream, t h e r e f o r e , represent h i s I l l u s i o n that i s now being threatened by the r e a l Cynthia i n human form. When Endymion turns from the g i r l the second time to adore t h e " c o l d moon shine," (IV. 5°8) she disappears, l e a v i n g him i n h i s former despair. T h i s , however, motivates him to admit t h a t he has, .. clung To nothing, l o v ' d a nothing, nothing seen Or f e l t but a great dream. (IV. 636-638) He recognizes t h a t he has sinned against the earth and against humanity and decides to repent: 0 I have been Presumptuous against l o v e , - a g a i n s t the sky, Against a l l "elements, against the t i e Of mortals each to each .... (IV. 638-6H1) From t h i s admission of both h i s i l l u s i o n and h i s s e l f - c e n - teredness, Endymion now appeals to the I n d i a n . f o r her l o v e , And recognizes that she has saved him from h i s dreaming: My sweetest Indian, here, Here w i l l " I k n e e l , f o r thou redeemed hast My " l i f e from too t h i n breathing:' gone and past Are cloudy phantasms, (IV. 648-651) - 8 0 - The-maid r e t u r n s , but t e l l s him somewhat ha r s h l y that she must re f u s e h i s love: : I may not be thy love: I am forbi d d e n - - Indeed I am - thwarted, a f f r e i g h t e d , chidden, By t h i n g s I trembled a t , and gorgon wrath. Twice hast" thou ask'd whither I went: henceforth M k me no more! (IV. 752-756) Her statement that he"- has asked f o r her twice r e f e r s to h i s search f o r the maid who appeared to him i n h i s dream i n "Book I I , " ( I I I . 1 0 1 1 ) and f o r the Indian maid, (IV. 632) thus i d e n t i f y i n g the two times that the r e a l v i s i o n appeared to him. Endymion declares h i s determination to resume h i s r e s  p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s realm, and thereby becomes worthy of possessing the maid. His p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n to govern through h i s s i s t e r i s not,a r e j e c t i o n of h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as k i n g , but an amalgamation of both h i s human and s p i r i t u a l a s p i r a t i o n s . His f i n a l d e s i r e to command the f a t e of the t r i o r e l e a s e s the Indian's r e s e r v a t i o n , and Endymion beholds her metamorphosis i n t o h i s passion, Phoebe. The abrupt conclu s i o n suggests t h a t Endymion h i m s e l f i s c r e a t i n g t h i s consum mating myth as a triumphant a s s e r t i o n of h i s p o e t i c power to immortalize h i s love f o r p h y s i c a l beauty. Keats has, t h e r e f o r e , s u c c e s s f u l l y solved the problem of determining what c o n d i t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e the highest happi ness. He does not r e j e c t v i s i o n s as merely i l l u s i o n s , nor the d e s i r e f o r the i d e a l as mere sel f - c e n t e r e d n e s s , but he i n s i s t s t h a t such a quest i s a negation i f the searcher - 8 1 - r e j e c t s h i s human and n a t u r a l bonds. The highest value i s not i n a p o e t i c i s o l a t i o n , but i n an imaginative concern f o r human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Keats introduces the Narcissus myth to show how Endymion i s misguided by the shadowy r e f l e c  t i o n of h i s i l l u s i o n , but then solves the hero's dilemma by a s s e r t i n g h i s own f a i t h i n the i m m o r t a l i t y of the "poetry of the e a r t h . " CONCLUSION Each of the three poems by Blake, S h e l l e y and Keats uses a c l e a r a l l u s i o n to the Narcissus myth i n order to e s t a b l i s h the i d e n t i t y of the protagonist and the nature of h i s quest. Thel i s c o n c r e t e l y a s s o c i a t e d with the Ovidian s t o r y i n two b r i e f s i m i l e s that compare her to 'a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s 1 ; and 'shadows i n the water.' N e i t h e r of these images a l l u d e s to Narcissus h i m s e l f , but r a t h e r t o h i s r e f l e c t i o n or shadow i n