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Hunt, Keats, and Rossetti; a study in influence and comparison Lakeman-Shaw, Jeanne Frances 1937

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HUNTp KEATS, AND ROSSBTTI A STUDY IN INFLUENCE AND COMPARISON Jeanne Lakeman-Shaw A Thesis submitted f o r the Degree of MASTER OP ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia A p r i l , 1937 2 C JfnJL /fly TABLE OE C O U T S E T S Page . Chapter I. Hunt and Keats--A study i n i n f l u e n c e . . . . 0 1 « 1 Chapter II„ Keats and the Aim of Poetry. . 26 Chapter I I I . Keats, R o s s e t t i and Aestheticism....... . 45 Chapter I¥. Keats, R o s s e t t i and the Middle Ages.,.. „ 65 Conclusion... . 88 B i b l i o g r a p h y »»92 HUNT, KEATS, AID ROSSETTI A STUDY IK INFLUENCE AND COMPARISON INTRODUCTION One c r i t i c has defined Romanticism as 'the reproduction i n modern art or li t e r a t u r e of the l i f e and thought of the Middle Ages.' ( l ) While i t i s true that there are many other elements i n Romanticism and that a description of the movement that excludes Wordsworth's love of nature and Shelley's love of the i d e a l i s hardly complete, nevertheless the d e f i n i t i o n given does indicate one of the most important tendencies of the Romantic movement in a r t , l i t e r a t u r e and r e l i g i o n . In Germany mediaeval!sm was even more characteristic of the Romantic Poets than i n England. Heine says, •Was aher die Romantische Schule i n Deutschland? Sie war nichts anders a l s die Wiedererweckung der Poesie des M i t t e l a l t e r , wie sie sich i n dessen , Liedern, B i l d - und hau-werken, i n Kunst und Leten, manifestiert hatte.' (2) (l ) Beers, A History of English Romanticism i n the Eighteenth Century, 1899, p. 2. (2.V Heine, 'Die Romantische Schule', Samtliche Werke, 7 Band, 1910, p. 7, I However, although Romanticism i n England "began mainly as an a n t i q u a r i a n r e v i v a l , the movement developed to include any tendencies r e l a t e d to mediaevalism or opposed to eighteenth century c l a s s i c i s m * As these other tendencies--the love of nature i s one-~were a part of romanticism from the f i r s t , a wider d e f i n i t i o n of the romantic character i s often p r e f e r r e d - -the love of the element of strangeness i n beauty. But even w i t h t h i s d e f i n i t i o n mediaevalism i s s t i l l an important element of Romanticism. • • •The e s s e n t i a l elements', Pater says, 1 of the romantic s p i r i t are c u r i o s i t y and. the love of beauty; and i t i s as the a c c i d e n t a l e f f e c t of these q u a l i t i e s only, that i t seeks the Middle Age, because i n the overcharged a t -mosphere of the Middle Age there are uncorked sources of romantic e f f e c t , of a strange beauty to be won by strong imagination out of things u n l i k e l y or r e m o t e . 1 ( l ) The charm of the Middle Ages i s f e l t i n v a r y i n g degrees i n almost a l l the poetry of the nineteenth century,, Some poets t r y merely to recapture the adventure, the colour and the movement of mediaeval timesJ others t r y a l s o to r e v i v e the p o e t i c forms and the manner of speaking. Most content themselves w i t h r e c r e a t i n g merely the e x t e r n a l appearance of the Middle Ages, not the emotional s p i r i t . Very few r e a l l y completely r e v e a l - - o r t r y to r e v e a l - - i t s 'strange beauty'. Somep however, win 'by strong imagination' to the very heart of the Middle Ages--recapture not only i t s s u p e r f i c i a l ( l ) P e t e r s 'Romanticism', Maomillan's Magazine 9 May, Vol.XXXV. i i i . d e t a i l s "but also i t s . very moods and attitude to l i f e . Chatterton, the forerunner of Romantic mediaevalism sought to recreate the s p i r i t of the Middle Ages by care-f u l l y imitating i t s poetic forms. His work remains a l i t e r a r y coup de force--beautiful but a r t i f i c i a l , Coleridge's poetic imagination and scholarly interest brought him much closer to the Middle Ages, The publication of La Belle Dame sans Merci and The Eve of St. Agnes marked, the climax of the movement. It appeared that Keats had completed the cycle pioneered by Chatterton. One would expect the Antiquarian Revival to pass away as other l i t e r a r y movements before i t , leaving i t s mark on our l i t e r a t u r e but not dominating the poetic mood. One would not be surprised to find Victorian med.iaevalism (as i t was for the most part) a development of the romantic movement moderated by the influence of nineteenth century thought. But for the pre-Raphaelite movement of Rossetti one i s not pre-pared. It came as a ©gednd Romantic Revival uninfluenced apparently by Victorian rationalism. Like a l l echoes i t "was less f o r c e f u l and less genuine than the o r i g i n a l voice but so similar that the relationship i s i n s t i n c t i v e l y f e l t . I t must not be forgotten.that, according to Pater, one of the essential elements of the Romantic s p i r i t i s the love of beauty, The charm of the l i t e r a t u r e of the Middle Ages l i e s to a great extent, i n the mediaeval poet's love of colour and of over-lavish decoration, in his joy i n the material beauty of l i f e . To the romantic poet this offered a r e l i e f from the idealism and severity of classicism. Interest i n t his aspect of mediaevalism developed into the aestheticism which i s found i n the work of Hunt, Keats, and Rossetti. To them the love of beauty was a creed. That they should seek beauty in the past was only natural. Keats, Hunt and Rossetti, were interested i n the Middle Ages primarily for aesthetic reasons. A l l three were poets whose work i s devoted to the praiseof some aspect of beauty--in words, i n nature, i n the human emotions. It i s their i n -terest in the past that relates them to each other, that makes form a movement i n themselves—an-- antiquarian movement i n which the aesthetic rather than the adventurous or mysterious aspects of mediaevalism are stressed. This essay endeavors to trace in the three poets this common tendency which i s due partly to influence but p r i n c i p a l l y to p e c u l i a r i t y of taste and temperament. CHAPTER I TSo poet i s ever quite independent of h i s predecessors or of h i s contemporaries. U s u a l l y , the i n f l u e n c e comes i n d i r e c t l y through the medium of t h e i r work. But some-times, as i n the case of Leigh Hunt and Keats, the i n -fluence i s a l s o a personal one. When f r i e n d s h i p i s added to admiration, the connection i s apt to be marked, since i t i s not quite p o s s i b l e to adopt an' impersonal and c r i t -i c a l a t t i t u d e to a f r i e n d ' s work. Young Keats, enthus-i a s t i c and a f f e c t i o n a t e always, was very s u s c e p t i b l e to the i n f l u e n c e s of h i s f r i e n d s - - C h a r l e s Gowden Clarke, George E e l t o n Matthews, John Reynolds, and Benjamin Haydon. Although from the beginning confident of h i s o?/n powers, he was not e g o t i s t i c a l , and e a g e r l y shared h i s f r i e n d s ' enthusiasms. N a t u r a l l y , ta Leigh H u n t — t h e f r i e n d who was a l s o a poet--he turned f o r encouragement i n h i s e a r l y l i t e r a r y attempts. Leigh Hunt, who may not have been the g r e a t e s t poet of h i s time but who was c e r t a i n l y one of the most amiable, wholeheartedly returned Keats' confidence. Therewer© s e v e r a l reasons why Keats' other great con-temporaries had l i t t l e i n f l u e n c e on h i s work. In the f i r s t p l a c e , Keats d i d not know Wordsworth and S h e l l e y p e r s o n a l l y u n t i l h i s s t y l e and t a s t e s were formed. Secondly, Keats f e l t antagonism towards both. His f i r s t meeting with Wordsworth was an unfortunate one. Wordsworth was ego-t i s t i c a l and unjust. He s l i g h t i n g l y termed the b e a u t i f u l Hymn to Pan'a p r e t t y piece of paganism*. Keats could never f o r g i v e that h u m i l i a t i o n , although he o f t e n p r a i s e d Words-worth 's work. Keats' acquaintanceship w i t h S h e l l e y was marred by rather i n c o n s i d e r a t e c r i t i c i s m , t h i s time on both s i d e s . So Keats' p r i d e , of which he had a good d e a l , kept him from becoming too e n t h u s i a s t i c an admirer of e i t h e r poet. Leigh Hunt has been much dec r i e d both as a poet and as a man, and i t i s true that i n n e i t h e r character was he without f a u l t s . But i n 1815, when the young John Keats met him, he must have seemed the most charming and b r i l l i a n t of men. Prom a distance Keats had worshipped 'the wronged L i h e r t a s ' ( l ) - - a martyr because of opinions w i t h which Keats, being young, sympathized, and a poet who was soon to p u b l i s h a poem which, i t was rumoured, would make him the leader of a new school of poetry. Further acquaintance with Hunt could only have increased Keats' admiration. ' T a l l , s t r a i g h t , slender, charming, courteous and v i v a c i o u s , Leigh Hunt was one of the most winning of companions, f u l l of k i n d l y smiles and j e s t , of ( l ) Keats, To Charles Cowden Clarke, 44. reading, g a i e t y and ideas, w i t h an i n f i n i t y of pleasant things to say of h i s own and a b e a u t i f u l c a r e s s i n g voice to say them i n , yet the most sym-p a t h e t i c and d e f e r e n t i a l of l i s t e n e r s ' ( l ) To Keats he opened up a new world--the world of l i t e r a t u r e -He d i d more--he p r a i s e d and encouraged Keats' own l i t e r a r y attempts as a wise master might encourage a c l e v e r ap-p r e n t i c e . To a young poet acquaintance with such a man would be both i n c e n t i v e and i n s p i r a t i o n . The f r i e n d s h i p of Leigh Hunt was only one step i n the development of Keats' p o e t i c genius but, even i f that f r i e n d s h i p had l e f t no mark on Keats' poetry, i t would s t i l l be important. As i t was, Leigh Hunt was a p o e t 5 apparently a master i n the c r a f t i n which Keats was an apprentice. I t was n a t u r a l that Keats should i m i t a t e Hunt as he had i m i t a t e d Spenser, the master who had f i r s t awakened h i s genius. In a d d i t i o n Keats found that Hunt's t a s t e s were simil-Sar, and so f e l t that he had found a man i n t e l l e c t u a l l y a k i n to h i m s e l f . He d i d not, of course, r e a l i z e that one of the reasons f o r t h i s k i n s h i p was Hunt's i n t e l l e c t u a l immaturity. Keats might c e r t a i n l y have found a b e t t e r master. However, since Hunt's i n -fluence took the form of exaggerating f a u l t s that were as inherent i n the young Keats as h i s p o e t i c q u a l i t i e s , Hunt was not so r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the weak q u a l i t i e s i n Keats' f i r s t work as i s so often claimed* Keats himself ( l ) (.Gjd.kvpaw,t John Keats, 1918, p. 45. made no apology f o r the resemblance of h i s work to that of Hunt hut declared, ' i t i s my n a t u r a l way and I have some-thing i n common wit h Hunt', ( l ) The very exaggeration which Hunt's encouragement caused, perhaps^ sickened Keats of the f a u l t s which he might otherwise not have no t i c e d and thus have kept. And what i n t e r e s t s Ad Keats and Hunt have i n common? Fu^f .admired Spenser as much as Keats d i d — a n d understood him as l i t t l e . They both were i n t e r e s t e d i n c l a s s i c a l mythology, i n the E l i z a b e t h a n and Jacobean poets, and i n the I t a l i a n romancers of the Middle Ages, Hunt di d not introduce the E l i z a b e t h a n poets to Keats, but under Hunt's tutelage Keats studied and i m i t a t e d t h e i r d i c t i o n and imagery. Hunt, however, was probably d i r e c t l y r esponsible f o r Keats' reading of the I t a l i a n r o m a n c e r s — A r i o s t o , Boiardo and P u l c i , i n t e r e s t i n whose work l e d Keats l a t e r to a study of the greater I t a l i a n w r i t e r s Dante and Boccaccio. When i n 1819, long a f t e r he had outgrown h i s Huntian" p e r i o d , he wished to l e a r n I t a l i a n , he studied i t from the pages of A r i o s t o , Hunt admired i n these pre-Renaissance w r i t e r s the l i g h t - h e a r t e d atmosphere of romance and mediaevalism. He l i k e d Spenser, a q u i t e d i f f e r e n t poet, f o r the same reason. To Keats they brought a new world of language and romance. Being young, he found himself more i n sympathy wi t h the ( l ) c i t . de S e l i n c o u r t , The Poems of John Keats, 1926. p. XXVII. ~~ • 'noble Poet of Romance', Boiardo, than w i t h Wordsworth, 'the miserable and. mighty poet of the Human Heart.' ( l ) Thus Hunt accompanied Keats i n the path of the a n t i q u a r i a n move-ment, of t e n indeed guiding the young man—for i t i s from c l a s s i c a l mythology and the I t a l i a n Middle A g e s — e s p e c i a l l y the l a t t e r — t h a t Keats was to derive the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r a l l h i s n a r r a t i v e poems. Keats' tast e had alwaysytended i n that d i r e c t i o n but Hunt fanned h i s i n t e r e s t i n t o enthusiasm. U n f o r t u n a t e l y Hunt's taste was c a t h o l i c rather than c r i t i c a l . He could not teach Keats how to d i s t i n g u i s h between the c r u d i t y and the charm of e a r l y poetry. He could only i n -troduce him to i t s r i c h e s . But Keats' wide reading of mediaeval romance was to have many fortunate consequences when h i s c r i t i c a l sense had developed. S i g n i f i c a n t i n Keats' and Hunt's study of mediaeval and renaissance w r i t e r s was t h e i r i n t e r e s t In the s t y l e and i m a g e r y — i n the e x t e r n a l d e t a i l s of verse. As a student •Keats d e l i g h t e d i n the sound and colour of poetry, l i n g e r e d over d e s c r i p t i v e passages and exclaimed at the flamboyant metaphors of Chapman. Keats' n a t u r a l a e s t h e t i c i s m neeaed r e s t r a i n t : u n f o r t u n a t e l y Hunt gave i t only encouragement. Leigh Hunt, l i k e Keats, r e v e l l e d i n the ' l u x u r i e s ' of poetry, which to him was a pleasant sensation. Of the more serious or more d i g n i f i e d aspects of poetry he had no ap-( l ) Keats, L e t t e r s , To Miss J e f f r e y , 9 June 1819, ed. Forman, Y o l . I I , p. 375. p r e c i a t i o n . His tragedy, Rimini, was merely a sentimental love story. Hunt's e a r l y verses were a l l i n a gossipy, easy-flowing verse. But f o r R i m i n i , h i s intended masterpiece, he decided to employ a reformed heroice couplet, more f l u e n t than Dryden's. In the Preface to the Story of Riminli (February or March, 1817) he explained h i s use of t h i s form: • •.'With the endeavour to recur to a f r e e r s p i r i t of v e r s i f i c a t i o n I have j o i n e d one of s t i l l greater importance, that of having a f r e e and i d i o m a t i c cast of language. But the proper language of poetry i s i n f a c t nothing d i f f e r e n t from that of r e a l l i f e and depends f o r i t s d i g n i t y upon the strength and sentiment of what i t speaks. I t i s only adding musical modulation to what a- f i n e under-standing might a c t u a l l y u t t e r i n the midst of i t s g r i e f s or enjoyments. The poet therefore should do as Shakespeare or Ghaucer aid,--not copy what i s obsolete or p e c u l i a r i n e i t h e r , any more thaaa they copied t h e i r predecessors,--but use as much as p o s s i b l e an a c t u a l , e x i s t i n g language omitting of course mere vulgarisms and g u g i t i v e phrases, which are the cant of ordinary discourse..' ( l ) Hunt's theory, which merely echoed the Preface to the L y r i c a l  Ballads., was strong and d e f e n s i b l e , but he himself was i n -capable of p r a c t i s i n g i t s u c c e s s f u l l y . However, to the young Keats i t must have sounded very f i n e . Keats looked to Rimini expecting guidance i n the p r a c t i c e enunciated by Hunt. I f h i s c r i t i c a l sense had been more acute, he would have found much i n the poem worthy of study and emulation. The 'unaffected and contemporaneous' s t y l e moves e a s i l y and„ at i t s b e s t , i s admirable f o r not too ( l ) c i t . Lowell, John Keats. 1925, p. 120. serious narrative,, The f i r s t canto with i t s d e s c r i p t i o n of the crowds and of the p r i n c e ' s p r o c e s s i o n i s charming and l i v e l y . The couplet i s used f r e e l y : run-on l i n e s are the r u l e r a t h e r than the exception: t r i p l e rhymes and feminine endings are frequent. The naturalness i s o f t e n fortunate hut the poem s u f f e r s from unevenness. Hunt was by notmeans master of the s t y l e which 'showed Keats and S h e l l e y (and how many more) the way to a f r e e r treatment of the h e r o i c couplet and broke the neck of a convention Hunt invented the instrument but had not the s k i l l to p l a y on i t . ' ( l ) The d e s c r i p t i v e passages i n Rimini are rather super-f i c i a l , o c c a s i o n a l l y a f f e c t e d , but j u s t as o f t e n n a t u r a l and colourfuiU. Keats 9 with h i s untrained t a s t e , d i d not always d i s c r i m i n a t e between the n a t u r a l and the a f f e c t e d . He was j u s t i f i e d , however, i n r e j o i c i n g i n the imaginative r i c h n e s s of the g a i l y - c a p a r i s o n e d horses and t h e i r r i d e r s , and. the f o u n t a i n 'which shakes i t s loosened s i l v e r i n the sun,' (§) As pure n a r r a t i v e Rimini does not f l a g u n t i l the very end. The s t o r y was t o l d f o r i t s own sake and Hunt did not s p o i l i t by unnecessary i n t e r r u p t i o n s . A study of i t s n a r r a t i v e q u a l i t i e s would have helped the author of Endymion. But Keats was to r e c e i v e h i s n a r r a t i v e and dramatic t r a i n i n g from other and g r e a t e r masters. ( l ) Monkhouse, L i f e of Leigh Hunt, 1893, p. 112. .