the water. The i n t r i c a t e network of the imagery emphasizes Thel's evanescent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . U n l i k e the L i l l y , the Cloud and the Worm, who pass 'to t e n f o l d l i f e , ' she fades i n t o nothing l i k e a shadow and remains the unproductive lamenting voice of Echo. Blake has a c t u a l l y u n i f i e d N a r c i s s u s , h i s shadow and Echo i n t o one r o l e by c h a r a c t e r i z i n g Thel as s e l f - l o v e , as a fa d i n g unproductive v o i c e , and as a shadow of r e a l i t y . The other symbols i n the poem represent her opposites who attempt to lead her to acceptance of her Spectre i n the grave, so that she can d i s c a r d her selfhood and be reborn l i k e a seed through a new u n i t y . Of the three poems, A l a s t o r r e l i e s most f a i t h f u l l y and most e x t e n s i v e l y on the Ovidian source f o r i t s imagery. The c l e a r e s t a l l u s i o n to the Narcissus myth i n the poem i s an almost exact paraphrase of Ovid: His eyes beheld T h e i r own wan l i g h t through the r e f l e c t e d l i n e s - 83 - Of h i s t h i n h a i r , d i s t i n c t i n the dark depth Of that s t i l l f o u n t a i n . (469-472) This i s the only a l l u s i o n i n the three poems that describes Narcissus as seeing himself i n the w e l l . The a d j e c t i v e s 'wan • t h i n , ' and 'dark' add a Romantic q u a l i t y t o t h i s c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n . S h e l l e y ' s f u r t h e r comment supports h i s emphasis: as the human heart, Gazing i n dreams over the gloomy grav£, Sees i t s own treacherous l i k e n e s s there. (472-474) The c l a r i t y of t h i s a l l u s i o n to N a r c i s s u s , who sees himself i n the w e l l , helps to e s t a b l i s h the source of the numerous a l l u s i o n s t o r e f l e c t e d eyes, echoes, w e l l s , m i r r o r s , pools, shadows and f l o w e r s . The myth of Narcissus i s c e r t a i n l y the most s i g n i f i c a n t analogue of t h i s poem, e s p e c i a l l y when r e l a  ted t o the nature of the Poet's quest. In Endymion, as i n A l a s t o r , the hero sees the r e f l e c t i o n i n an i s o l a t e d grove with a w e l l that r e f l e c t s the t r e e s and clouds. The r e f l e c t i o n that Endymion sees i n t h i s w e l l , how ever, i s not i d e n t i f i e d with h i s own shadow as i n Ovid, but r a t h e r as a nymphr The same b r i g h t c l e a r face I t a s t e d i n my s l e e p , S m i l i n g i n the c l e a r w e l l . My heart d i d leap Through the co o l depth. ( I . 895-897) The a l l u s i o n i s s t i l l t o the Narcissus myth, but Keats i s f o l lowing such authors as Pausanlas, who argues that Narcissus di d not a c t u a l l y see h i s own r e f l e c t i o n , but a nymph. The Ovidian Narcissus a l s o t h i n k s that he sees a maiden but recog - 84 - n i z e s h i s r e f l e c t i o n before he d i e s . Keats does not e x p l i c i t l y a llow Endymion to recognize Jhimself, although the hero does complain i n "Book IV" that he has 'clung/ To nothing." (636-637) Endymion a l s o recognizes that h i s f i r s t v i s i o n was a shadow although not n e c e s s a r i l y h i s own. This nuance, however, i s s t i l l w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the Narcissus myth as found i n the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t o r s and poets. Keats i s r e l y i n g more on the Renaissance p o p u l a r i z e r s while S h e l l e y i s t r u e r t o the c l a s s i c a l Ovidian v e r s i o n . The three poems, l i k e Ovid's s t o r y , a l l a s s o c i a t e the death-wish with the a l l u s i o n t o the r e f l e c t i o n i n the w e l l . Thel d e s i r e s only t o l i e down and "sleep the sleep of death." (1.13) The Poet i n A l a s t o r i s not " F o r g e t f u l of the grave, where.../ He must descend." (520-522) He i s the only one of the three who a c t u a l l y does fade away to death a f t e r seeing the Image of h i m s e l f . Thel returns to her former state,and Endymion progresses to a new realm with the r e a l i z e d v i s i o n . When Endymion sees the r e f l e c t i o n , h i s heart a c t u a l l y does leap i n t o the 'cool depth 1 and he only narrowly escapes the p h y s i c a l f a c t of death: such a honey-feel of b l i s s Alone preserved me from the drear abyss Of death, f o r the f a i r form had gone again. (I .90.3-905) Thel wants to die because she f e e l s that she i s f a d i n g away and Is of no f u r t h e r use. The Poet, as i n Ovid, i s i n despair be cause he cannot s a t i s f y h i s passion f o r h i s image i n the w e l l . - 8 5 - This a s s o c i a t i o n of.the r e f l e c t i o n with l o v e , despair and death i s again t r u e s t to the Ovidian source. Endymion i s only preserved from jumping i n t o the abyss at the l a s t mo ment. His f e e l i n g of b l i s s , however, i s Keats's Innovation, and the d e s i r e to jump i n t o the water i s borrowed from Shakespeare's a l l u s i o n i n Venus and Adonis where Narcissus i s described as drowning t:o:.vjo;ihs hlsa shadow i n the brook. En dymion escapes death, but only a f t e r r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t the sha dow i s nothing and by responding t o the love of the Indian maiden who represents Echo. The n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e of A l a s t o r . u n l i k e tho other two poems, i s at l e a s t g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r to the o r i g i n a l s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s , although S h e l l e y i s even l e s s concerned with r e t e l l i n g the myth than Edwards and S h i r l e y are. Blake's poem, as we have seen, i s the most o r i g i n a l because he i s r e  i n t e r p r e t i n g the myth i n terms of h i s own imaginative con cepts and metaphors. Keats uses the s t o r y of Cynthia and Endymion f o r h i s b a s i c p l o t , i n t r o d u c i n g the Narcissus and other myths i n t o t h i s frame i n the manner of the Renaissance e p y l - l i o n . The Poet, i n A l a s t o r . l i k e N a r c i s s u s , leaves h i s f r i e n d s and r e j e c t s the Arab maiden, but he then f i r s t sees the v i s i o n i n h i s sleep before coming to the w e l l where he a l s o sees h i s shadow and a s s o c i a t e s i t w i t h h i s dream. This dream may have been borrowed from the Endymion myth i n which Cynthia appears to her l o v e r while he i s asleep. The hero i n Keats's poem a l s o leaves h i s s i s t e r and f r i e n d s before h i s dream. Keats i s - 86 - obviously using the myth,as h i s source, although S h e l l e y may have i n f l u e n c e d him. Both heroes are s l e e p i n g when the lady appears to them and both embrace her p a s s i o n a t e l y , although Keats i s more s p e c i f i c i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of her p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s . There are, however, no obvious v e r b a l echoes i n the two accounts. The Poet dreams that she i s s i t t i n g beside him v e i l e d , while Endymion dreams that she descends to him from the sky ¥ i n naked comeliness.";(I. 615) A f t e r seeing the v i s i o n , both heroes, as i n Ovid's sto r y , see the r e f l e c t i o n i n the w e l l , and the Poet i n A l a s t o r d i e s l i k e N arcissus i n the i s o l a t e d grove. B-oth S h e l l e y and Keats introduce the long Romantic quest which i s not found e i t h e r i n the myth of Endymion or N a r c i s s u s . Thel,- too, goes on a quest, but not f o r a p r e v i o u s l y glimpsed apparition: she i s searching f o r a s o l u t i o n to her f a d i n g i d e n t i t y . The d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and l o s s of k i n s h i p with nature that the three heroes experience during the search i s an ex t e n s i o n of N a r c i s s u s ' complete s e l f - i s o l a t i o n and f a t a l devo t i o n to h i s passion f o r the r e f l e c t i o n . Both Endymion and the Poet found t h e i r source of joy i n a harmony w i t h nature and f r i e n d s but experienced a Wordsworthian d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and l o s s of k i n s h i p a f t e r the i l l u s i o n appears to them. In The  Book of Thel the Cloud and the idew are " l i n k e d i n a golden band" '(XI* 15) but Thel cannot i d e n t i f y h e r s e l f w i t h any of the symbols of nature. S h e l l e y a l s o uses s i m i l a r marriage imagery to c o n t r a s t with, the Poet's i s o l a t i o n . T,he t e n d r i l s - 8 7 - 'twine 1 together and the boughs are 'wedded.../ U n i t i n g t h e i r c l o s e union. 1 A f t e r Endymion responds to the descending form, he, too, f e e l s that he has b e e n , u n f a i t h f u l to Diana, who symbolizes h i s response to nature. His a p p r e c i a t i o n grows again only when he turns to the human maid who, i n the. r e s o l u  t i o n , u n ites h i s love f o r her and h i s love f o r the beauty of nature. The Arab maiden i n A l a s t o r and the Indian maiden i n En  dymion represent the same p r i n c i p l e i n the two poems, even though there i s no evidence that Keats was c o n s c i o u s l y w r i  t i n g h i s poem as an answer or complement to S h e l l e y ' s . In A l a s t o r she i s the r e j e c t e d Echo. The Poet, l i k e . N a r c i s s u s , perishes because he i s unable to respond, to anything beyond h i s own r e f l e c t i o n . In Endymion she i s the Echo who pines a f t e r . t h e l o v e l y youth. Endymion, who was captured by h i s i l l u s i o n , however, can respond to her because he has learned the value of human sympathy. The Arab g i r l i n A l a s t o r i s very coy and comes to. the Poet only i n h i s sleep i n c o n t r a s t to the voluptuous and aggressive counterpart i n Endymion. Both of these c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the Ovidian poems where Echo i s portrayed both as shy and withdrawn or as the aggressive wooer. Blake's Thel i s even more withdrawn.than S h e l l e y ' s maiden. She i s not even r e j e c t e d by a N a r c i s s u s , but completely unable to u n i t e w i t h a male counterpart who w i l l d e l i v e r her from her s t a t e of Non E n t i t y . Her Narcissus could be the v o i c e in. the grave who would rescue her from f a d i n g - 88 - l i k e Echo. Thel, however, is both the u n f u l f i l l e d , v i r g i n and t h K n a r c i s s i s t i c l o v e r . Thel's and Endymion's quests take them to a mythic under world where they are given the secret knowledge-that can redeem them from t h e i r predicament. Thel descends to the underworld .'.a of The Aeneid where she meets "Dolours &. lamentations" (IV. 7) and a v o i c e from her own grave p l o t . U nlike Aeneas, she does not stay f o r the v i s i o n and f l e e s back unborn. Endymion, as contrasted to T h e l , descends to a place of r e b i r t h where the dead Adonis i s again preparing to ascend to the upper world to h e r a l d the Spring w i t h Venus. He a l s o descends to the world under the sea where h i s experience w i t h Glaucus teaches him the n e c e s s i t y of involvement w i t h humanity and transforms him i n t o a god. The completion of t h i s descent i n i t i a t e s him i n t o h i s new r o l e of epic hero, so that he can now reascend to complete h i s u l t i m a t e u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h the goddess. The Poet i n A l a s t o r . i n con t r a s t to Thel and Endymion, does not even q u a l i f y as the hero who i s given the secrets that w i l l lead him through the gates of Hades. His boat t r i p over the sea and h i s .travels through the caverns leads him up t o the moun t a i n c l i f f s i n s t e a d of underground. L i k e N a r c i s s u s , he finds, no s o l u t i o n f o r h i s a t t r a c t i o n to the shadow and must th e r e f o r e p e r i s h i n h i s i s o l a t i o n . Thel. A l a s t o r and Endymion i n c l u d e numerous t r a n s f o r  mations