(2). Hunt, Rimini, e d . Sharp, Canterbury Poets, p. 4. Hunt inroduced Keats to a new w o r l d — a world of romance and poetry, of music and colour, of d e l i g h t i n beauty both n a t u r a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l . He awakened i n Keats the love of a n t i q u i t y and of a l l b e a u t i f u l t h i n g s . I t was i n h i s Huntian • p e r i o d that Keats wrote, 'a t h i n g of beauty i s a j o y f o r e v e r . * ( In a d d i t i o n Hunt's encouragement, h i s charming p e r s o n a l i t y and the h a l f - l i t e r a r y c i r c l e i n t o which he introduced Keats a l l served to encourage the young poet to devote himself to l i t e r a t u r e . But u n f o r t u n a t e l y there were i n f l u e n c e s a r i s i n g from Rimini and from Hunt's, companionship and conversation which were b e n e f i c i a l n e i t h e r to Keats' work nor to h i s c a r e e r 0 Keats would never have been so m e r c i l e s s l y attacked by the reviewers of Blackwoods and the Q u a r t e r l y i f he had not be-longed to Hunt's c i r c l e . Hunt's p r i v a t e p r a i s e was of value to Keats b u t . h i s p u b l i c p r a i s e through the pages of the Examiner reacted l i k e a boomerangs. Lockhart, i n launching h i s a t t a c k a g a i n s t Keats, decried f i r s t h i s ' f a t a l admiration..:, f o r the character and t a l e n t s of the most worthless and a f f e c t -ed of a l l the v e r s i f i e r s of our time.*(2) He went on to com-ment on Keats' choice of the three 'great s p i r i t s ' of the time--Wordsworth, Hunt and Haydon. 'Great s p i r i t s now on e a r t h are sojourning, He of the cloud, the c a t a r a c t , the l a k e 3 (l) Keats, Endymion, I, 1, (2; * The Cockney School of Poetry', Blackwood's Edinburgh  Magazine, V o l . I l l , August, 1818, p. 520„ He of the rose, the v i o l e t , the sp r i n g , The s o c i a l smile, the chain f o r freedom's Bake And l o l whose steadfastness would never take A meaner sound than Raphael's whispering' ( l ) Keats' judgment was a t f a u l t hut even the wisest of c r i t i c s - - L o c k h a r t i n c l u d e d — h a s erred i n h i s estimation of h i s contemporaries, l o c k h a r t made i t quite evident how much c o n s i d e r a t i o n he would give 'Johnny, Keats' the f o l -lower of Hunt: 'Wordsworth and Hunt? what a j u x t a - p o s i t i o n . The purest, the l o f t i e s t and we do not f e a r to say i t , the most c l a s s i c a l of E n g l i s h poets, j o i n e d together i n the same compliment with the meanest, the f i l t h -i e s t , and the most vulgar of Cockney poetasters.'(2) This was j o u r n a l i s t i c d i a t r i b e of the worst s o r t , and Lockhart's use of the term ' c l a s s i c a l ' a p p l i e d to Words-worth showed i n himself the very weakness of judgment he was a t t a c k i n g i n Keats. But the f a u l t s which Lodkhart proceeded to c r i t i c i z e were i n Endymion and were due i n great measure to Hunt's i n f l u e n c e . To the beauties and promise of Endymion the c r i t i c was b l i n d . Hunt's main f a u l t was that he f a i l e d to f o l l o w the most important p r i n c i p l e of h i s Preface. He had said that poetry 'depends f o r i t s d i g n i t y upon the strengt h and s e n t i -ment of what i t speaks,' Hunt's verse la c k s the strength and sentiment which would make i t poetry. I t was i n the 1 ) Keats, Sonnet to Havdon. I f f . 2) Blackwood's l o c . c i t . 10. possession of these q u a l i t i e s that Wordsworth, who a l s o o f t e n used a language 'nothing d i f f e r e n t from that of r e a l l i f e * , showed himself a r e a l poet. There i s a depth and f e e l i n g i n Wordsworth's poetry that gives i t d i g n i t y . When these q u a l i t i e s are absent Wordsworth's verse i s merely d u l l . When Hunt's verse l a c k s ' s t r e n g t h and sentiment' — and i t u s u a l l y does--his verse i s worse than common-place, i t i s vu l g a r , as i n the love scene i n R i m i n i , or t r i v i a l and r i d i c u l o u s as i n the passage where Paolo asks 'May I come i n ? ' and Prancesca answers '0 yes, c e r t a i n l y . ' ( l ) Hunt undoubtedly like* b e a u t i f u l things but h i s shallow-ness and bad ta s t e prevented him from d i s c r i m i n a t i n g be-tween the t r u l y b e a u t i f u l and the cheaply sentimental. He papered h i s c e l l to resemble a rose bower. Surely a man with b e t t e r t a s t e would have seen how r i d i c u l o u s and a r t i -f i c i a l the i m i t a t i o n was. Hunt, however, played w i t h h i s own s e n s i b i l i t i e s and f l a u n t e d h i s love of beauty i n the face of the world, u n t i l f i n a l l y h i s genuine a p p r e c i a t i o n became an absurd a f f e c t a t i o n . He was, says E l t o n (2) the f i r s t true 'aesthete*—one of a long l i n e which formed a strange current i n Nineteenth Century l i t e r a t u r e and so c i e t y . Keats always worshipped what he c a l l e d 'the P r i n c i p l e of Beauty'. But h i s c r i t i c a l sense was not i n 1816 keen A enough to r e a l i z e that excess of even an e x c e l l e n t q u a l i t y leads to p i t f a l l s and that r e t i c e n c e and s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e are as important i n poetry as i n l i f e . And so we f i n d i n Endymion the same s i c k l y sweetness, the same lavi s h n e s s of s e n t i m e n t a l i t y that mars the work of Hunt. 'Poetry', Keats said l a t e r , ( l ) 'should be great and unobtrusive.' The aesthetes were never unobtrusive i n t h e i r love of beauty. The Keats of Endymion was great and unobtrusive i n s i n g l e l i n e s , such as "Through the green evening q u i e t i n the sun.' (2) but the poem as a whole i s so obtwusive i n i t s d e l i n e a t i o n of l u x u r i e s that the reader i s sickened and confused rather than s u r p r i s e d by a f i n e excess. In Sleep and Poetry Keats abandoned himself to sensations--'Scarce can I s c r i b b l e on, f o r l o v e l y a i r s Are f l u t t e r i n g round the room l i k e doves i n p a i r s : Many d e l i g h t s of that glad day r e c a l l i n g , ?/hen f i r s t my senses caught t h e i r tender f a l l i n g . ' (3) Keats always loaded every r i f t with ore but the ore i n the l a t e r poems i s pure gold, not the f a l s e metal of much of h i s e a r l i e r work. Dante's Paolo and Erancesca i s a b i t t e r tragedy of the e f f e c t of d e c e i t on love: Hunt's Story of Rimini i s a ( 1 ) fa.*fa r^Wr^H,- Tp. Hiu§: y n n 1 d s • 5 P e"^ u a^» i 8 i 8> (2) Keats, Endymion, 11,71. (3) Keats, Sleep and Poetry, 326ff. sentimental and rather t r i v i a l s t o r y of forbidden love, with an unhappy ending which seems f o r c e d rather than i n -e v i t a b l e . Rimini i s at i t s best before Paolo and Francesco appeared. The love scenes are r i d i c u l o u s . However that may be, i n the love scenes from Endymion, Keats was perhaps most i n f l u e n a d by Rimini. Keats was by nature a love poet but love i s a dangerous subject f o r a boy of twenty-one. The amorous d e s c r i p t i o n i n Endymion i s f a r more nauseating than that i n Rimini mainly because there i s f a r more of i t . The f a u l t was s t i l l w i t h Keats when he wrote I s a b e l l a , but The Eve of St Agnes has no more trace of i t than has Shakes-peare's Romeo and J u l i e t . The Blackwood's reviewers said that Keats profaned and v u l g a r i z e d every a s s o c i a t i o n of the o l d Greek myth of Endymion. In the love scenes t h i s was tr u e , but nowhere e l s e . Leigh Hunt was always i l l at ease when w r i t i n g of women. Keats shared the same l a c k of sureness, the same embarrassment. fbey both depicted t h e i r women a f t e r the model of p a r t i c u l a r i l y cheap and sentimental coloured p r i n t s . The f i r s t quarter of the Nineteenth Century shared with the Middle Ages the idea that heroines must be sweet and b e a u t i f u l and u t t e r l y c h a r a c t e r l e s s . How Keats could have conceived a goddess as i n s i p i d and as u n d i g n i f i e d as Cynthia i s hard to imagine. I t was evident that, l i k e Hunt, Keats admired the prettiness-~one cannot say the beauty--of the old myths rather than t h e i r simple d i g n i t y . The mythology of Hyperion shows an i n t e r e s t i n g development i n t a s t e . He no longer thought that the s i l v e r flow Of Hero's t e a r s , the swoon of Imogen, F a i r P a s t o r e l l a i n the "bandit's den Are things to brood on with more ardency Than the death day of empires. ( l ) Hunt i n other things besides matters of love lacked the taste which genuine 'sentiment' — t o repeat h i s own word--would have given him. He was a man of e s s e n t i a l l y c h e e r f u l d i s p o s i t i o n and t h i s cheerfulness o f t e n r e s u l t e d i n an un-i n t e n t i o n a l p l a y f u l n e s s and want of high seriousness that i s sadly out of key w i t h a story l i k e that of Rimini. This la c k of seriousness was p a r t l y responsible f o r h i s f a i l u r e w i t h the f r e e h e r o i c couplet. 'He invented the instrument but had not the s k i l l to p l a y i t . * I t could be used f o r any type of poetry except perhaps dramatic tragedy. But, as Hunt used i t , i t was only s u i t a b l e f o r f a m i l i a r ' v e r s e or l i g h t , r a t her f l i p p a n t romances I t i s g r a c e f u l enough, and easy fl o w i n g . But i t i s the worst medium p o s s i b l e ( l ) Keats, Endymion.II, 30. f f . 14. f o r Keats who was so much i n need of d i s c i p l i n e . Rules i n a r t are only s u c c e s s f u l l y broken by the people who know how to f o l l o w them. Keats i n h i s two f i r s t volumes wrote over f i v e thousand l i n e s of h e r o i c couplet 'which i s here mostly as un-h e r o i c as i t can be', ( l ) The Huntian couplet s u i t e d f a m i l i a r verse such as the E p i s t l e to George E e l t o n Matthew. But i t was as unfortunate i n Endymion as i t was i n Rimini. The new h e r o i c couplet was meant to flow e a s i l y and f r e e l y , but to make i t do so, the form had to be unobtrusive. Both Hunt and Keats mistook l i c e n c e f o r freedom i n t h i s regard. Both l e t the rhyme c a r r y them along, f o r g e t t i n g that form and sense had to be co-ordinated. Hunt's ear for. the music of l i n e s was never keen: Keats' was as yet undeveloped, the f o l l o w i n g pass-age, chosen, a t random, i l l u s t r a t e s the f a u l t s of Hunt's s t y l e as used by Keats. The passage contains one or perhaps two p e r f e c t l i n e s . The r e s t i s s p o i l t by f a u l t y form: 'I t seem'd he flew, the way so easy was; And l i k e a new born s p i r i t d i d he pass Through the green evening quiet i n the sun, Through b u r i e d paths, where sleepy t w i l i g h t dreams The summer time away. One t r a c k unseams A wooded c l e f t , and, f a r , away, the blue Of ocean fades upon him, then, anew, He sinks adown a s o l i t a r y glen, Where there was never sound of mortal men, (1.) E l t o n , A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1780-1830, 1920, II", 236, Saving, perhaps, some snow-light cadences M e l t i n g to s i l e n c e , when upon the breeze Some h o l y bark l e t f o r t h an anthem sweet, To cheer i t s e l f to D e l p h i . S t i l l h i s f e e t -•• _ :• ' (1) Here the poet has a rhyme on an unstressed word 'was*; im-p e r f e c t rhymes, (was' and 'pass', ' f l u t e ' and ' t o ' t , 'cadences' and 'breeze) and a f o r c e d rhyme 'unseams'. Worse s t i l l , Keats c a r r i e d over the e r r o r s of h i s every-day speech incto h i s poetry. Blackwoods' reviewer, as u s u a l , picked on the worst rhymes i n the poem--those which suggested imperfect pronounciation the rhyming of 'higher' w i t h ' T h a l i a ' , or the rhyme of 'ear* w i t h * ' C y t h e r e a ' i n 'No, nor the A e o l i a n twang of Love's own bow, Can mingle music f o r f o r the s o f t ear Of goddess Cytherea.' ' (2) O r d i n a r i l y the pronounciation of words i n poetry should be the same as that of words i n c o r r e c t speech. The unnatural pro-no u n c i a t i o n of 'cadences' i n the passage quoted above and the f r e q u e n t l y found s t r e s s on 'ing', 'y' and other s u f f i x e s are inexcusable i n modern poetry. True, 'y' i s o c c a s i o n a l l y ac-cented i n mediaeval poetry but only when the sound j u s t i f i e s the usage*. Keats' e a r l y vocabulary he i n h e r i t e d mainly form Spenser, Chapman, Browne and Chatterton, or received more d i r e c t l y from h i s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Hunt and h i s c i r c l e . Hunt was by no means e n t i r e l y to blame f o r the f a u l t s of Keats' fil f e a t s , Endymion. I I , 70 f f I b i d , I I I , 9 7 3 f f 16. d i c t i o n . In n e a r l y every case precedent can be found i n the e a r l i e r poets that Keats read. But Hunt used i n speaking as •well'as i n w r i t i n g many of the words that seem objectionable • i n Keats' poetry, thus making them part of Keats' every-day vocabulary. He encouraged Keats* enthusiasm but d i d nothing to form h i s t a s t e . So Keats, w i t h a grand di s - r e g a r d f o r grammar, formed a d j e c t i v e s from nouns and verbs by adding *y' and more b o l d l y s t i l l formed a d j e c t i v e s from other ad-j e c t i v e s . Some of these are unfortunate, f o r example--'bloomy* and 'bowery*, which remind the reader of Hunt's decorated c e l l . Many have not even the excuse of b e i n g m e t r i c a l l y necessary. That Keats should use the manufactured word 'surgy' i n the l i n e , 'The' surgy murmurs of the Lonely sea* ( l ) instead of the more conventional and e q u a l l y e f f e c t i v e 'surging' showed how he had succumbed,to the h a b i t . However, some words, unpromising a t f i r s t s i g h t , are j u s t i f i e d by t h e i r use. So the use of the a d j e c t i v e 'spangly' i n the f o l l o w i n g l i n e s seems f o r t u n a t e : 'As when of h e a l t h f u l midnight sleep b e r e f t , Thinking on rugged hours and f r u i t l e s s t o l l , ( l ) Keats, Endymion, I, 121. We put our eyes into a p i l l o w y c l e f t And see the spangly gloom f r o t h up and "boil. ' ( l ) Other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of h i s e a r l y verse were the ex-cessive use of a b s t r a c t nouns ending i n 'ing' as concrete nouns; the use of nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns, and the use of the manufactured double e p i t h e t . 'From the meaning Of Jove's large eyebrow to the tender greening Of A p r i l meadows. who could paragon The f e r v i d c h o i r ' (2) 'Perhaps to see shapes of l i g h t , a,erial limning, And catch s o f t f l o a t i n g s froma f a i n t - h e a r d hymning.' (s) 'AndWesper, r i s i n g s t a r , began to throe In the dusk heavens s i l v e r y . ' ( 4 ) 'Woe-hurricanes beat ever a t the gate.' (5) But some of these unconventional usages are so f e l i c i t o u s that Keats cannot be reproached. In any case 'with these words the t e s t i s t h e i r success, not t h e i r i r r e g u l a r i t y . ' ( 6 ) Usages that are p a r t i c u l a r i l y Huntian, although often found elsewhere, mar the Poems of 1817 and Endymion. The most d i s t a s t e f u l of these are what Bridges c a l l s the languid (1) Keats, I s a b e l l a , 41, 3f. (2) Keats, Sleep and Poetry. 169ff. (3) I b i d , 33f. ( 4 ) Keats, Endymion, IV, 485f. (5) I b i d , IV, .527. (6) Bridges, Essays, 1929, IV, 150. e p i t h e t s - " \ l ) • — q u i e t , sweet, f a i r , white, tender, g e n t l e , easy, f r e s h , pleasant--words in. themselves innocent enough, hut i n t h e i r constant r e p e t i t i o n almost as sickening as '"balmy1, slumbery' and 'lush*. Words such as 'swooning', ' f a i n t i n g ' , 'panting* and 'swimming' add to the nauseating s e n t i m e n t a l i t y of the love scenes. The reader's l a s t glimpse of Endymion i s of him kn e e l i n g ' i n b l i s s f u l swoon' before h i s goddess.(2) This over-emphasis on the sensations i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the worst a e s t h e t i c poetry. Just as i n Rimini we f i n d many words used i n c o n g r u o u s l y — words which s p e c i a l connotation has s p o i l t f o r serious use — as 'stare' and 'scare'; 'Not that the face on which the lady stared Was hideous, nay. 