e l a b o r a t i n g the suggestion at the end of the s t o r y o f . - 8 9 - Narcissus thatlie was changed i n t o a flower a f t e r h i s death. A l l three poems contain some s i g n i f i c a n t flower imagery r e c a l  l i n g the n a r c i s s u s . Thel's most s i g n i f i c a n t t r a nsformation i s suggested by her r e c u r r i n g complaint t h a t she i s f a d i n g i n t o nothing. This gradual f a d i n g does not follow- the Gvidian p a t t e r n because she does not change from one s t a t e of nature i n t o another as Narcissus, f o r example, does. Blake,;however, introduces Ovid's theme of e t e r n a l recurrence i n two other patterns of imagery that are c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Thel. Her s e l f - p o r t r a y a l as a fl o w e r , a cloud ..and a worm i s p o t e n t i a l l y Ovidian but does not develop beyond the imaginative sugges t i o n of the s i m i l e s . These a l l u s i o n s to Ovid emphasize that. Thel i s i n v o l v e d i n the e t e r n a l c y c l e of nature. The L i l l y , the Cloud and' the Worm, i n co n t r a s t to Thel, complete a t r a n s  formation on an imaginative l e v e l . Each of them passes i n t o endless l i f e by f i g u r a t i v e l y changing t h e i r form. The L i l l y i s eaten by the lamb, the Cloud becomes food f o r a l l the flo w e r s , and the Worm becomes an Inf a n t "wrapped i n the L i l l y ' s l e a f . " ( I I I . 3) This p a t t e r n comments on the p o t e n t i a l r e s u l t of Thel's descent to her grave i f she could accept the neces sary change and l o s s of i d e n t i t y . S h e l l e y ' s poem i s the most e x p l i c i t . i n i t s a l l u s i o n s to the ending of the Narcissus myth. He in c l u d e s the n a r c i s s u s In h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the w e l l : - 9o - yellow flowers For ever gaze on t h e i r own drooping eyes. R e f l e c t e d i n the c r y s t a l calm. (4o6-4o8) When the Poet d i e s , S h e l l e y d e s i r e s another k i n d of metamor phosis t h a t w i l l change the dead body i n t o a flower as i n the o r i g i n a l myth: 0, f o r Medea"s wondrous alchemy, Which wheresoe'er i t f e l l made the e a r t h gleam With b r i g h t f l o w e r s , and the w i n t r y boughs exhale From v e r n a l blooms f r e s h fragrance! (672-675) S h e l l e y again repeats h i s request by d e s i r i n g the f u l f i l m e n t of the alchemist's dream, who searches f o r " l i f e and power." (684) These d e s i r e s are not granted, but the Poet i s at l e a s t i n v o l v e d i n a p o e t i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and " s h a l l l i v e alone/ In the f r a i l pauses of t h i s simple s t r a i n . 1 1 (705-706) S h e l l e y wishes that the Poet would be l i k e N a r c i s s u s , who changes i n t o a f l o w e r , but f i n d s that he must be s a t i s f i e d w i t h the l i f e that the dead hero w i l l have i n h i s l i n e s . This r e s o l u  t i o n i s the f i r s t step towards the r e s o l u t i o n of the p a s t o r a l elegy t h a t S h e l l e y w i l l master i n Adonais. There are numerous Metamorphoses i n Endymion but none of them f o l l o w the example of the Narcissus myth. Keats's transformations f o l l o w the p a t t e r n of the dream and the f a i r y  t a l e . In a dream as i n the f a i r y - t a l e , anything can become anything e l s e without any necessary p a t t e r n . In the f a i r y  t a l e the hero or heroine i s f r e q u e n t l y changed from an ugly orphan or peasant to the b e a u t i f u l p r i n c e s s or p r i n c e . The' c l a s s i c a l counterpart of t h i s type, a l s o found i n Ovid, i s the e l e v a t i o n of a mortal i n t o an immortal: the myths of Endymion, Adonis, and Psyche. In h i s f i r s t dream, Endymion imagines t h a t he sees the moon change i n t o a woman and des cend to him. ( I . 