'Twas handsome; yet i t scared' (2) so Endymion ' s t a r e s ' and 'raves': 'He did not rave, he d i d not stare aghast' ( 4 ) and dotes': *I watch and dote upon the s i l v e r l a k e s . ' (5) Another word found i n Rimini which Keats had the bad tast e to adopt i s ' f e e l ' as a noun. It i s f i r s t found i n Ca l l d o r e , ( 1 ) Bridges, op. c i t . IV, 1 5 1 . (2) Keats, Endymion, IV, 999 ' ,3) Hunt, Rimini, ed. Sharp,. The Canterbury Poets u 19 (4) Keats, Endvmion. I I , 588, •> " ~' p ' x y ' 5 ) I b i d , I, 740. a poem very much i n the Huntian and. Spenserian manner; •Gladdening i n the f r e e , and a i r y f e e l Gf a l i g h t mantel' ( l ) and i s used f i v e times afterwards, once i n one of the worst l i n e s i n Endymion. The use of such words as 'giggle', 'elegantly', ' l i k e * as an a d j e c t i v e , ' t i p t o p ' and ' t r e a t ' show that, l i k e Hunt, Keats neglected, to omit from h i s p o e t i c d i c t i o n 'mere vulgar-isms and f u g i t i v e phrases, which are the cant of ordinary d i s c o u r s e , ' 'Tease' i s one example of t h i s cant. I t i s a word which Keats used over and over again i n h i s l e t t e r s i n the sense of 'worry'. In h i s poetry i t i s e q u a l l y common, hut the h a l f dozen misuses of t h i s word are a l l atoned f o r "by the remarkable l i n e - -'Thou, s i l e n t form, dost tease us out of thought As doth e t e r n i t y . ' (2) The charge of a e s t h e t i c i s m a g a i n s t Keats r e s t s mainly on h i s sensous love of words and of images and h i s pre-occupation w i t h sound and colour. In Endymion thought and s t o r y were neglected, ideas were c o n t i n u a l l y l o s t i n a maze of imagin-a t i v e p i c t u r e s . Keats' love of words dated back to h i s i n -t r o d u c t i o n to Spenser. Clarke has t o l d of Keats' d e l i g h t i n (1) Keats, C a l i d o r e , 139f. (2j Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn. the double e p i t h e t i n the phrase 'sea-shouldering whales'. Chapman, again w i t h h i s E l i z a b e t h a n love of daring sounds and h i s adventurous use of words, was another e x c i t i n g experience. Hunt introduced Keats to Browne and the other Jacobeans to whom Hunt's own p o e t i c d i c t i o n owed much0 But Keats had a l r e a d y begun h i s e x p l o r a t i o n s and adventures i n the f i e l d s of language. The d i c t i o n of Chapman and Browne i s d aring and v i v i d but i t i s o f t e n a f f e c t e d and bombastic. But the d i c t i o n of the s i x t e e n t h and seventeenth c e n t u r i e s i s r i c h i n sound as w e l l as i n connotation and Keats was eager to use i t . Later Keats steeped himself i n the w r i t -ings of Chaucer, of Shakespeare, of M i l t o n , of. Dryden. and of Wordsworth and enlarged and heightened h i s vocabulary a c c o r d i n g l y . Keats k i n s h i p w i t h h i s great predecessors was so close 'that t h e i r l i f e became h i s and t h e i r language the only p o s s i b l e utterance f o r h i s ideas and moods.' ( l ) Hunt's t a l e n t i n poetry was f o r mere n a r r a t i v e or p r e t t y d e s c r i p t i o n . He was not a great thinker. Keats seemed to have been i n sympathy wi t h these l i m i t a t i o n s of h i s f r i e n d . In h i s l e t t e r s he showed that he had an i n c r e a s i n g l y profound philosophy of l i f e . , but f o r the t h e o r i e s of h i s time, es-p e c i a l l y the Godwinian t h e o r i e s of S h e l l e y and of h i s f r i e n d , D i l k e , he had no use. He c r i t i z e d Wordsworth f o r having a ( l ) de S e l i n c o u r t j The Poems of John Keats, 1926,p. 596, 21. 'palpable purpose'. He read Spenser and the other poets f o r t h e i r beauty of imagery rather than f o r any ideas they might have. I t i s recorded of him that, as a student i n London read ing poetry, he 'admired more the e x t e r n a l decorations than f e l t the deep emotion of the Muse. He d e l i g h t e d i n leading you through mazes of elaborate d e s c r i p t i o n . ' ( l ) And i t was i n d e s c r i p t i o n that he d e l i g h t e d and excelled, f e r t i l e b r a i n never f a i l e d to f i n d an image to s u i t the occasion. In h i s l a t e r poems, although every image i s r i c h i n connotations, the whole e f f e c t i s one of r e s t r a i n t and d i s c i p l i n e . In the e a r l y poems, however, the abundance of images--some good» some bad--* f a t i g u e the reader, who f e e l s l i k e a s i g h t - s e e r i n a g a l l e r y overcrowded w i t h p i c t u r e s , which by degrees he ceases to regard w i t h a t t e n t i o n . ' (2) Hunt's d e s c r i p t i o n of Francesca's bower i s enfeebled by t h i s same abundance of d e t a i l . Keats' advice to the poet, John C l a r e , would apply to Hunt and to Keats himself i n Endymion? 'The d e s c r i p t i o n too much p r e v a i l e d over the sentiment your images from nature are too much introduced without being c a l l e d f o r by a p a r t i c u l a r Sentiment As i f the d e s c r i p t i o n o v e r l a i d and s t i f l e d that which ought to be the p r e v a i l i n g Idea.' (3) (1) C i t . Van Loren, John Keats, 1821-1921, The Nation, Feb. 1921, p.292. (2) B r i d g e s , C o l l e c t e d Essays, 1929, IV, 162. (3) €d]fr„~i-MurfrvhnSign-dies i'Meait8,51930, p. 114. His 22. To Keats nature and l i t e r a t u r e were equally manifestations of beauty and here again'Hunt shared his taste. 'To the everyday pleasure of summer and the English f i e l d s Hunt brought in a lower degree the same a l e r t -ness of enjoyment which i n Keats were intense beyond p a r a l l e l , ' ( l ) Unfortunately Hunt was unable to broaden Keats' experinece i n this regard because his own appreciation was limited by a superabundance of animal s p i r i t s and a lack of any real sensitiveness and by an experience which, while not confined as the reviews claimed, to the contemplation of potted flowers, gave him no conception of the grander side of nature. Hunt, however, was a keen observer, Keats must have found his companionship very profitable i n their Hampstead walks. Hunt's description of nature i s colourless when compared with Keats'. But i n some ways i t i s very similar. Neither poet describes on a grand scale. Neither gives i n one broad or swift stroke the impression of a landscape, buifc rather each creates the desired impression by the accumulation of det a i l s . With Hunt the result i s confusion, as i t i s with the Keats of Endymion. 'The poet i s dazzled by his own ardour, which leads him to diffuse his attention over mere de t a i l s , making him lose his sense of organized wholes.; the (1) C o l v l n , _ J o h n K e a t ^ l Q - i a , P. 5. contours of the landscape, j u s t as those of the a c t i o n , are confused and b l u r r e d 8 ( l ) '„....,.,a rare summer-house, a l o v e l y s i g h t , Small, marble, w e l l - p r o p o r t i o n ' d , creamy white, I t s top w i t h vine leaves sprinkled,--but no more—•--, And a young bay-tree e i t h e r side the door. The door was to the wood, forward and square. The r e s t was domed at top and c i r c u l a r , And through the dome the only l i g h t came i n , Ting'd as i t enter'd by the vine leaves t h i n . ' ( 2 ) Both poets loved to describe i n d e t a i l dresses, tapestry and f u r n i s h i n g s - - a n a e s t h e t i c tendency. Both emphasized col o u r , touch and sound rather than l i n e or movement. We have Hunt's d e s c r i p t i o n of the accoutrements of the h o r s e s — a n ex-ample of Hunt at h i s b e s t : 'The b r i d l e s red, and s a d d l e - c l o t h s of white, Match w e l l the blackness w i t h i t s g l o s s y l i g h t , While the r i c h h o r s e - c l o t h s , mantling h a l f the steed, Are some of them a l l t h i c k w i t h golden thread I Others have spots, on grounds of d i f f e r e n t h u e-— As burning s t a r s upon a c l o t h of b l u e ; Or heart's ease purple w i t h a v e l v e t l i g h t , R i c h from the g l a r y yellow, thickening b r i g h t ; Or s i l v e r roses i n c a r n a t i o n sewn, Or flowers i n heaps, or colours pure alone:' ( 3 ) Keats was more s u b t l e , p r e f e r r i n g to suggest rather than to state colours. Buthe, too, loved to combine the f u l l , r i c h ^ l ) Cazamian, H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e . 1 9 2 6 , 1 0 9 4 . jlj S i T T ^ 1 e d ' S h a r * ' T h * Canterbury Poets, p. 2 8 . 24. c o l o u r s — g o l d and purple and red. Indeed colours are so much a part of h i s poetry that one c r i t i c has s a i d 'Exuberance of colour -was the g i f t of Keats to poetry.* ( l ) What i n b r i e f are the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n the work of these two poets, so f a r removed from each other i n many w a y s -s i m i l a r i t i e s which, i t must be remembered, are only p a r t l y due to i n f l u e n c e ? In both the reader f i n d s a love f o r beauty i n a l l things and consequently an enthusiasm f o r the romantic aspects of M e d i a e v a l i s m — i t s c h i v a l r y , i t s mystery, i t s colour and i t s picturesque a r c h i t e c t u r e — w h e r e beauty was so strange and so f a r removed from the present. Both poets loved colour and movement which they found not only i n the Middle Ages but a l s o i n nature — not nature i n i t s grander a s p e c t s — b u t the nature which they knew b e s t - - t h a t of the environs of London, In t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n mediaevalism and i n nature they were t y p i c a l of the Romantic Movement.azidln other ways though they were apart from t h e i r time. Neither allowed philoscphic or p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s to intrude into t h e i r poetry, Iteboth beauty alone was a s u f f i c i e n t standard of value. Both< tended to over-emphasize t h e i r d e l i g h t i n the beauty of v/ords, of images and of sensations. I t was t h i s l a c k of r e s t r a i n t which o f t e n marred t h e i r work. Of the two, Keats alone, was able to work away from t h i s , to be exuberant without b e i n g flamboyant. But i n t h e i r whole-( l ) .Drinkwater, Story of L i t e r a t u r e . 1923, I I I , 684„ 25, hearted devotion to the c u l t of beauty fthey remain the most a e s t h e t i c of the e a r l y Romantic poets. CHAPTER TWO Keats i n 1817 was young, flowing over w i t h enthusiasm f o r everything b e a u t i f u l , and eager to express himself„ He was very s u s c e p t i b l e to i n f l u e n c e , too i d e a l i s t i c to see h i s f r i e n d s ' f a u l t s . Hunt's i n f l u e n c e was, as has been shown, u n f o r t u n a t e l y evident i n the form and d i c t i o n of Keats' e a r l y work. In a d d i t i o n Hunt set Keats an example of lack both of d i g n i t y and of depth of f e e l i n g . Rimini gave Hunt a subject worthy of a great tragedy. Dante had t o l d the s t o r y before,. but i t Is one of those subjects so u n i v e r s a l i n scope that i t could have been r e t o l d without l o s s of i t s freshness. D'Annunzio has done i t i n our time. But Hunt f a i l e d and h i s f a i l u r e a f f e c t e d not only himself but a l s o Keats. In the Keats of the f i r s t p e r i o d we f i n d the same a f f e c t a t i o n , and i n s i p i d i t y , the same feminine love f o r p r e t t y phrases, and the same often b l u r r e d d e s c r i p t i o n . Hunt, as Keats complained l a t e r , perplexed one'in the stan-dard of Beauty.' ( l ) ( l ) Keats, L e t t e r s , to George and Georgiana Keats, December, 1818, ed Eorman I, 273. 27. But, short as was Keats' poetic career, the period of Hunt's influence was only one phase. Keats and Hunt at one time seemed to resemble each o t h e r — a resemblance only i n that both had the same f a u l t s and the same enthusiasms. In-deed the f a u l t s were fr e q u e n t l y outgrowths of the enthusiasms, . But the resemblance was so s u p e r f i c i a l that i t soon ceased to 'exist. The Reviewers classed Keats as a member of the Cockney School w i t h Hunt, Hood and Webb, i n order to compare him unfavourably with the Lake School of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. But Keats belonged to no school. Endymion re-presented not a s t a t i c period but a period of progress i n Keats' career. In i t he worked through and out of the i n -fluence of Hunt. Endymion represented f u l f i l m e n t and promise. That was why Keats could never rewrite i t . I t was, as R o s s e t t i has w e l l s a i d , 'a plaything f i t f o r the childhood of a divi n e poet'. But Keats outgrew h i s poetic childhood, and turned from h i s old teacher. By October, 1817, when he was s t i l l oc-. cupied with the Eourth Book of Endymion, he had r e a l i z e d that both h i s i d o l s , Hunt and Haydon, had f e e t of clay$ His d i s -i l l u s i o n m e n t i n regard to 'Hunt was made evident i n a l e t t e r to Benjamin Bayley. Keats w i t h h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c manliness and g e n e r o s i t y apologized f o r speaking of something so 'pa l t r y * and s a i d that h i s i l l - f e e l i n g was due to the 'vexation of a day'. But i t was more than t h i s , Keats was r e a l l y annoyed at the p e t t i n e s s and p r e t e n s i o n of Hunt and Haydon. He wrote: •Haydon says to me, Keats don't show your l i n e s to Hunt on any Account, or he w i l l have done h a l f f o r y o u — s o i t appears Hunt wished i t to he thought. When he met Reynolds i n the Theatre, John t o l d him that I was g e t t -i n g on to the completion of 4000 l i n e s — A h ! says Hunt, had i t not been f o r me thy would have been 70001 If he w i l l say t h i s to -Reynolds, what would he to other people?' ( l ) Keats then quoted a l e t t e r he had w r i t t e n to George Keats that s p r i n g , i n which he stated h i s i n t e n t i o n of w r i t i n g a long poem, an i n t e n t i o n which Hunt had t r i e d to discourage. But a g a i n s t Hunt's advice Keats proceeded with h i s task f o r he wished to w r i t e a book i n which 'Lovers of Poetry' might 'have a l i t t l e Region to wander'. Besides, he said a long poem i s 'a t e s t of i n v e n t i o n ' and he pointed to the great poets before him who had w r i t t e n long poems. Vigorously he protested h i s independence. 'You see, B a i l e y , how independent my w r i t i n g has been. Hunt's d i s s u a s i o n was of no a v a i l - - I refused to v i s i t S h e l l e y that I might have my own unfettered scope; — and a f t e r a l l , I s h a l l have the Reputation of Hunt's eleve. His c o r r e c t i o n s and amputations w i l l by the knowing ones be traced i n the Poem.' (2) (1) (2) Keats, L e t t e r s , to B, B a i l e y , 8 October, 1817, ed. Forman, I, p. 55 Ibi d , Had the only r e s u l t of Hunt's meddling been i r r i t a t i o n on Keats' p a r t t h i s l e t t e r would be of no s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g , however, to no t i c e that, once having opened h i s eyes to the weaknesses of Hunt and Haydon, Keats q u i c k l y f r e e d himself from t h e i r i n f l u e n c e , Keats had such a keen p o e t i c sense that h i s taste developed r a p i d l y and he was soon able to put h i s f i n g e r on the weak p o i n t s i n the a r t of h i s contemporaries. In a l e t t e r to Reynolds he w r i t e s : ' I t may be said that we ought to read our comtemporaries, that Wordsworth, et c . , should have t h e i r due fa?am us, -Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters i n t o one's s o u l , and does not s t a r t l e i t or amaze i t w i t h i t s e l f — b u t w i t h i t s subject. '" --Modern poets d i f f e r from the Elizabethans i n t h i s : each of the moderns l i k e an E l e c t o r of Hanover governs h i s p e t t y s t a t e and knows how many straws are swept d a i l y from the Causeways i n a l l h i s dominions, and has a con-t i n u a l i t c h i n g that a l l h i s Housewives should have t h e i r coppers w e l l scoured: The ancients were Emperors of vast Provinces, they had only heard of the remote ones and s c a r c e l y cared to v i s i t them. I w i l l cut a l l t h i s — I w i l l have no more of Wordsworth or Hunt i n p a r t i c u l a r -Why should we be of the t r i b e of Manasseh, when we can wander w i t h Esau? Why should we be owls, when we can be eagles? Why be teased with " l i c e - e y e d wag-t a i l s , " when we have i n s i g h t "the Cherub Contemplation"? Why wit h Wordsworth's "Matthew with a bough of w i l d i n g i n h i s hand," when we can have Jacques "under an oak," etc.? 1 don't mean to deny Wordsworth's grandeur and Hunt's merit, but I mean to say we need not be teased w i t h grandeur and merit when we can have them uncontaminated and unobtusive.' (1J ) Keats, L e t t e r s , To J. H. Reynolds, 3 February, 1818 ed. Forraan, I, 103 f . The c r i t i c i s m of Wordsworth, not a l l quoted here i s severe hut j u s t , Keats, although so d i f f e r e n t from Wordsworth, a l -ways recognized the l a t t e r ' s 'grandeur' as w e l l as h i s f a u l t s . And how s u b t l y he has d i s t i n g u i s h e d between the poet and the poetaster, even while c r i t i c i s i n g both alike. 1 'Grandeur' and 'Merit', 'Merit* implies j u s t the extent of Hunt's g i f t as a poet. But a genius possesses more than merit. Keats, i t w i l l be n o t i c e d , i n h i s r e j e c t i o n of the 'nice-eyed w a g t a i l s ' i n favour of the M i l t o n i c 'Cherub Contemplation' picked a phrase c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Cockney H u n t — c o l l o q u i a l , a f f e c t e d and very reminiscent of Hampstead, Keats* comments i n t h i s l e t t e r are evidence that he had i n h e r i t e d h i s f u l l p oetic b i r t h r i g h t and had r e j e c t e d the p e t t i n e s s of h i s comtemporaries f o r the 'vast Provinces' of M i l t o n and Shakespeare, In two l a t e r l e t t e r s Keats gave h i s f i n a l word on the 'merit' of Hunt. His remarks were unkind,- to h i s old f r i e n d , but as c r i t i c i s m they were accurate. Keats' r e v u l s i o n was only n a t u r a l . To Haydon he wrote: 'It i s a great P i t y that People should by a s s o c i a t i n g themselves w i t h the f i n e s t things, s p o i l them. Hunt has damned Hampstead and masks and sonnets and I t a l i a n t a l e s , ' ( l ) Later to George and Georgiana he showed h i s disgust at Hunt's affectation.