59°ff') This change, however, occurs only i n h i s imagination. In the episode where Endymion r e v i v e s the drowned, he s c a t t e r s h i s magic charms, as S h e l l e y hopes that Medea w i l l do f o r h i s dead poet, and they l i f t up t h e i r head "As doth a flower at A p o l l o ' s touch." ( I I I . ~]Q6) When he meets the Indian maiden,, she again disappears i n dream-like f a s h i o n and he i s l e f t k i s s i n g h i s own hand. Endymion, however, again becomes worthy of her as he i s e x a l t e d from a;,, mortal to a god. When t h i s process i s complete, the Indian maiden a l s o throws o f f her d i s g u i s e and changes from m o r t a l i t y to the goddess Phoebe. Endymion has now won immor t a l i t y . These r e c u r r i n g transformations demonstrate K e a t s 1 s b e l i e f t h a t the beauty of nature i s 'a joy f o r ever." Endymion i s threatened w i t h death only when he d e s i r e s to es cape the beauty of nature, humanity, f r i e n d s h i p and lo v e . Each of the three poets uses the Narcissus myth according to h i s own i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c t a s t e , guided by p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n . Blake emphasizes the theme of selfhood!, but uses the Narcissus myth p r i m a r i l y as a b a s i s f o r h i s own o r i g i n a l r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . S h e l l e y f o l l o w s the p a t t e r n of the o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n , adding p r i m a r i l y the i n t r o d u c t i o n and the hero's quest, and r e i n  t e r p r e t i n g the myth from a Romantic point of view. Keats - 92 - r e l i e s h e a v i l y on Renaissance, masters who f r e e l y r e t e l l the myth and add whatever other myths or d i g r e s s i o n s they t h i n k w i l l enhance the n a r r a t i v e . His s t y l e i s t h e r e f o r e l o o s e r and more encumbered by numerous t w i s t s i n the n a r r a t i v e , as compared t o the polished and u n i f i e d poems by Blake and S h e l  l e y . A l l three of the poets, however, t r e a t the myth as i f i t i s t r u l y t h e i r own. The myth no longer needs to be j u s t i f i e d , moralized or e n g l i s h e d . BIBLIOGRAPHY I . PRIMARY SOURCES Anonymous. "Hymn to Demeter," The Greek Poets. Trans. Moses Hadas, New York, 1953, pp.ll6-T2S: Bacon, F r a n c i s . The Works of F r a n c i s Bacon, V o l . V I . London, 1870. : B l a k e , W i l l i a m . The P o e t i c a l Works of W i l l i a m Blake. Ed. John Sampson. London, 1949. -- The Prophetic W r i t i n g s of W i l l i a m B l a k e , V o l s . I - I I . Eds. D.J. S l o s s and J.P.R. W a l l i s . Oxford, 1957• Chapman, George, t r a n s . The Odysseys of Homer, V o l s . I - I I . Ed. Richard Hooper. London, 1 8 7 4 . Donno, E l i z a b e t h S t o r y , ed. E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c s . London, 1963. Edwards, Thomas. Cephalus and P r o c r i s . N a r c i s s u s . Ed. W.E. Buckley, London, lao 2 . G o l d i n g , A r t h u r , t r a n s . Shakespeare's Ovid Being A r t h u r Gold- ing's T r a n s l a t i o n of the Metamorphoses. Ed. WTH.D. Rouse. London, 1 9 b l . 1 : Homer The Odyssey. Trans. W.H.D. Rouse. New York, 1937. Keats, John. The L e t t e r s of John Keats. Ed. Maurice Buxton For- man. London, I 9 6 0 . . The P o e t i c a l Works of John Keats. Ed. H . W . Garrod. London, 1961. Noyes, R u s s e l l , ed. E n g l i s h Romantic SPoetry and Prose. New York, 1956'. Ovid The Metamorphoses. Trans. Horace Gregory. New York, 1963. P l o t i n o s . Complete Works: In Chr o n o l o g i c a l Order, Grouped In  Four P e r i o d s , V o l s . I-IV. Trans. Kenneth Sylvan G u t h r i e . London, 1 9 1 8 . P l o t i n u s The Enneads. Trans. Stephen MacKenna. London, 1930. - 94 - Sandys, George, t r a n s . Ovid's Metamorphosis E n g l i s h e d , Mytho- l o g i z ' d , And Represented In.Figures. Oxford, 1632. Shakespeare, W i l l i a m . The Complete Plays and Poems of W i l l i a m  Shakespeare. Eds. W i l l i a m A l l a n N e l l s o n and Charles J a r v i s H i l l . 