* ( l ) Keats, L e t t e r s , To B. R, Haydon, 14 March, 1818. ed. Forman, I, p 128. • I f I were to f o l l o w my own i n c l i n a t i o n s I should never meet any of that set again, not even Hunt who i s cer-t a i n l y a pleasant f e l l o w i n the main when you are with him--hut i n r e a l i t y he i s v a i n , e g o t i s t i c a l , and d i s -g usting i n matters of taste andin morals, He understands many a b e a u t i f u l t h i n g ; hut then, instead of g i v i n g other minds c r e d i t f o r the same degree o f perception as he himself professes--he begins an explanation i n such a curious manner that our taste and s e l f - l o v e i s c o n t i n -u a l l y offended. Hunt does one harm by making f i n e things p e t t y and b e a u t i f u l things hateful--many a g l o r i o u s thing when a s s o c i a t e d with him becomes a nothing. This d i s t a s t e one's mind--make (s) one's thoughts bizarre--perplex.es one i n the standard of Beauty.' ( l ) Keats was henceforth f r e e of Hunt's d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e , but to what extent d i d the t r a c e s of t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n remain i n Keats' l a t e r work?--to an extent so s l i g h t as to be almost a l -most unnoticeable. We have s a i d that Endymion represented 'the progress of poetry i n the poet himself. The d i f f e r e n c e between 'Endymion' and 'Rimini' was a sure guarantee that one poet would reach the heights of p o e t i c experience and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and that the other would stay as he w a s — a mediocre verse-maker. Mackail expresses i t w e l l : 'But the v i t a l d i f f e r e n c e i s t h i s , and i t transcends or ignores a l l merely t e c h n i c a l p o i n t s : the Hunt i s s t a t i c , i n e r t , f i n i s h e d ; : 1 the Keats t h r i l l s and. i s a l i v e . The growth and progress of poetry pulsate i n i t . Then Keats passes forward and leaves i t behind. ( 2 ) Hunt i n h i s l a t e r book.Foliage, was s t i l l the poet of 'Rimini'1 Keats i n Hyperion had progressed i n the eighteen months since IS) JtectaUl, 'Keats! Lecture o n yn^y 1 9 1 1 > p_ g 9 5 > 3 2 . Endymion f u r t h e r than almost any other poet i n so short a space of time. The poem Endymion i s formless. How t h i s p a r t l y was due to Hunt's i n f l u e n c e i n the matter of d i c t i o n and verse form,, and to h i s encouragement of Keats' al r e a d y o v e r - e n t h u s i a s t i c love of sensuous beauty has been seen. ButuKeats found other masters. Dryden showed him how to p e r f e c t the h e r o i c couplet of Endymion, and taught him the d i f f e r e n c e between ease and formlessness. Hunt, always the j u s t c r i t i c , acknowledged the s u p e r i o r i t y of Lamia. He spoke of the ' l o v e l y p o e t i c con-sciousness' i n Lamia'in which the l i n e s seem to take pleasure i n the progress of t h e i r own beauty, l i k e sea-nymphs luxur-. i a t i n g through the water.' (3.) Erom Lamia on, Keats mastered every form he attempted — the Spenserian stanza i n The Eve of  St. Agnes, the Chaucerian f o u r - s t r e s s couplet i n The Eve of  St. Mark, and the Ode form i n the great Odes, His f i n a l master was M i l t o n , Keats learned from a l l the master of form i n turn. I t was a p i t y he had not turned to them sooner. But Hyperion f u l l y atones f o r Endymion. Endymion as an example of n a r r a t i v e i s worthless. But i n I s a b e l l a , Keats' l a s t great work i n which the i n f l u e n c e can be f e l t to any extent, the poet, i n a poem by no means h i s best, surpassed i n suspense and passion and i r o n y one of of the great masters of s t o r y - t e l l i n g , Boccacio. In I s a b e l l a , however, ( l ) Monkhouse, L i f e o f Leigh Hunt, 1893, p. 114. •33V as has been mentioned, Keats s t i l l betrayed h i s weakness i n the treatment of love scenes. But i n the Eve of St. Agnes these have l o s t t h e i r s i c k l i n e s s . There Keats claims e q u a l i t y with Shakespeare. Keats had f i r s t d e l i g h t e d i n Spenser and the Elizabethans and to the end he continued to see beauty much a f t e r t h e i r manner and to express i t i n t h e i r language! 1^Spenserian r i c h -ness he had discovered before he wrote Endymiona Spenserian cl e a r n e s s he found l a t e r . The Eve of St. Agnes i s Spenserian* but with a d i f f e r e n c e that makes i t an o r i g i n a l work of a r t . The Odes are simpler and more modern but they too have the same r i c h n e s s . Keats had 'the power of concentrating a l l the f a r - r e a c h i n g resources of language on one point, so that a s i n g l e and apparently, e f f o r t l e s s e x p r e s s i o n r e j o i c e s the a e s t h e t i c imagination a t the moment when i t i s most ex-pectant and exacting, and a t the same time astonishes the i n t e l l e c t w i t h a new aspect of t r u t h . * ( 2 ) The Keats of Endymion had t h i s power only o c c a s i o n a l l y ; the Keats of the Odes had mastered i t completely. Was Keats as much of an aesthete as Hunt—an aesthete with greater genius but w i t h the same tendency to make a c u l t out of h i s love of beauty? Hunt's a e s t h e t i c i s m em-( 1 ) E l t o n , A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e . 1 7 8 0 - 1 8 3 0 1920 , V o l . I I , 233'; "—E" (2 ) Bridges, C o l l e c t e d Essays, IV, p. 158 . phasized "beauty—material beauty--to such an extent that other elementswere neglected. Keats has put i n t o immortal words h i s worship of beauty. 'Athing of beauty i s a j o y f o r e v e r . ' ( l ) t l have lov'd the p r i n c i p l e of beauty i n a l l things.'(2) 'Beauty i s Truth, Truth Beauty. ' (3). But there was a great g u l f between t h e i r two types of aestheti-cism. Hunt's was s u p e r f i c i a l , a f f e c t e d , resembling, i n many ways, the decadent a e s t h e t i c i s m of the N i n e t i e s . Keats' aes-t h e t i c i s m , o r i g i n a l l y s u p e r f i c i a l , developed i n t o a deep and genuine philosophy. Keats did not write f o r the sole purpose of expressing the b e a u t i f u l or of conveying h i s personal sensations to the reader. He b e l i e v e d that poetry was more than that — that i t was, i n f a c t , one of the great i n f l u e n c e s i n the development of c i v i l i z a t i o n . In Keats' letters-was o u t l i n e d a p o e t i c creed, more genuine than the various 'Prefaces' and 'Defences' of other poets because i t was not intended f o r p u b l i c a t i o n . As yet no good poet has been en-t i r e l y f a i t h f u l to h i s creed. Keats was no exception, but he came c l o s e r to f o l l o w i n g h i s own p r i n c i p l e s than most poets. Although a poet must be judged f i n a l l y by h i s poetry, ( l ) Keats, Endymion I, 1. (2) Keats, L e t t e r s , To Miss Br&wne, February 1820, ed. Eorman, I I , p. 510. (3J Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, 4 9f. the statements he makes regarding that poetry or regarding poetry i n general--whether i n a formal essay or i n i n f o r m a l l e t t e r s to f r i e n d s - - a r e of great value to the student of poetry. They show not what the poet has accoiaplished--his poetry shows t h a t — , hut what he has t r i e d to accomplish. What according to Keats must he the aim of the man g i f t e d with p o e t i c t a l e n t ? The l i f e he planned f o r himself shows what he thought. 'In the Second place, I w i l l speak of my views, and of the l i f e I purpose to myself. I am ambitious of doing the world some good: I f I should he spared,that may fee the work of maturer y e a r s — i n the i n t e r v a l I w i l l assay to reach to as h i g h a summit i n poetry as the nerve he-stowed upon me w i l l s u f f e r , the f a i n t conceptions I have of poems to come b r i n g the blood f r e q u e n t l y to my f o r e h e a d - - a l l I hope, i s , that I may not lose a l l i n -t e r e s t i n human a f f a i r s — t h a t the s o l i t a r y I n d i f f e r e n c e I f e e l f o r applause, even from the f i n e s t s p i r i t s , w i l l not b l u n t any acuteness of v i s i o n I amy have. I do not think I w i l l . ' ( l j •I am ambitious of doing the world some good': that i s s i g -n i f i c a n t . The poet must not be a mere passive dreamer, set a p a r t by h i s genius from the r e s t of men, f o r that genius i s given him to serve mankind. Even the boy of Sleep,and  Poetry b e l i e v e d this, d espite the somewhat deceptive l i n e s '0 f o r ten years, that I may overwhelm Myself i n poesy' (2 ) He w i l l b e g i n by enjoying the pleasures of l i f e , a p u r ely h e d o n i s t i c e x i s t e n c e . But can he b i d these joys f a r e w e l l ? (1) (2) Keats, L e t t e r s , To R. Woodhouse, 27October 1818, ed. Eorman, I, 246. Keats, Sleep and Poetry. 9 f . 'Yes, I roust pass them f o r a nobler l i f > f o r i t i s --the great end Of poesy, that i t should be a f r i e n d To soothe the eares, and l i f t the thoughts of man. ( l ) 'Poetry,* he f e l t , ' i s not a mere luxury and rapture, i t i s a deed.' (2) To Keats w r i t i n g a poem vms as p r a c t i c a l and u s e f u l as b u i l d i n g a bridge, although on a f a r higher plane, because i t b e n e f i t e d the minds of h i s fellow-men But how d i d Keats intend to b e n e f i t the minds of h i s fellow-men? By teaching them p h i l o s o p h i c creeds, which belong to."the world of argument,rather than that of poetry? by pro-phesying of f u t u r e p e r f e c t i o n ? 1''^;interpreting h i s own sen-suous experiences? These aspects of experience are found i n poetry. But noteany was the standard by which Keats recog-nized the highest poetry. Poetry should appeal not to the i n t e l l e c t , nor to the senses, but to the heart. I t should be 'a search a f t e r t r u t h * ) by the poet who, by communicating h i s f i n d i n g s to h i s f e l l o w men, adds to t h e i r experience and helps 'make' t h e i r s o uls. In a l e t t e r to George and Georgiana Keats set f o r t h h i s system of theology. ' C a l l the world, i f you Please 'The vale of Soulmaking'. Then you w i l l f i n d out the use of the world (I am (1) Keats, Sleep and Poetry, 9f. (2) Bradley, Oxford Lectures on Poetry, 1909, p. 225. ( 3 ) Keats, L e t t e r s To B. B a i l e y , October 1817, ed. Porman, I, p.57. speaking now i n the highest terms f o r human nature ad-m i t t i n g i t to be immortal which I w i l l here take f o r granted f o r the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning i t ) I say 1 Soul-making' -Sou'llas?-dis t i n g u i s h e d from an I n t e l l i g e n c e 1 w i l l c a l l the world a -School instituted f o r the purpose of teaching l i t t l e c h i l d r e n to read--I w i l l c a l l the human heart the horn Book read i n that S c h o o l — a n d I w i l l c a l l the C h i l d able to read, the Soul made from that School and i t s hornbook. Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and t r o u b l e s i s to school an I n t e l l i g e n c e and make i t - a Soul?- Not merely i s the Heart a Horn-book, i t i s the Minds B i b l e , i t t t e the Minds experience i t i s the text from which the Mind or i n t e l l i g e n c e sucks i t s i d e n t i t y . ' ( l ) The poet--a man g i f t e d by nature with an i n s i g h t more acute than that of common men to whom the language of the wind;ds but 'a barren noise Though i t blows legend-laden through the t r e e s . ' (2) i n t e r p r e t s that Horn-book, the human heart. He must 'think i n t o the human heart, as Wordsworth has done' (3) I t i s there he searches f o r t r u t h . Frequently ' t r u t h ' , to Keats, meant not proven f a c t s but i n t u i t i o n that comes from the heart. 'What the Imagination s e i z e s as Beauty must be t r u t h - -whether i t e x i s t e d before or not, f o r I have the same idea of a l l our passions as of Love, they are a l l i n . t h e i r sublime, c r e a t i v e of e s s e n t i a l Beauty. The Imagination may be compared to Adam's ( l ) Keats, L e t t e r s , To George and Georgiana Keats, A p r i l , 1819, lT~fze%^:., ', -, :••/ (2) Keats, Hyperion, A V i s i o n , I I , 5f. (3) Keats, L e t t e r s . To J . H. Reynolds, 27 A p r i l 1818, ed. Forman, I, p. 157. Dream,--he awoke and found i t t r u t h : -I am the more j e a l o u s i n t h i s a f f a i r , because I have never yet been able to perceive how anything can be known f o r truth by consecutive reasoning--and yet i t must be. Can i t be that even the greatest Philosopher ever a r r i v e d at h i s goal without p u t t i n g aside numerous objections?' ( l ) The poet, expressing the passions of the human heart, reveals beauty, and since beauty i s t r u t h , that i s , since beauty i s the concrete expression of t r u t h , the poet helps men to f i n d t r u t h . . I t i s obvious that Keats' d e f i n i t i o n of 'Beauty' must be explained. In a broad sense, Keats was p h i l o s o p h i c , but he d i d not possess the s k i l l i n making d e l i c a t e d i s t i n c t i o n s among a b s t r a c t ideas that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the meta-p h y s i c i a n . His l e t t e r s make i t evident that he used words l i k e 'beauty', ' t r u t h ' , 'sensations' and 'philosophy' i n a sense that i s c e r t a i n l y not orthodox and not always c o n s i s t e n t . Beauty i s always the keystone of Keats' poetry. He i d e a l i z e d beauty as S h e l l e y i d e a l i z e d love. But the word as he used i t has no l i m i t to i t s connotations. We havealready said that he regarded i t as i d e n t i c a l with t r u t h . But the 'Beauty i s Truth' passage i s a great advance on the f i r s t l i n e of EndvMion, 'A t h i n g of beauty i s a j o y f o r e v e r . ' Beauty to him then meant what i t always meant to Leigh Hunt--( l j Keats, L e t t e r s , To B. B a i l e y , 22 November, 1817, T ~ n o 3 9 . mere l o v e l i n e s s . I t i s sensuous and. concrete. I f i t had always meant t h i s to Keats we would he r i g h t i n c a l l i n g him an e n t i r e l y a e s t h e t i c poet. But &here i s nothing too a e s t h e t i c ahout the noble d i g -n i t y of Hyperion. Keats' development i n the two years i n t e r -vening between Endjhmion and Hyperion i s one of the miracles o£ l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y . His old enthusiasm f o r the b e a u t i f u l was not l o s t . I t was only changed. "I have loved," he wrote to Eanny Brawne i n 1820, "the p r i n c i p l e of beauty i n a l l things." This was s t i l l h i s creed. He s t i l l used the word 'beauty' but i t meant f a r more to him than i t had. In Endymion he said of beauty » thou wast the deep glen; -Thou wast the r i v e r - - t h o u wast g l o r y won; Thou wast my c l a r i o n ' s b l a s t - ~ t h o u wast my steed--Thou wast the charm of Momen, l o v e l y Moon.* 0 what a wild, and harmonized tune My s p i r i t s t r u c k from a l l the b e a u t i f u l . ' ( l ) This i s the beauty of the eye, ear, touch ana t a s t e , of g l o r y and of love. But the 'beauty' of Hyperion i s not the beauty of the aesthete. I t i s a synonym more f o r ' r e a l i t y ' or 'truth'. than f o r ' l o v e l i n e s s ' . ' I t i s won through knowledge, "effort and experience, cinot through passive a p p r e c i a t i o n . In order to appreciate the true beauty, the poet must f i r s t l e a r n 'to bear a l l naked t r u t h , And to envisage circumstance a l l calm' (2) (.1.) Keats, Endymion, I I I , 163ff, (2) Keats. Hyperion, -II, 2 ' 0 S f . This was the Beauty of the Olympic gods. The Titans were b e a u t i f u l i n the lower sense of the word; p h y s i c a l l y and mentally they seemed p e r f e c t . But A p o l l o who had gone through the o r d e a l of p a i n to reach 'knowledge enormous' i s *a power more strong i n beauty' ( l ) and, being more b e a u t i f u l , must n a t u r a l l y succeed Hyperion f o r ' ' t i s the e t e r n a l law That f i r s t i n beauty should be f i r s t i n n i g h t . ' (2) So the poet, before he c a n ' r e a l l y i n t e r p r e t beauty to man must r e c e i v e a s i m i l a r preparation, Keats, during the w r i t i n g of Endymion.realized Hunt's f a u l t s , but he r e a l i z e d a l s o that he too lacked something he must have i f he would do the world some good. I know nothing I have read nothing and I mean to f o l l o w Solomon's d i r e c t i o n s of 'get Wisdom—get unde r s t a n d i n g ' — I f i n d c a v a l i e r days are gone by. I f i n d that I can have no enjoyment i n the World but c o n t i n u a l d r i n k i n g of Knowledge--I f i n d there i s no worthy p u r s u i t but the idea of doing some good f o r the world—some do i t w i t h t h e i r s o c i e t y there i s but one way f o r me the road l i e s through a p p l i c a t i o n study and thought.'(3) Like A p o l l o he must receive 'knowledge enormous'. Eor what purpose? •An extensive knowledge i s needful to th i n k i n g p e o p l e -i t takes away the heat and f e v e r ; and helps,by widening ( l ) Keats, Hyperion, I I , 212. 2) Ib i d , I I , 228f„ 3) Keats, L e t t e r s , to John Taylor, 24 A p r i l 1818, ed. Eorman, I, p. 146. 41. sp e c u l a t i o n , to ease the Burden of the Mystery, a thing I "begin to understand a l i t t l e , The d i f f e r e n c e of high Sensations w i t h and without knowledge appears to me t h i s : i n the l a t t e r case we are f a l l i n g c o n t i n u a l l y ten thousand fathoms deep and "bing blown up again without wings and with a l l ^ n o r r o r of a bare shouldered c r e a t u r e - - i n the former case, our shoulders are f l e d g e , and we go thro' the same a i r and space without f e a r . * ( l ) Sensations, here, are not the mere m a t e r i a l enjoyments of the senses, but a l l i n t u i t i o n s - - a l l f r u i t s of the poet's imagination. Knowledge i s not needed to p o r t r a y sensuous l o v e l i n e s s . But Keats has made h i s choice — I have been hovering f o r some time between an e x q u i s i t e sense of the luxurious and a love f o r philosophy—were I c a l c u l a t e d f o r the former I should be g l a d — b u t as I am not I s h a l l turn a l l my soul to the l a t t e r . ' (?,) He has l e f t the 'Chamber of Maiden Thought' w i t h i t s 'pleasant wonders'. He had thought to stay there f o r e v e r i n d e l i g h t . 'However among the e f f e c t t h i s b r e a t h i n g i s f a t h e r of i s that tremendous one of sharpening one's v i s i o n i nto the heart and nature of Man—of convincing one's nerves that the world i s f u l l of Misery, and Heart-break, Pain, Sickness and Oppres-sion—whereby t h i s Chamber of Maiden Thought becomes grad-u a l l y darkened, and a t the same time, on a l l sides of i t , many doors are set open—but a l l d a r k — a l l leading to dark passages—we see not the balance of good and e v i l — w e are im a mist—we are now i n that s t a t e — w e f e e l the 'burden of the mystery'. ' (5) ( l ) Keats, L e t t e r s , To J. H. Reynolds, 3 l a y 1818 ed, Forman, 1, p. 151. 2 I b i d , To John Taylor, 24 A p r i l , 1818, I, p. 146. <o) I b i d , To I . H. Reynolds, 3 May, 1818, ed Forman, I, p. 156£ 42. We have s a i d that Keats wished to do good to mankind .by-i n t e r p r e t i n g the Beauty of l i f e . But he d i d not wish to do t h i s i n the Wordsworthian manner. He complained-~ •We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us, and i f we do not agree seems to put i t s hand i n i t s breeches pocket' ( l ) But the poet does i n f l u e n c e man. 'Perhaps the honours paid by Man to Man a r e i . t r i f l e s in,com*? p a r i s o n to the b e n e f i t done by great works to the ' s p i r i t and pulse of good' by t h e i r mere passive existnece.' (2) This i n f l u e n c e must be unobtrusive. 'Ian should not dispute or a s s e r t , but whisper r e s u l t s to h i s neighbor.' (3) The poet to a f f e c t men most should not be p o l e x i c a l and argue, or d i d a c t i c and teach. He should whisper or h i n t h i s f i n d i n g s to men, and so arouse them to think that u l t i m a t e l y they should r e a l i z e the e t e r n a l t r u t h which the poet wishes <fchem to see. Keats b e l i e v e d i n a 'grand march of i n t e l l e c t ' - - t h a t i s , i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l progress of man. He had no i l l u s i o n of f u t u r e p e r f e c t i o n , nor d i d he, l i k e S helley, want a quick over-throw of a l l that was stupid or e v i l . But Keats did b e l i e v e i n the steady growth of the human mind. Wordsworth he s a i d , explored i n t o the Park Passages le a d i n g from the Second Chamber (1) Keats, Letters,To J. H. Reynolds, 3 February 1818, I, p. 103. (2) I b i d , 19 February 1818, I, p. 111. (3) I b i d , p. 112. i n Keats' 'Mansion of Many Apartments'; but Milton's Philosophy 'may be t o l e r a b l y understood by one not'advanced i n years', 'Here I must t h i n k Wordsworth i s deeper than Mi l t o n , though I think i t has depended more upon the general and gregarious advance of i n t e l l e c t , than i n d i v i d u a l greatness of Mind.' ( l ) It i s the v i s i o n of a few i n euery age that a i d s t h i s slow development. 'Thus by every germ of s p i r i t sucking the sap from i - . mould e t h e r e a l every human might become great, and humanity instead of being a wide heath of f u r z e and b r i a r s , w i t h here and there a remote Oak or Pine, would become a grand democracy of f o r e s t t r e e s . ' (2) But the development i s there, and i t i s poetry, as the great-est i n t e l l e c t u a l f o r c e i n the world, that i s sowing the seeds that w i l l someday grow and spread i n t o a grand i n t e l l e c t u a l democracy. The impressive bulk of Endymion and the b e a u t i f u l l i n e s that are s c a t t e r e d through i t have caused i t to be considered as more important among Keats' works than i t r e a l l y i s . I f Keats had l i v e d longer and w r i t t e n more, i t might have been regarded as a mere experiment, not as an accomplishment,, I t should be remembered that a l l Keats' poetry was more or l e s s of an experiment. C e r t a i n passages are considered t y p i c a l of him, but i t i g another thi n g to say whether they would be (1) Keats, L e t t e r s , To J. H. Reynolds, 3 May, 1818, ed Formaaar p. 155. (2) I b i d , To J". H. Reynolds, 19 February, 1818, I, p. 112, considered so, had he«a few more years to write i n . These passages are those i n which Keats i s most a e s t h e t i c . In some passages the sensuousness i s expressed i n language so p e r f e c t that Keats i s above c r i t i c i s m . But i n many other cases he i s -not: and i t i s i n these l a t t e r passages that the influence of Hunt i s apparent. I t i s Keats' f a t e to be judged by poems which he himself considered immature. In theory, however, and often i n p r a c t i c e , Keats was no aesthete. He b e l i e v e d that the poet must w r i t e to b e n e f i t mankind and to contribute to the great progress of the human i n t e l l e c t . The poet's great subject i s the human heart. He must search f o r t r u t h but must not t r y to f o r c e h i s f i n d i n g s on h i s f e l l o w men. Nor must he go to the other extreme and ivr i t e f o r p u r e l y a e s t h e t i c pleasure which i s personal and s e l f i s h . The path of a poet i s not an easy ohe f o r a true poet needs both knowledge and experience. The poet seeks beauty, but the r e a l beauty i s not that of m a t e r i a l l o v e l i -ness, but that of 'human l i f e : the war, the deeds ihe disappointment, the anxiety, Imagination's st r u g g l e s , f a r and nigh, A l l human; bearing i n themselves t h i s good, That they are s t i l l the a i r , the subtle food, To make us f e e l existence.' ( l ) ( l ) Keats, Endymion t 11, 153ft, 45. i) CHAPTER I I I The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood esteemed Keats so h i g h l y that t h e i r f i r s t work as a group was the i l l u s t r a t i o n of I s a b e l l a . While i n t h e i r p a i n t i n g they took as t h e i r models the a r t i s t s who had preceded Raphael--Giotto, Giorgione and A n g e l i c o - - t h e y f e l t a d i r e c t k i n s h i p with Keats. I t was n a t u r a l that Dante E a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , poet as w e l l as a r t i s t , should f e e l that k i n s h i p more c l e a r l y even than d i d h i s f e l l o w -a r t i s t s . R o s s e t t i and Keats, w i t h d i f f e r e n t environments and w i t h a quarter of a century between them show su r p r i n i n g p a r a l l e l s i n t a s t e , mood, and technique. R o s s e t t i ' s love f o r Keats came before that other great i n f l u e n c e on h i s work, h i s love f o r Dante, who had been so much a part of the f a m i l y conversation i n R o s s e t t i ' s boyhood that the poet had p e r v e r s e l y developed a d i s l i k e which only disappeared when he was able to di s c o v e r f o r himself the beauties of h i s namesake. R o s s e t t i was too origina,l a poet to be a mere v e r s i f i e r i n the Keatsian manner. D e f i n i t e analogues have been drawn between h i s work and Keats' ( l ) , but the p l a g i a r i s m i s as infrequent and ( l ) Shine; The Influence of Keats upon R o s s e t t i . Englisohe S t u d l e n . 6 1 Band. 1926-2.7 , r r 183-210. ~ probably as innocent as Keats' p l a g i a r i s m of Shakespeare/ The most important i n f l u e n c e s , however, which cannot be i l l u s t r a t e d by d i r e c t reference to c e r t a i n passages, are due to a s p i r i t u a l k i n s h i p between the poets. R o s s e t t i ' s love of Keats undoubtedly deepened i n him c e r t a i n tendencies i n thought and i n manner of expression. R o s s e t t i ' s knowledge of Keats' work was such that he could not help being i n f l u e n c e d . His M a r g i n a l i a i n a copy of Keats' poems.(l) show a minute study of the o r i g i n s , technique and subject matter of Keats' poems. In a d d i t i o n he quoted from Keats' l e t t e r s . Keats, he s a i d i n one of h i s l e t t e r s , was *a g l o r i o u s fellow'and continued with h i s d i s c o v e r y that Keats f e l t about a r t as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood d i d , 'Keats says i n one place (to my great d e l i g h t ) that, having j u s t looked over a f o l i o of the f i r s t and second schools of I t a l i a n p a i n t i n g , he has come to the conclusion that the e a r l y men surpassed even Raphael himself.' (2) A r t was not the o n l y or the most important f i e l d i n which t h e i r t a s t e s were s i m i l a r . L i t e r a r y preferences that they had i n common were Dante, Chatterton, Blake and Coleridge, Both men were remarkable f o r t h e i r l a c k of i n t e r e s t i n contemporary a f f a i r s i n a century when the i n f l u e n c e of current events on l i t e r a t u r e was very strong. Both l i v e d e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y i n worlds created by t h e i r own imaginations. (1) M i l n e r , Englische Studien. 61 Band, 1926-27, pp. 211-219, ( o r i g i n a l l y published by Milner, Manchester Quarterly, V o l . 2, 1883, pp. 1-10. (2) R o s s e t t i , D . G., L e t t e r s , to W. M. R o s s e t t i , 20 August, 1848, ed. W. M. R o s s e t t i , 1895„ Of R o s s e t t i i t was said that h i s r e a l l i f e was "more that of Florence i n the f o u r t e e n t h than London i n the nineteenth, century." ( l ) In R o s s e t t i t h i s was an escape from r e a l i t y , which became more marked as trouble and sickness overtook him; i n Keats i t was that and more, f o r , as a student of l i f e , he wished to regard i t from an o b j e c t i v e standpoint, to stand at a distance that he might see i t the more c l e a r l y . As a r e s u l t of t h i s s e c l u s i o n there-was a c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t y i n t h e i r themes and i n t h e i r treatment of these. One r e s u l t was lack of any impulse to annex p h i l o s o p h i c s p e c u l a t i o n to p o e t r y — an impulse which according to Benson (?) was one of two great tendencies i n the poetry of the Nineteenth Century, Neither attempted to f i n d a p o e t i c a l s o l u t i o n f o r the problem he presented; n e i t h e r appealed to emotions of a p h i l o s o p h i c kind. Both were apparently i n t e r e s t e d merely i n the purely p o e t i c aspects of t h e i r subject, ' P o e t i c a l pre-Raphaelism as he (Rossetti) expressed i t consisted i n an a t t i t u d e of the a r t i s t and a system of ex-p r e s s i o n , 1 (3) I t was i n these two p o i n t s , as Cazamian de-f i n e s them, that R o s s e t t i approached Keats, The a t t i t u d e was one of e c s t a t i c , r e l i g i o u s devotion to poetry. To (1) c i t . Watts, 'The Truth about R o s s e t t i ' , The Nineteenth Century, 1883, p. 405. (2) Benson, R o s s e t t i , 1904,_ p. 78. (3) Cazamian, H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1926, p. 1209. R o s s e t t i as to Keats l i t e r a t u r e was a priesthood. The i n t e n s i t y of t h i s emotion was betrayed by a sudden i n s i s t a n t s t r e s s on one word or pharase--one aspect of r e a l i t y , which i s thus brought i n t o e x t r a o r d i n a r y r e l i e f . Both poets made a r e l i g i o n of beauty, and attempted to convey to the reader by imagery and d i c t i o n the beauty they worshipped. Despite R o s s e t t i 1 s r e c o g n i t i o n of the greatness of Hyperion i t was not the Keats of the l a s t period with whom he was most i n sympathy. Although he knew w e l l the f a u l t s of Endymion, he owed more to i t than he did to the p e r f e c t and 'kingly' Hyperion. He f e l t beauty more i n t e n s e l y than Hunt; h i s taste was b e t t e r because he had- no comprehension! of any p h i l o s o p h i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of beauty. The poems to which he owed the most were La B e l l e  Dame sans Merci, The Eve of St. Agnes and the Eve of St Mark and the i n f l u e n c e of these three poems on h i s work was so strong that expressions and ideas from each can be found repeated i n h i s poems, ( l ) Both Keats and R o s s e t t i wrote with the same 'deliberate i n t e n t i o n of wringing beauty out of the moment and the scene.' (2) Both were p i c t o r i a l r a t her than musical or dramatic. The beauty they expressed was that of colour and form.. R o s s e t t i was an a r t i s t and seemed to v i s u a l i z e h i s subject before he attempted to express i t . His f r i e n d , Theodore Watts, s&M'P ( f l ) Shine, op. c i t . (2) Benson, op. c i t . , 141. '• his imaginative conceptions, came to him, as I know, actual pictures which he afterwards translated, into words.' (1) Even i n a narrative .the picture counted more than the action. The characters seem to pose i n a tableau while the painter described, them, and they move not from action to action but from one tableau to another. In The Bride's Prelude the main -tableau i s that of the unhappy bride t e l l i n g her story to her sister who kneels beside her. The l a t t i c e d window, the perfumed caskets, the lute, the scattered gems, the sunshine--Why were they Introduced? They have no direct connection with the plot.' They are there p r i n c i p a l l y asa background: to what might be a painting i n the Pre-Raphaelite manner. The comfort of the over-luxurious atmosphere i s a contrast to the two, ..tragic figures and heightens tfefe effect. Keats, an a r t i s t ' s po'et, Visualized his themes i n the same way. No wonder the Pre-Raphaelites l i k e to i l l u s t r a t e his work. In The Eve of St. Agnes a series of tableaux are presented, but these tableaux— with one exception, the feast Porphyro lays out for Madeline-are far more closely related to the action than the scenes i n Rossetti' dramatic narratives or i n Hunt's Rimini, another example of this p i c t o r i a l narrative. In addition Rossetti's characters are l i k e models posed for a picture. Keats' people (l) Watts, op. c i t . p. 408. 5 0 , are r e a l , and being r e a l , they are seldom e n t i r e l y s t i l l . There i s always some movement, small hut nevertheless s i g n i f i c a n t since i t gives l i f e to the p i c t u r e . Both poets appealed to the emotioias depending on the senses 'more than they d i d to the i n t e l l e c t . This was l e s s true of Keats than of R o s s e t t i whose p i c t u r e s have been accused of being more i n t e l l e c t u a l than h i s poems. Shine ( l ) pointed out that both poets were fond of that half-dream state i n which the senses are most acute, Keats and R o s s e t t i seemed to d e l i v e r themselves to a h y p e r - a e s t h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n of sensations which with a s k i l f u l choice of words they conveyed to the reader. Thus i n a few e x q u i s i t e l i n e s R o s s e t t i p i c t u r e d a S i l e n t Noon--' A l l round our nest f a r as the eye can pass Are golden k i n g c u p - f i e l d s w i t h s i l v e r edge Where the cowparsley s k i r t s the hawthorn-hedge 'Tis v i s i b l e s i l e n c e , s t i l l as the hour-glass. Beep i n the sun-searched growth the dragon f l y Hangs l i k e a blue thread loosened from the sky: So t h i s winged hour i s dropped to us from above.' (2) Here as always R o s s e t t i described nature.not f o r ; i t s own sake, but as a background and m i r r o r to human emotions. 'The excellence of any a r t , ' s a i d Keats, * i s i t s i n t e n s i t y ? ( 3 ; For a passage to be intense i t must show such depth of f e e l i n g that the i n t e l l e c t and the emotions of the reader r e a l i z e i t s ( l ) -Shine, op. c i t , p. 188. 2 iftosse.ttI 5 '.ThBsgggaeC-Qf;. M f tf, SounetJCLX. • ~ = •.'•.:•, :. /, 12) K f e a t s t ? : • • ! & » $ | 6 E i $ T p T Q 7 ? € I W ? r . Keats, 28 December, 1817, ed, (3) Forman, i y . i l , T7 P. 74. "beauty and t r u t h . Both Keats and R o s s e t t i a t t h e i r "best had t h i s q u a l i t y , which i s a mark of the greatest poetry. Keats' La B e l l e Dame sans Merci i s intense'—more so than any poem _ R o s s e t t i ever wrote. R o s s e t t i c a l l e d i t one of those 'master-pieces of the condensed and h i n t e d order so dear to imagina-t i v e minds.* ( l ) R o s s e t t i ' s poetry at i t s best was a l s o 'condensed and h i n t e d ' as when by d e s c r i b i n g one d e t a i l he gave the impression of immense space 'the c u r l e d moon ,;. Was l i k e a l i t t l e f e a t h e r f l u t t e r i n g f a r down the g u l f . (2) This i n t e n s i t y i n d e s c r i p t i o n was secured by choosing words and images wi t h such care that the impression given the reader i s one of an e x q u i s i t e l y d e t a i l e d p a i n t i n g . R o s s e t t i ' s p o e t i c d e s c r i p t i o n s were as minutely and f a s -t i d i o u s l y d e t a i l e d as h i s p a i n t i n g . As a p a i n t e r he decried the work of iPantin Latoirr and t h i s ' i n c r e d i b l e new French School' as a 'great s l o v e n l y scrawl.'(3) His p o e t i c as w e l l as h i s p i c t o r i a l work was the very opposite of the Impression-i s t i c School. Bothc he and Keats worked with the technique and s k i l l of a r t i s t s i n mosaic. Both concentrated on a few (1) c i t . Benson, op. c i t . p. 170. (2) R o s s e t t i , The Blessed Damo^Rl (3) R o s s e t t i , L e t t e r s , To W. M. R o s s e t t i , 8 November, 1864, ed. W. M. R o s s e t t i , I I , p. 179. suggestive d e t a i l s that suggested as much as they stated. 