5amb"ridge, Mass., 1942. S h e l l e y , Percy Bysshe. The L e t t e r s of Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y . Ed. F r e d e r i c k L. Jones"! Oxford, 1964. ' . The Complete P o e t i c a l Works of Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y . EcF. Thomas Hutchinson. London, 1961. V i r g i l The Aeneld. Trans. W.F. Jackson Knight. London, i 9 6 0 . I I . SECONDARY SOURCES A l l e n , Walter, J r . "The E p y l l i o n : A Chapter i n the H i s t o r y of L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , " TAPhA, LXXXI ( 1940) , pp.1-26. •. "The Non-Existent C l a s s i c a l E p i l l i o n , " SP, LV ( 1 9 5 « ) , PP . 5 1 5 - 5 1 8 . Bloom, Harold. Blake's Apocalypse: A Study In P o e t i c Argument. New York, 1963. Bradbrook, E.M. Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n Poetry. London, 1951. Bronowski, J . W i l l i a m Blake and the Age of Re v o l u t i o n . New York, 1965. Bush, Douglas. Mythology and the Renaissance T r a d i t i o n i n  E n g l i s h Poetry. New York, 1963- ! Mythology and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h Poetry. New York, 1903. : ' " E v e r t , Walter H. A e s t h e t i c and Myth i n the Poetry of Keats. P r i n c e t o n , 1965. Finney, Claude Lee. The E v o l u t i o n of Keats's Poetry, V o l s . I - I I . New York, 1963. - 95 - F r a z e r , S i r James George. The Golden Bough; A Study i n Magic  and R e l i g i o n . London, 1933^ Frye, Northrop. F e a r f u l Symmetry: A Study of W i l l i a m Blake. Boston, 1962. . " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " Selected Poetry and Prose of W i l l i a m Blake. New York, 1953, PP. x i i i - x x x . Gardner, S t a n l e y . I n f i n i t y on the A n v i l : A C r i t i c a l Study of  Blake's Poetry. Oxford, 1954. Gibson, E.K. " A l a s t o r : A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " FMLA, LXII (1947), pp. 1022-1045. Gleckner, Robert F. "Blake's R e l i g i o n of the Imagination," JAAC, XIV (1955) , PP.359-369. ' - . "Blake's Thel and the B i b l e , " BNYPL, LXIV ( l 9 b 6 ) , - pp.573-580. . "Blake's T i r i e l and the State of Expe- r i e n c e , " -Pg, XXXVI (1957) , pp.195-210. Harper, George M i l l s . "Thomas Taylor and Blake's Drama of Per sephone," PQ, XXXIV (1955) , PP.378-394. H l l d e b r a n d , W i l l i a m H. A Study of A l a s t o r . Kent, Ohio, 1954. H i r s c h , E.D. J r . Innocence and Experience: An I n t r o d u c t i o n to  Blake. London, 1964. Hoffman, Harold Leroy. An Odyssey of the S o u l : S h e l l e y ' s A l a s   t o r . New York, 1933. Jones, F r e d e r i c k L. "The Inconsistency of S h e l l e y ' s A l a s t o r , " ELH, X I I I ( 1946) , pp.291-293. Le Comte, Edward S. Endymion i n England: The L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y  of a Greek Myth. New York, 1944. Lempriere, J . Lempriere's C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y of Proper Names  Mentioned i n Ancient Authors. Ed. F.A. Wright. London, 195b. Macpherson, Jay. " N a r c i s s u s : Some Uncertain R e f l e c t i o n s , " Alphabet, No. 1 ( i 9 6 0 ) , pp . 4 l - 5 7 . . " N a r c i s s u s : Some Uncertain R e f l e c t i o n s : o r , From 'Lye Idas' t o Donovan's B r a i n , " Alphabet, No. 2 (1961), pp.65-71. - 96 - M i l l e r , Paul W. "The E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c , " SP, LV (1958), PP.31-38. — O'Malley, Glenn. S h e l l e y and Synesthesia. Evanston, 111 . , 1964. — Shorer, Mark. W i l l i a m Blake: The P o l i t i c s of V i s i o n . New York, 1946. "~ ; ~~ ~~ " P u l o s , C.E. The Deep Truth: A Study of S h e l l e y ' s S c e p t i c i s m . L i n c o l n , 1 9^H : : T 1""* T a y l o r , Thomas, t r a n s . "On the Cave of the Nymphs," S e l e c t  Works of Porphyry. London, 1823. Wasserman, E a r l R. The S u b t l e r Language: C r i t i c a l Readings  of Neoclasslc and Romantic Poems. Ba l t i m o r e , 1959. Wigod, Jacob D. -"The Meaning of Endymion," PMLA, LXVIII (1953) , PP.779-790. -

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