'To the north, a f o u n t a i n g l i t t e r e d - f r e e ; To the south, there glowed a red f r u i t - t r e e ; To the east, a lamp flamed high and f a i r ; To the west, a c r y s t a l casket rare Held f a s t a clo.ud of the f i e l d s of a i r . ' ( l ) 'The same that oft-time hath Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam Of p e r i l o u s seas, i n f a e r y lands f o r l o r n . ' (2) and b o t h were apt *Q employ too many d e t a i l s and add 'luxury' to 'luxury' u n t i l the reader i s exhausted, confused and sickened. This was a f a u l t that Hunt had encouraged i n Keats. Keats as we have alr e a d y s a i d d i s c i p l i n e d h i m s e l f to moderation, i.'.o t::i R o s s e t t i ' s work, however,- a l l tended to be over-luxurious. Swinburne, too p a r t i a l a c r i t i c , s a i d of the House of L i f e that 'The whole i s l o v e l i e r than i t s l o v e l i e s t p a r t ' , (3) a statement which cannot be accepted f o r any of R o s s e t t i ' s work with the p o s s i b l e exception of The Blessed Damozel. R o s s e t t i was as s e n s i t i v e to colour as Keats, but the c o l o u r s he chose are l e s s v i v i d and are a p p l i e d more spa r i n g l y . The Blessed Damozel'is a p a i n t i n g i n white and gold. No other colour mars i t s p u r i t y . And these were R o s s e t t i ' s f a v o u r i t e colours with the o c c a s i o n a l contrast given by the sparkle of jewels or the 'world of mirrowed t i n t s minute' of the ' r i p p l i n sunshine'. His colours--except f o r contrast--are cold. Often they are symbolical of p u r i t y and h o l i n e s s . This choice of c o l o u r s was not a c c i d e n t a l . Always the reader senses a c e r t a i studied s e l e c t i v e n e s s that seems a r t i f i c i a l — b e s i d e .Keats' u n l i m i t e d v a r i e t y of c o l o u r s . Keats used colours purely f o r p i c t o r i a l purposes-for what they were, not f o r what they sug-gested. His poems ate . « •Innumerable of s t a i n s and splendid dyes As are the tiger-moth's deep-damasked wings.' ( l ) R o s s e t t i was as fond as Keats of the contrast of l i g h t with shadow--so important to the a r t i s t . yet there's a s t r e s s Of love-spangles, j u s t o f f yon cape of trees, Dancing upon the waves. ( 2 ) 'The shadows cast on the arras?d w a l l ... Mid the p i c t u r e d kings. (3) 'the gold h a i r upon her hack Quite s t i l l i n a l l i t s threads, the track Of her s t i l l shadow sharp and b l a c k . (4) The scene i n the b r i d e ' s chamber i n The B r i d e ' s Prelude r e c a l l s i n i t s l a v i s h r i c h n e s s the chamber of Madeleine or the bowers of Erancesca i n Rimini. Hunt, Keats and R o s s e t t i ( 1 ) Keats, The Eve of St Agnes, 2 4 . 5 f . ( 2 ) Keats, Endymion, I I I , 8 1 . (3) R o s s e t t i , The Kings Tragedy, ( 4 ) R o s s e t t i , The B r i d e ' s Prelude were a l l fond of scenes that to them were t y p i c a l of the Middle A g e s - - t a p e s t r i e d w a l l s , c o l o r f u l d r a p e r i e s , carved stone columns and l i g h t e n t e r i n g thhough l a t t i c e d windows. It i s more than mere coincidence that both Keats and R o s s e t t i should give the moon the power to cast a red r e f l e c t i o n through the stained g l a s s window of a mediaeval c a s t l e . (The live of St. Agnes and The King's Tragedy) Although Keats was not an a r t i s t i t i s abvious that he had the a r t i s t ' s fondness and s k i l l f o r v i s u a l i z i n g picturesque objects as an a r t i s t i c composition, and f o r taking f u l l ad-vantage of form, of colour and of l i g h t and shade. Both R o s s e t t i and he found i n Gothic romance the p e r f e c t subjects f o r t h e i r a r t . With both, though, the d e s c r i p t i o n i s mainly e x t e r n a l . Neither was a mediaeval scholar. A great deal of R o s s e t t i ' s knowledge came at second hand through Keats, as i s obvious from h i s r e p e t i t i o n of Keats' f a v o u r i t e d e t a i l s of Gothic a r c h i t e c t u r e and mediaeva,l costume — y ^ --the 'Catholic elegances' (as Hunt c a l l e d them), many of which Keats had f i r s t d iscovered under Hunt's tutelage, R o s s e t t i showed h i s love f o r t h i s i n Keats a t the same time that he betrayed h i s own ignorance. He remarked that i n the Eve of St. Marks' Keats showed ' a s t o n i s h i n g l y r e a l mediaevalism f o r one not bred ano a r t i s t ' ( l ) . ( l ) c i t . C o l v i n , John Keats, 1918, p. 439. The many anachronisms i n the poem are witness that neither the poet nor h i s admirer was bred a scholar. In a p p r e c i a t i o n of one aspect of beauty R o s s e t t i showed himself markedly i n f e r i o r to Keats or even to Hunt. Both Keat and R o s s e t t i loved d e t a i l s of a r c h i t e c t u r e and dress, but R o s s e t t i never possessed Keats' genuine f e e l i n g f o r nature. 1 True» o c c a s i o n a l l y some aspect of colour appealed to him and wi t h h i s a r t i s t ' s eye and h i s poet's f e l i c i t y of phrase he was able to describe the scene charmingly. But such passages are ra r e . His lack of any i n t e r e s t was shown i n a passage from one of h i s l e t t e r s ( l ) when he asked an aqqaintance f o r 'a fe a t u r e or i n c i d e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the glen a t n i g h t f a l l ' to put i n h i s poem, when he had j u s t v i s i t e d the place to which he r e f e r r e d . Obviously i f he had had even anpordinary s i g h t - s e e r ' s i n t e r e s t and c e r t a i n l y i f he had had a poet's imagination he would not have had to ask such a question. His a t t i t u d e to nature was Bot-unappreciaitive that he wrote of i t only when he f e l t i t was necessary. ' I t i s wonderful', he remarked somewhere, 'how much a b i t of nature helps. * The a r t i f i c i a l i t y , the lack of ' i n t e n s i t y ' - - t o use Keats' word--of some of h i s poetry i s accounted f o r by these remarks. Nearly mil h i s d e s c r i p t i o n was a r t i s t i c and l i t e r a r y rather n a t u r a l . The i n s p i r a t i o n f o r h i s nature and f o r h i s mediaeval d e s c r i p t i o n s , , the reader f e e l s , was too often derived from secondary sources. Both p a i n t e r s and poets must master the technique of t h e i r c r a f t . Neither Keats nor R o s s e t t i was always i n s t i n c t i v e l y r i g h t i n h i s choice -fif form. Both poets i n t h e i r apprenticeship p e r i o d were fond of verse contests i n which they p r a c t i s e d t h e i r technique. Keats wrote sonnets on assigned subjects, R o s s e t t i bouts rimes. Both improved w i t h experience-~Keats r a p i d l y , R o s s e t t i more slowly. Rossetti's language i n h i s f i r s t volume was not always 'the i n c a r n a t i o n of the thought'.(l) His l a s t volume, however, as Watts Dunton (2) has pointed out was more even and 'often h i s s t y l e i s as l u c i d as Keats'. Keats regarded the language of other poets as h i s b i r t h -r i g h t and made use of i t . He looked upon t h i s borrowing as p e r f e c t l y n a t u r a l . His opinion of what i s meant by ' a r t i f i c -i a l i t y ' i s rather curious, Chatterton's d i c t i o n was to him purer and l e s s a r t i f i c i a l than Milton's because i t was purer E n g l i s h . M i l t o n ' s verse, he s a i d , was the verse of a r t i f i c e because of i t s L a t i n c o n s t r u c t i o n s . Eor t h i s reason he f i r s t r e v i s e d and then abandoned h i s M i l t o n i c Hyperion. However, the reader never f e e l s that Keats' d i c t i o n i s a r t i f i c i a l , whether i t i s M i l t o n i c or Spenserian, so completely had he (1) Watts, op. c i t . , p. 421. (2) Watts, Loc. c i t . made the vocabulary of h i s predecessors h i s own. Even h i s Huntian mannerisms seem n a t u r a l to him, as indeed they were. On the other hand R o s s e t t i d i d not see the f a u l t i n such a r t i -f i c i a l i t y and strove c o n s c i o u s l y f o r e f f e c t with the r e s u l t that h i s poems were 'frequently f a n c i f u l rather than imagin-a t i v e . ' (32) This might he expected i n the b a l l a d s , which are i m i t a t i o n s , but i t i s a l s o evident i n The House of L i f e where some of the c o n c e i t s r e c a l l the work of Donne. The octave of The Love L e t t e r i s an example of t h i s type of f a n c i f u l a r t i f i c i a l i t y a t i t s worst: 'warmed by her hand and shadowed by her h a i r As close she leaned and poured her heart through thee, Where of the a r t i c u l a t e throbs accompany The smooth b l a c k stream that makes thy whiteness f a i r , - -Sweet f l u t t e r i n g sheet, even of her breath aware,— Oh l e t thy s i l e n t song d i s c l o s e to me That soul wherewith her l i p s and eyes agree Like married music i n Love s answering a i r . (2) Sometimes too h i s d i c t i o n i s l i k e that of the young Keats, combining eighteenth century p o e t i c idiom with nineteenth cen-t u r y c o l l o q u i a l i s m s , - - a completely unpoetic combination. In Sonnet XX, e n t i t l e d Gracious Moonlight, he asks h i s love to l i g h t e n h i s g r i e f even as'Queen Dian ' l i g h t e n s the night. The somewhat f a m i l i a r and u n d i g n i f i e d shortening of the moom goddess's name i s reminiscent of Keats 'Dian' and 'Adon'. (1) Walker, The L i t e r a t u r e of the V i c t o r i a n Era,1913 p. 496. ' : : — L [2) R o s s e t t i , The House of L i f e , Sonnet XI. The r e s t of the sonnet h a r d l y atones f o r t h i s c o l l o q u i a l i s m . I t begins: •Even as the moon grows que e n l i e r i n mid-space When the sky darkens, and her cloud-rapt car T h r i l l s w ith i n t e n s e r radiance from a f a r , — So lambent, lady, beams thy sovereign grace When the drear soul d e s i r e s thee.' Language was perhaps as important to Keats as any other element i n h i s poetry. I t has been said that h i s 'language was h i s meaning', With R o s s e t t i we do not f e e l t h i s i n s t i n c -t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between form and sense, because with him the two were of t e n not a r r i v e d a t simultaneously,, 'I have been reading up a l l manner of old romaunts, to p i t c h upon stunning words f o r poetry', he wrote 'to W. M, R o s s e t t i . He d e l i b e r a t e l y searched f o r words and the reader often f e e l s the a r t i f i c i a l i t y r e s u l t i n g . , In the b a l l a d s h i s language i s s t u d i o u s l y simple and a r c h a i c . Nevertheless they are f a r t h e r removed i n s p i r i t from the Middle Ages than the poems of e i t h e r Keats or Coleridge, In the House of L i f e h i s d i c t i o n i s r i c h and sensuous, r e c a l l i n g i n many passages the Keats of Endymion, although the l a t t e r poem i s the work of a f a r more immature a r t i s t and man. As Benson p o i n t s out, ( l ) h i s use of double words was perhaps traceable to K e a t s — s u c h as 'we l a t e - t o t t e r i n g world-worn hence', 'Love's soul-winnowing hands', 'labor-laden moonclouds'. ( l ) Berason, op. c i t . p. 85. l i k e young Keats herasomefbimes used his words with a rather strange disregard of their sense. The words with which he most often erred are exotic or high-sounding c l a s s i c a l words. The- following passage i l l u s t r a t e s t his 'most affected choiced of Latin di c t i o n ' (l.) aswell as some of the other faults of of his diction. 'Prom winds that sweep the winter-bitten wold,--Like multiform circumfluence manifold Of night's flood-tide,' (2) A needless affectation of which Rossetti, Hunt and Keats were g u i l t y was the use of the accents of mediaeval poetry— p a r t i c u l a r i l y the accentuating of the last syllable i n words which in ordinary speech are accented, on the penultimate. 'Saturday night i s market night Everywhere, be i t dry or wet, And market night i n the Haymarket.' ' (3) Like Keats Rossetti was fond of inexcusable rhyming combinations The avid Robert Buchanan seized on these — especially those y/hich seemed to be used intentionally to give an archaic effect-and branded them a 'meretricious t r i c k s ' . Neither Keats nor Rossetti i s l y r i c a l in the sense that Shelley i s l y r i c a l . Their verse-music, while as melodious as -Shelley's, i s of a different type. It i s characterized by a slow soft beat that i s eloquent and l i q u i d , often dignified and always beautiful. (1) Buchanan, The Fleshly School of Poetry and other phen- omena of the day, 1872, p. 29. (2) Rossetti, House of Life,"Sonnet XLIf 'Through Death to Love (3J Rossetti, Jenny. . 'And the l i l i e s l a y as i f asleep Along her "bended arm.' ( l ) And m the midst, 'mong thousand h e r a l d r i e s , And t w i l i g h t s a i n t s , and dim emblazoning, A shielded scutcheon blushed with blood of queens and Icings. ' (2) With no apparent e f f o r t the poets have succeeded i n expressing the image i n the only way p o s s i b l e . This music i s smooth-fl o w i n g , but i t lacks vigour. Too much of i t drugs the reader' senses. F o r t u n a t e l y both Keats and R o s s e t t i s k i l f u l l y vary the rhythm of t h e i r longer poems. But even R o s s e t t i ' s most v i v i d n a r r a t i v e , The King's Tragedy, seems a l i t t l e effeminate, as i f l a c k i n g the i n t e n s i t y which a more vigourous s t y l e might have given i t . Hyperion., however, true to i t s great model, i s both vigourous and majestic. I t i s t h i s lack of vigour that opens R o s s e t t i ' s poetry to the charge of being decadent. The s t y l e of The Eve of St. Agnes i s so ornate that I t shows traces of decadence. Keats' 'over-strung s e n s i b i l i t y c a r r i e s each notation to the extreme' 'and a design of seductive grace and conscious charm i s expressed i n a language which i s often a r t i f i c i a l , loaded w i t h elaborate ornaments, with r a r e , a r c h a i c , or a f f e c t e d e p i t h e t s . The whole savours at the same time of over-: refinement, of p r o f u s i o n , of the s t r a i n of an ever-present i n t e n s i t y , and f i n a l l y somewhat of morbidness.' (3) But there i s a genuineness of i n s p i r a t i o n and. depth of f e e l i n g as w e l l as an e x q u i s i t e c o n t r o l of language and emotion that r a i s e s t h i s poem to heights where i t s a e s t h e t i c i s m i s heyond censure. But R o s s e t t i ' s a e s t h e t i c i s m was decadent. His i n -s p i r a t i o n was derived at second hand. The depth of f e e l i n g whcih i n Keats was due to pure emotions degenerated i n t o h y s t e r i a i n R o s s e t t i . His work i s pervaded with an atmosphere that becomes s t i f l i n g and sickening. Keats' sensuousness was p e r f e c t l y under c o n t r o l : R o s s e t t i ' s was not. R o s s e t t i lacked the earnest humanitarian aim which r a i s e d Keats above the l e v e l of a mere 'Art f o r A r t ' s Sake' poet. To R o s s e t t i a t h i n g of beauty was always a joy--and nothing more. He could not have understood how the Olympian gods were 'strong i n beauty'. He wrote, o b j e c t i n g to a statement about Keats made by H a l l Oaine: * I must say that I should not have thought a longer career thrown away upon him (as you intimate) i f he had continued to the age of anything only to give j o y . Nor would he ever have done any "good" at a l l . Shelley d i d good, and perhaps some harm wi t h i t . Keats* j o y was a f t e r a l l a f l a w l e s s g i f t . * ( l ) This i s p a r t l y t r u e , but an excess of 'joy' of t h i s sort leads to mere voluptuousness. Keats was of too serious a nature 'only to give joy'--as R o s s e t t i used the word with no idea of i n t e l l e c t u a l and. s p i r i t u a l as w e l l as sensuous pleasure. Both Keats and R o s s e t t i worshipped the P r i n c i p l e of Beauty. R o s s e t t i ' s worship never developed beyond that of Keats at the ( l ) Oaine, R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , 1882, p. 180. Endymion stage. There i s a curious p a r a l l e l between h i s House of L i f e and Keats' Endymion. In the House of L i f e t h e love of beauty i s f o r R o s s e t t i the love of woman. As Words-. worth f i n d s h i s i d e a l i n things of nature, Shelley h i s i n things of the s p i r i t , sonRossetti i d e a l i z e s love f o r woman. In Keats' poem Endymion 3 the poet, seeks the moon who repre-sents Poetry or the P r i n c i p l e of Beauty. Cynthia i s the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of t h i s p r i n c i p l e but she i s a l s o the Indian Maiden who represents r e a l passion. Both i n the end are d i s -covered to be ths same. The poet's conclusion i s that the love of women i s the same as a l l love of beauty. Thus the theme of Endymion i s the same as that of the House of L i f e . Neither Keats nor R o s s e t t i d e a l t w i t h a b s t r a c t i o n s . Endymion's Cynthia i s a very human creature although she represents an i d e a l . When Keats wished to show the d i s a s t r o u s e f f e c t on a poet of a l i f e of mere enjoyment, he p e r s o n i f i e d sensuous pleasure as Lamia, the snake-woman. R o s s e t t i , fonder of a b s t r a c t ideas than Keats, always expressed them i n the concrete. This expression of the s p i r i t through the f l e s h was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of him. Sensuous as he was, he had to make a l l h i s ideas t a n g i b l e . Like Keats, he had h i s snake-woman represent the temptations of the f l e s h — L i l i t h (Eden Bower). To him there were no a b s t r a c t i o n s . Even l i f e was p e r s o n i f i e d . •Look i n my face; my name i s Might-have-been;. I am a l s o c a l l e d No-more, Too-late, Earewell; Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea s h e l l Cast up they L i f e ' s foam-fretted f e e t between; ' ( l ) "This same technique he applied even to h i e s a i n t l y f i g u r e s the V i r g i n Mary ( i n Ave) and the Damozel. The l a t t e r has been described as the most f l e s h l y being ever to enter paradise. She represented an i d e a l but her s p i r i t u a l i t y was depicted i n terms of p h y s i c a l beauty. Madeline who 'unclasps her warmed jewels' i s no more of t h i s world than the Blessed Damozel whose 'bosom must have made The bar she leaned on warm.' The touch of re a l i s m i n those l i n e s , while i t d i s p e l s any i l l u s i o n of the s p i r i t u a l nature of the Damozel, i s worthy of the i n s p i r a t i o n of Keats. There i s nothing vague or nebulous about R o s s e t t i ' s conception of l i f e a f t e r death. The joys of paradise which the Blessed Damozel o f f e r s her lover c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l those that Cynthia promises Endymion. They are c e r t a i n l y more C l a s s i c a l and Pagan than Romantic and C h r i s t i a n . Robert Buchanan i n h i s a r t i c l e on 'The F l e s h l y School of Poetry' accused R o s s e t t i of e x t o l l i n g ' f l e s h l i n e s s as the d i s t i n c t and supreme end of p o e t i c and p i c t o r i a l a r t . ' ( l ) R o s s e t t i , The House of L i f e . Sonnet XCVII, 'A S u p e r s c r i p t i o n ' . ' F l e s h l y * as R o s s e t t i ' s poetry may he, the accusation that he d e l i b e r a t e l y made i t so i s u n f a i r , R o s s e t t i ' s innocence of t h i s i n t e n t i o n was shown by h i s anger and- g r i e f a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n of the a r t i c l e and by h i s suppression of the most * o f f e n s i v e poem. In h i s r e p l y to 'The F l e s h l y School' a r t i c l e , he maintained that he had not ass e r t e d that 'the body i s great e r than the s o u l ' but rather that sensuous pleasures are 'as naught i f not ennobled by the concurrence of the sould&t a l l times', f l ) To him 'the m a t e r i a l expression of beauty was the only key to i t s mystery and i n d i s s o l u b l y connected with i t ' . (2) This creed he expressed i n 'Lo v e - L i l y ' - -'Whose speech Truth knows not from her thought, Nor Love her body from her s o u l ' ( 3 ) S l E i i i l ^ l ^ h § n ^ % l t 0 0 1 ° f ^ t i c i s m , The Athena.,™ (2) Benson, op. c i t . , p. 7 9 . to-; R o s s e t t i , L o v e - L i l y . CHAPTER 17 R o s s e t t i was, l i k e Hunt and Keats, a product of that mediaeval r e v i v a l which had so many and such v a r i e d mani-f e s t a t i o n s i n the Nineteenth Century. The movement brought w i t h i t a genuine i n t e r e s t i n the a r t , r e l i g i o n , l i t e r a t u r e , and l i f e of the Middle Ages. The l i f e that the Nineteenth Century a s s o c i a t e d with the Age of Chaucer was not so much the l i v i n g r e a l i t y of the Canterbury Tales as the enchanted world of Spenser which o f f e r e d an avenue of imaginative escape to minds seeking r e l i e f from a too m a t e r i a l existence. Time had caused the beauty and picturesqueness of the Pre-Renaissance p e r i o d to stand out while i t s commonplace and o f t e n u g l y r e a l i t y faded into the shadow. In the more imaginative t h i s enthusiasm developed into an attempt not only to r e v i v e but a l s o to r e l i v e — i n t e l l e c t -u a l l y at l e a s t the past of legend. This was i n e f f e c t , an a r t i f i c i a l tendency as any attempt to revive a by-gone age must of n e c e s s i t y be. The a r t i f i c i a l i t y increased as the genuine s p i r i t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p f e l t by the f i r s t adherents of t h i s r e v i v a l degenerated i n t o a r t i s t i c i m i t a t i o n . In Keats and Coleridge that kindred f e e l i n g r e s u l t e d i n an i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n -which, while i t d i d not de p i c t the Middle Ages as they r e a l l y were, caught the mediaeval s p i r i t and mood as c l o s e l y as was p o s s i b l e a f t e r a period of four or f i v e cen-t u r i e s . Scott, too, bridged the gap of years but i n a d i f f e r -ent way, r e c a p t u r i n g not so much the emotional s p i r i t as the e x t e r n a l appearance and movement of the p e r i o d . The Middle Ages, however, were as much i d e a l i z e d i n h i s work as i n Keats';. He was the i n t e r p r e t e r of 'Romantic a c t i o n ' , says Beers ( l ) , as Keats was of 'Romantic emotion'. Hunt i n Rimini t r i e d h i s hand at mediaevalism, but h i s characters were merely elabor-a t e l y dressed puppets posed, against a quasi-mediaeval back-ground. Tennyson and Morris followed Scott i n the d e p i c t i o n of Romantic a c t i o n . Their mediaevalism was more ex t e r n a l than that of Scott but cannot be c a l l e d a r t i f i c i a l , because i t s s p i r i t was a genuine one--a s p i r i t , however, not mediaeval but V i c t o r i a n . R o s s e t t i attempted to infuse a new enthusiasm into the Romantic movement i n l i t e r a t u r e by l i n k i n g i t w i t h the corres-ponding movement i n a r t , which had developed more gra d u a l l y and was j u s t then reaching i t s peak. But two circumstances ( l ) Century^ f SulTp. ° l J ? g l i s ^ S ^ i o l s m i n the Nineteenth made t h i s second r e v i v a l more a r t i f i c i a l and more purely a e s t h e t i c than the f i r s t . Ey 1848 the freshness of the e a r l y romantic movement was-gone, and R o s s e t t i was never quite able to recapture that e a r l y enthusiasm. In a d d i t i o n R o s s e t t i .•lived, i n a r a t i o n a l r a ther than an emotional age. He was never able to f r e e himself e n t i r e l y from that i n t e l l e c t u a l viewpoint. As a r e s u l t h i s poetry i s l i t e r a r y rather than n a t u r a l . His B a l l a d s are not t r u l y l y r i c a l . His work lacks . spontaneity. He d i d not express the common.emotions of man-kind; i t i s almost as though he d i d not f e e l them. The  •House of L i f e t r e a t s of love but i n too a r t i f i c i a l a manner. The reader does not sympathize with the characters of R o s s e t t i ' n a r r a t i v e poems because h i s a t t e n t i o n i s too much taken up with the s k i l f u l v e r s i f i c a t i o n to f e e l p i t y or love, R o s s e t t i has hefeencalled 'a mediaeval man born out of h i s time * .(l))ln the q u a l i f y i n g phrase of the d e s c r i p t i o n l i e s R o s s e t t i ' s misfortune. He wanted to be 'a mediaeval man', i n many ways he was a k i n r to Dante and. even to Spenser; but he belonged d e f i n i t e l y to the middle of the Nineteenth Century and h i s mediaevalism was not that of experience but that of a r t . Hunt s t i l l more belonged to h i s generation. Indeed h i s very m e d i o c r i t y made him more t y p i c a l than greater poets. Keats, while l e s s a product of h i s age than any of h i s con-temporaries, was a f f e c t e d as a l l w r i t e r s must be, by h i s ( l ) Woodberry, Studies of a L i t t e r a t e u r , 1921, p. 6 3 . h i s t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n . Yet Keats, R o s s e t t i and, to a l e s s e r degree, Hunt sought t h e i r i d e a l beauty i n the l i f e of the Middle Ages, and a l l three found a c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c sympathy •with that p e r i o d . Keats and R o s s e t t i were i n many ways very d i f f e r e n t types of men. That d i f f e r e n c e was marked i n t h e i r poetry. R o s s e t t i ' s poetry, a l s o , shows d e f i n i t e l y the influence of - h i s h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d . Keats was nearer than R o s s e t t i to the B a l l a d R e v i v a l and was able to share i n great measure the excitement of Ghatterton at the discovery of the beauty and mystery of the past. The l i t e r a t u r e of the Middle Ages was to him r e a l , a part of h i s own experience. R o s s e t t i ' s i n t e r e s t was more that of a connoisseur; to him the b a l l a d s were i n -t e r e s t i n g and b e a u t i f u l c u r i o s i t i e s to be treasured and i m i t a t e d , but not r e a l l y connected with nineteenth century l i f e . In another way too Keats and. Hunt were separated. There had intervened between the two am. important i n f l u e n c e — T h e Oxford Movement. I t gave R o s s e t t i a new source of i n s p i r a t i o n , a l -though he was not a f f e c t e d by i t i n matters of f a i t h . The r i t u a l appealed to him f o r i t s beauty's sake and he made i t part of h i s poetry. While he did capture some of the beauty of the C a t h o l i c Church, he lacked, always the r e a l devotion, : even i n Ave, h i s most C a t h o l i c poem. However, the subjects 0. of many of h i s poems were r e l a t e d to the church, and the s t r e s s on the ideas of penitence, atonement and p u r i t y was reminis-cent of the more pious side of mediaeval l i f e . His d e s c r i p -t i o n was Gothic and C a t h o l i c . And he received from the church the atmosphere of mysticism and mystery--the element of the strange i n the b e a u t i f u l - - w h i c h i s part of the appeal of C a t h o l i c i s m to the imaginative mind. 'The Oxford Movement had intervened between him and Keats, and had given to romance a new mediaevalism, another tone and other themes.' ( l ) Hunt had encouraged Keats' love of the Gothic but the encouragement was h a r d l y needed. Although Keats i n the Odes and Endymion approached c l a s s i c a l s i m p l i c i t y , he was by nature more Gothic than c l a s s i c a l . In Endymion he treated a c l a s s i c a l subject w i t h Gothic elaborateness and i n t e n s i t y . This love of colour and of d e t a i l appealed to the Pre-Raphaelite taste of R o s s e t t i , C e r t a i n Gothic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the verse of Hunt, Keats and R o s s e t t i have already been mentioned. But, while Keats' and R o s s e t t i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n Is Gothic, i t i s not the d e s c r i p t i o n of Spenser or of Dante. There i s too much s u b t l e t y , too much a r t f u l suggestion. Keats and R o s s e t t i suggested as much as they said... 'They leave so much to the imagination' , as Keats said, of the e a r l y I t a l i a n p a i n t e r s . ( l ) Walker, The L i t e r a t u r e of the V i c t o r i a n Era. 1913, p. 5 01, 7.0. While Keats saw t h i s q u a l i t y i n mediaeval a r t , i t was r e a l l y a Romantic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f o r the poet to give to h i s subject •the l i g h t that never was on sea or land'. Both R o s s e t t i and Keats were i n t e r e s t e d i n the super-n a t u r a l — a n important element i n mediaeval thought. Caine {!') even goes so f a r as to say that t h i s was what R o s s e t t i most ad.' mired i n La B e l l e Dame sans Merci and The Eve of St. Mark. ' I t was not so much the wealth of expression i n the author of Endymion which a t t r a c t e d the author of Rose Mary as the p e r f e c t hold of the supernatural which i s seen i n La B e l l e  Lame sans Merci and the Eve of St Mark.' R o s s e t t i ' s i n t e r e s t , i n the supernatural was almost morbid and. l a t e r developed i n t o a b e l i e f i n s p i r i t u a l i s m . His brother satyk "Any w r i t i n g about d e v i l s , spectres or the supernatural generally„ whether i n poetry or i n prose, had always a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r him" ( 3 . ) So s u p e r s t i t i o n formed the b a s i s of Rose Mary and S i s t e r Helen and played an important part in' the King's Tragedy. - Somewhat a l l i e d to t h i s was R o s s e t t i ' s tendency to mysticism which showed i t s e l f i n h i s symbolism. His symbolism, however, l i k e h i s d e s c r i p t i o n was i n f l u e n c e d by Mneenth Century I n t e l l e c t -ualism and was f a r more a b s t r a c t and e s o t e r i c than mediaeval a l l e g o r y . When Hunt chose Rimini as a subject he selected a theme (1) Caine, R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Dante G a b r i e l Rossetti,1882, P v 6 7 . (2) W. M. R o s s e t t i , Preface to C o l l e c t e d Works, c i t . Walker, op. c i t . p. 491. c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Middle Ages--a h i t t e r story of love f o r -bidden by f a t e and i t s i n e v i t a b l e t r a g i c consequences. Hunt s p o i l t the s t o r y i n h i s t e l l i n g of i t , but even so, Rimini was a forerunner of I s a b e l l a , a very s i m i l a r s t o r y , of Rose  Mary, a s t o r y of u n f a i t h f u l n e s s , of The B r i d e ' s Prelude, a t a l e of love turned to hate. A l l these were reminiscent of one type of mediaeval story, the t r a g i c romance, f o r i t was to the melancholy side of mediaevalism that., the Romanticists and Neo-Romanticists turned. The cause of t h i s tendency l a y , to a great extent i n the nature and l i v e s of the' poets. Keats and R o s s e t t i had had t h e i r share of sorrow. Keats was un-doubtedly the most melancholy of the Romantic poets. His sadness was more genuine than Byron's; he was unable to es-cape from r e a l i t y as d i d S h e l l e y . Keats' imagination was too c l o s e l y connected with r e a l i t y , and the r e a l i t y h^ e had ex-perienced was not pleasant. I t would have been unnatural • f o r him to express any other mood i n h i s poetry. The great co n t r a s t i n Keats' poems i s that of u n r e a l i t y and r e a l i t y , i d e a l i s m and experience. He sings 'the j o y of pain and .the p a i n of j o y ' , says Cazamian. ( l ) Love 'dwells w i t h Beauty--Beauty that must d i e ; And Joy, whose hand i s ever a t i t s l i p s B i d d i n g adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth s i p s ; ' (2) (1) Cazamian, H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1930, p. 1096. (2) Keats, Ode on Melancholy. Even nature has i t s h i t t e r r e a l i t y . Keats saw 1 Too f a r into the sea, where every maw The Greater on the l e s s feeds evermore.' (1) This b i t t e r s t r a i n developed and grew more morbid through-out the century i n both Prance and England. In the Middle Ages i t had been due to the i n f l u e n c e of the c h u r c h — t h e b e l i e f i n the v a n i t y of w/o-didliy/ things, and the s p i r i t u a l value of s e l f -punishment. In the Nineteenth Century i t became an a e s t h e t i c tendency--the d e l i g h t i n the 'joy of pain' which developed into such a morbid a n a l y s i s of the emotions that A l f r e d de Mu-sset could exclaim, "Le s e u l b i e n qui me reste au monde C'est d'avoir quelquefois pleure'." Keats was never morbid. Even when d e s c r i b i n g I s a b e l l a ' s care of her dead l o v e r ' s head he r e l i e v e d the horror of the s i t u -a t i o n by arousing the reader's p i t y so that I s a b e l l a ' s a c t i o n s seem not unnatural. Although he found 'a b i t t e r sweet voluptuousness' (2) i n meditating on death, he was of too h e a l t h y a mind to succumb to the morbid fancy of a Baudelaire, a Swiriburneor a Wilde. R o s s e t t i had a c e r t a i n s t r a i n of morbidness i n h i s char-a c t e r . We are t o l d by W i l l i a m Michael R o s s e t t i that u n t i l the end of h i s l i f e he took a great i n t e r e s t i n gruesome murder ( l ) Keats, E p i s t l e to J. H. Reynolds. 12; Cazamian, op. c i t . , p. 1095. 7/3?. cases. He had l i t t l e sense of humour, Nor was h i s melancholy l i g h t e n e d as i n the case of h i s s i s t e r C h r i s t i n a , by the solace of r e l i g i o n . But h i s poems, nevertheless, lack the - sews dark despair of B a u d e l a i r e . In Jenny — f i r s t w r i t t e n when he was -quite young--he was almost sentimental. Like Keats he t r i e d to arouse p i t y . This was not the manner of the French deca-. dents. R o s s e t t i ' s other poems wit h s i m i l a r subjects--Eden  Bower and Troy Town are saved from morbidness by the ob-v i o u s l y a r t i s t i c way i n which the subject i s presented. The reader i s so conscious of t h i s t h s t , a p p r e c i a t i v e though he may be of the a e s t h e t i c beauty of the form, i t i s impossible f o r him r e a l l y to f e e l the emotion or to f e e l that abhepoet himself had experienced i t . Gothic p r o f u s i o n and a melancholy mood were i n d i v i d u a l aspects of the Middle Ages that Keats, R o s s e t t i and Hunt were able to reproduce with v a r y i n g degrees of s k i l l and f e e l i n g . Keats and R o s s e t t i a l s o revived i n t e r e s t i n the supernatural and the use of a l l e g o r y . To these might be added the i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n of the s p i r i t w ith the body, of the a b s t r a c t with the m a t e r i a l , a tendency which i s e s p e c i a l l y s t r o n g i n R o s s e t t i . A l l these elements convey to the reader a suggestion of the Middle Ages. But how f a r d i d each of the three poets succeed i n r e c r e a t i n g the s p i r i t of a past age? Rimini i s a f a i l u r e i n t h i s regard. Hunt, t r y i n g to make i t seem r e a l through the use of natural language, put Cockney idiom into the mouth of Erancesca da Rimini. The elaborate description which served as a background for Francesca and the other puppet characters, merely emphasized the hollowness of the whole play. Rossetti, by.praising the mediaevalism of the Eve of St. Mark, gave higher tribute to Keats' powers than he knew of. Examined carefully, the poem belongs to modern times and Keats might have meant i t to be so. Chinese Lacquer screens did not exist i n the fourteenth century. Yet most readers w i l l prefer to think of Bertha as a mediaeval damozelle of the time of Madeline and Isabella. As for The Eve of St. Agnes, i t was 'ages long ago These lovers f l e d away into the storm.' (l) But when exactly? It does not matter. The reader feels that Porphyro and Madeline belong to the period of romance and c h i v a l r y — t o that world of'faery' upon which the casements of Keats' mind .so habitually opened. In the same way La Belle Dame sans Merci belongs to the time of Thomas the Rhymer. Bo accurate description of facts could, convey the sense of r e a l i t y as does Keats' imaginative description. The details he gives become so v i v i d that even impossibilities become for the moment l i v i n g r e a l i t i e s . It was impossible thst 'The long carpets rose along the gusty f l o o r ' (2) ( l ) Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes, 42. l f . 12 j Ibid, 40. 9f. of the wide h a l l of the c a s t l e . However, the l i n e , anachron-i s t i c as i t i s , i s so suggestive that i t adds to the r e a l i s m of the poem rather than d e t r a c t s from i t . Keats' knowledge might he at f a u l t hut h i s p o e t i c i n s t i n c t was so sure that he was able to convey i n words the. r e a l i t y of a long dead age. R o s s e t t i i n The King's Tragedy borrowed the idea from Keats' a n a c h r o n i s t i c l i n e but made i t h i s t o r i c a l l y c o r r e c t : 'The night wind wailed round the empty room And the rushes shook on the f l o o r ' , ( l ) R o s s e t t i thought to improve on the l i n e but w i t h a l l h i s care he has not been able to recapture the l i f e and movement of h i s model. In h i s poems R o s s e t t i has made no a n a c h r o n i s t i c e r r o r s . But h i s care about d e t a i l s , h i s search f o r the c o r r e c t words oft e n caused him to lose the s p i r i t of h i s subject., Care with d e t a i l s i s not a necessary q u a l i f i c a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l poetry or of h i s t o r i c a l novels. Shakespeare's h i s t o r i c a - 1 p l a y s are never h i s t o r i c a l l y accurate. I t d i d not seem strange to Shakespeare that J u l i u s Caesar and even Mac-beth should dress as E l i z a b e t h a n noblemen. To him they were not h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e s but people, and so 'He f i l l s I l i o n , Rome or any town you l i k e Of olden time w i t h timeless Englishmen' (2) who possess more l i f e than t h e i r o r i g i n a l s B i n the h i s t o r y book, (1) R o s s e t t i , The_King's Tragedy ( 2 ) Edwin A r l i n g t o n Robinson: Ben Jonson meets a Man from S t r a t f o r d . For the v i r t u e of poetry i s that the great poet i s able from inaccurate f a c t s to create ' t r u t h s ' , f o r tevpoet's object i s not to t e l l what a c t u a l l y happened but what could and would happen e i t h e r probably" or inevitably--------For t h i s reason poetry i s something more s c i e n t i f i c and serious than h i s t o r y , because poetry tends to give general truths while h i s t o r y gives p a r t i c u l a r f a c t s - Even supposing he repre-sents what has a c t u a l l y happened, he i s none the l e s s a poet, f o r there i s nothing t o prevent some a c t u a l occurrences being the sort of t h i n g that would pro-bably or i n e v i t a b l y happen, and i t i s i n v i r t u e of that that he i s t h e i r "maker". ( l ) S i m i - l a r i l y since the poet i s a "maker", accuracy i n regard to d e t a i l s of s e t t i r g n e e d not worry him. The scenes Shakespeare described i n immortal poetry become r e a l because of t h e i r v i v i d n e s s and therefore are f i t t i n g background f o r the a c t i o n of the play. R o s s e t t i ' s accurate mediaevalism was unfortunate. His a t t e n t i o n to d e t a i l took much l i f e out of h i s poetry, so that i t was not only a r t i f i c i a l mediaevalism but a l s o a r t i f i c i a l nineteenth century. Tennyson, obviously i n s p i r e d by a nine-teenth century s p i r i t , was more n a t u r a l because h i s characters are types u n i v e r s a l l y true and not, except i n the d e t a i l s of dress and customs', t y p i c a l §§. the age they are supposed to represent. R o s s e t t i ' s poems belong not to the l i v i n g past but to the a r t i s t i c present of the nineteenth century. The King's Tragedy, however, comes unusually close to the Middle ( l ) A r i s t o t l e , P o e t i c s , IX, W i l l i a m Heinemann, 1927, Tf:. Ages of Scott. But The white Ship, a moving poem of bravery and death, might have been based on a contemporary i n c i d e n t . I t i s a poem l i k e Rose Mary that can most f a i r l y be compared wit h The Eke of St. Agnes. The s t o r y takes place at an indef-i n i t e time i n the Middle Ages. But Rose Mary and her mother are only shadowy f i g u r e s against a background which i s u s u a l l y vague. The ' a l t a r - c e l l ' of the b e r y l stone i s minutely d e s c r i b -ed, but i t s d e t a i l s are symbolical. The e f f e c t i s p i c t o r i a l not n a t u r a l . To recreate a past age a w r i t e r must reproduce not only the e x t e r n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s but- a l s o the r e a l i t y of the time. We s h a l l see, too, that R o s s e t t i ' s b a l l a d s l a c k the r e a l atmosphere-of the Middle Ages. And a l l h i s poems l a c k the n a i v e t y which i s an e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the poetry of a nation's youth. Keats too f a i l e d to a c h i e v e — --indeed, di d not t r y f o r - -n a i v e t y i n form. And i t was i n t h i s that even Keats was of n e c e s s i t y a r t i f i c i a l . In La B e l l e Dame sans Merci he used a Nineteenth Century v e r s i o n of a mediaeval form. I t was im-p o s s i b l e f o r him to express himself i n the language and manner of the b a l l a d authors. He d i d not atempt i t . He used enough archaisms to give a suggestion of a n t i q u i t y , but not enough to make reading an i n t e l l e c t u a l e x e r c i s e . The reader does not need notes to understand 'zone','meads', 'manna','grot' or ' t h r a l l ' . They are simple i n form and t h e i r context i s so v i v i d that even a c h i l d r e a l i z e s t h e i r meaning by a s s o c i a t i o n . The s p e l l i n g 'faery' instead of the ordinary ' f a i r y ' i s employed not "because i t i s old hut because of the extra a s s o c i a t i o n s the word r e -ceives and perhaps because of the beauty of the lengthened ' vowel sound. Chatterton, c a r r i e d away by the magic of old E n g l i s h words used terms that instead of being suggestive are almost meaningless: 'Black h i s cryne as the w i n t r y night, White h i s rode as the winter snow' or s p e l l i n g whose only excuse was the exigencies of rhyme: 'With my hands I ' l l dent the b r i e r s Round h i s h o l y corse to gre: Ouph and f a i r y , l i g h t your f i r e s , Here my body s t i l l s h a l l "free: ' .. ( l ) Keats' d i c t i o n i s the u n i v e r s a l d i c t i o n of poetry which i s a l -ways modern; each word he uses seems to be the only word capable of expressing the idea. One does not f e e l t h i s with Chatterton. Chatterton's words are obviously selected and therefore a r t i f i c i a l even when he i s a t h i s best, as i n the passage quoted. Keats has kept the b a l l a d conventions but they are f a r from obvious. The old question and answer form i s there. There are r e p e t i t i o n s that form a subtle r e f r a i n . The l a s t verse i s a v a r i e d r e p e t i t i o n of the f i r s t - -'Ah.' what can a i l thee, knight a t arms, Alone and p a l e l y l o i t e r i n g ? The sedge i s withered from the lake, And no b i r d s sing . ' ( 2 ) (1) Chatterton, Song from A e l l a ( 2 ) Keats, La B e l l e Dame sans Merci. Only the bes t of the b a l l a d w r i t e r s would have been capable of the subtle r e p e t i t i o n i n the second verse where the f i r s t l i n e alone repeats the words, but a l l four l i n e s repeat the idea of the f i r s t verse--'Ah! what'can a i l thee, knight at arms, So haggard and so woe-begone? The s q u i r r e l ' s granary i s f u l l , And the harvest's done.' The metre of the poem marks atLs£i<Mrmore as the verse of a r t . Keats has kept the o l d b a l l a d metre but has v a r i e d f t - . The d i f f e r e n c e i s s l i g h t but so s i g n i f i c a n t that the poem i s worlds removed from the old b a l l a d s . I t i s as w e l l that Keats has done t h i s , f o r , by matching s u b t l e t y i n form wi t h s u b t l e t y i n d i c t i o n , he has made the poem seem p e r f e c t l y n a t u r a l . S i m p l i c i t y would have seemed out of place. R o s s e t t i \*/rote not one but s e v e r a l b a l l a d s . They are more naive i n form than La B e l l e Dame sans Merci. But the na i v e t y i s a studied one. R o s s e t t i obviously t r i e d to ap-proach h i s models i n d i c t i o n . The language he used i n the ballads was the p r e c i s e opposite to thetused i n the House of  L i f e . He attempted to reproduce the old s i m p l i c i t y by a c a r e f u l choice of words of Anglo Saxon o r i g i n . Occasionally he used archaisms apparently with the i n t e n t i o n of i n c r e a s i n g the e f f e c t of mediaevalism. Instead the a r t i f i c i a l i t y i s u s u a l l y obvious, p a r t l y because of the contrast between the u n f a m i l i a r although picturesque a r c h a i c v/ord and the simple language of the context--•King Henry f e l l as a man struck dead; And speechless s t i l l he stared from h i s bed When to him next day my rede I read.' ( l ) R o s s e t t i ' s love of words f o r t h e i r own sake tempted him to use words which appealed to him by t h e i r c h i v a l r o u s ©onnotation but confuse and d i s t r a c t the reader 'And braced and s h i f t e d d a i n t i l y The l o i n - b e l t through her cote-hardie* Around her throat the f a s t e n i n g s met Of chevesayle and mantelet.' (2) R o s s e t t i seems to have r e a l i z e d that sometimes h i s mediaevalisms were not s u c c e s s f u l . He w r i t e s to h i s brother, W. M, R o s s e t t i ? 'I wish that you would not attempt to defend my mediaeval isms, which were absurd, but rahher say that there was enough good i n the works to give assurance that these were merely s u p e r f i c i a l , ( 3 ) Apparently, however, he did not r e a l i z e that "the s u p e r f i c i a l c haracter" of h i s archaisms counteract the e f f e c t of the 'good' i n h i s work. R o s s e t t i observed the b a l l a d conventions often very c a r e f u l l y . He made use of questionrand answer and of the r e f r a i n i n S i s t e r Helen, Eden Bower and i n Troy Town. The form of these three poems i s as simple and naive as he could (1) R d e e e t t i , The King's Tragedy, (2) R o s s e t t i , The B r i d e ' s Prelude, ( 3 ) R o s ^ e t ^ i , L e t t e r s ^ - T o W. J l . Ros n r & ^ m ^ o ^ J h R o s s e t t i - ^ ed, : 81'. 'make i t . .But: i t i s the s i m p l i c i t y of a r t not of nature. The r e f r a i n . i n ' S i s t e r Helen, f o r example, i s s u b t l e , often i r o n i c . I t i s not the utterance of a chorus spontaneously echoing the words of the main singer but that of a poet c a r e f u l l y noting 'the e f f e c t of every turn of phrase--'The hour, the sweet hour I f o r e c a s t , L i t t l e brother! ' 0 Mother, Mary Mother, Is the hour-sweet, between H e l l and Heaven?' ( l ) The r e f r a i n s i n Eden Bower and Troy Town are more purely r e p e t i t i v e and c l o s e r to b a l l a d s i m p l i c i t y . The White Ship while c a l l e d a b a l l a d , i s r e a l l y a longer n a r r a t i v e , but i n i t he has used with great s k i l l a r e f r a i n that suggests the r e -l e n t l e s s n e s s and i m p a r t i a l i t y of f a t e - -'Lands are swayed by a King, on a throne The sea hath no King but God alone. 1 ( 2 ) But t h i s r e f r a i n which occurs only three times i n the poem i s extraneous to the n a r r a t i v e , r e f l e c t s the opinions of the speaker, and i s not therefore c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the b a l l a d . A r t i f i c i a l i t y i s not the only f a u l t of the burdens to R o s s e t t i ' s b a l l a d s . A repeated burden was quite .suited to the f o l k - b a l l a d s because they were meant to be sung, but the r e f r a i n i n the l i t e r a r y b a l l a d s of R o s s e t t i has no such j u s t i -f i c a t i o n . I t i s annoying when read s i l e n t l y , causing an un-( l ] R o s s e t t i , S i s t e r Helen. 82.; R o s s e t t i , Tne~mrte Ship. necessary pause i n the reader's progress. Oral reading i s the f a i r e s t test of a poem. To be appreciated Rossetti's ballads must be read aloud. The ref r a i n in Sister H e l e n — half prayer, half curse — i s haunting and wierdly suggestive. In Troy Town, however, not only i s the repetition meaningless but the sound becomes disagreeable,. One. reason why Rossetti's use of the refrain was not always successful was that his poems lacked the l y r i c quality of the old ballads or of La Belle Dame sans Merci. Keats' poem was not written primarily to be sung, although l i k e a l l true ballads i t s s i m p l i c i t y and dramatic movement make i t decidely l y r i c a l and therefore suitable at least for dramatic re c i t a t i o n . The f i r s t three lines are written i n simple iambic feet--a l i g h t and easy rhythm--, and the poet's s k i l l gives i t l i f e , especially i n the lines where the effect of light-hearted movement i s desired — 'I met a lady in the meade, F u l l b e a u t i f u l — a f a i r y ' s c h i l d , Her hair was long, her feet xvere l i g h t , And her eyes were wild. ILset.her on. my pacing steed, And nothing else saw a l l day long, For sideways woi*Id she lean and. sing A f a i r y ' s song,' ( l ) Rossetti' verse lacks this nervous rhythm, a characteristic of the f o l k ballad, which had to depend for i t s survival and (l) Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci. popularity on just such a rhythmical flow of words—easy to remember, and d i f f i c u l t to forget. But Rossetti has made his rhythm more complicated, as for instance, in Eden Bower, where he added an extra unaccented syllable to each tetrameter line — 'Only of one tree eat not in Eden, (And 0 the bower and the hour!) A l l save one I give to thy greewill,--The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and E v i l . ' ( l ) This v e r s i f i c a t i o n i s effective, but i t i s not the versification of the Middle Ages, which was intended for oral reading or reci t a t i o n . The vigour that i s characteristic not only of l y r i c poetry but also of good narrative i s often lacking in Rossetti's bal-lads. Sister Helen, The White Ship, The King's Tragedy--each t e l l s a story well, creating suspense and a sense of impend-ing doom, but the story i s delayed by the poet's a r t i s t i c endeavors. The reader i s too conscious of the poet at work. The story, with the possible exception of The King's Tragedy, i s not told for i t s own sake. Rossetti's preoccupation with the ballad form was such that he was constantly on the search for material to suit i t . Consequently the story was only a secondary consideration to him. Rossetti's interest in the poetry.of the fol k was purely i n t e l l e c t u a l . It was not based on any knowledge or love of the people and their traditions. People of any period —mediae-( l ) Ro s s e t t i , Eden Bower. •:val or m o d e r n — n e v e r r e a l l y i n t e r e s t e d R o s s e t t i . H i s i n t e r e s t n e v e r went "beyond h i s f a m i l y and h i s c i r c l e of f r i e n d s — t h o s e who, l i k e h i m s e l f , were i n t e r e s t e d i n l i t e r a t u r e or a r t . H i s w o r l d was a s m a l l one c o n v e r g i n g on h i m s e l f . H i s s e c l u s i o n i s r e f l e c t e d i n h i s p o e t r y . He i s not i n t e r e s t e d i n the c h a r -a c t e r s h u t i n the s e t t i n g and p r e s e n t a t i o n of h i s s t o r y . He would have u n d e r s t o o d the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of A n g e l a ' s p r e s e n c e i n The Eve of S t . Agnes a s an a r t i s t i c c o n t r a s t fcO the young l o v e r s h u t n e v e r would he have f e l t a ny i n t e r e s t i n h e r as- aa i n d i v i d u a l . On t h e o t h e r hand K e a t s was by n a t u r e s o c i a b l e . H i s many f r i e n d s h i p s a r e a w i t n e s s to h i s a b i l i t y to make o t h e r men f e e l t h a t he was i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e i r j o y s and s o r -rows. And h i s i n t e r e s t was g e n u i n e . He was e a r l y d e v e l o p i n g the d r a m a t i s t ' s power of p r o j e c t i n g h i m s e l f i n t o the c h a r a c t e r o f a n o t h e r p e r s o n . K e a t s ' c i r c l e o f a c q u a i n t a n c e s had been i n the L e i g h Hunt days a v e r y l i m i t e d one, b u t i t widened q u i c k l y . He showed h i s i n t e r e s t i n e v e r y o n e he met. He had no chance to know the c o u n t r y p e o p l e — t h e ' f o l k ' - - u n t i l h i s t r i p t h r o u g h S c o t -l a n d . There he showed a r e a l I n t e r e s t i n them. I t was t h e r e he f i r s t came to know p e o p l e l i k e 'Old Meg' who .'was a g i p s y And l i v e d upon the moors.' ( l ) ( l ) K e a t s , Old Meg. This was a new world to Keats who had not been fortunate enough as were Wordsworth and Scott, to know i t i n h i s childhood. B a l l a d s were w r i t t e n by the f o l k . The modern b a l l a d s which come c l o s e s t i n many ways to the old ones have been w r i t t e n by a man who grew up wit h the f o l k and t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s — S i r Walter Scott. R o s s e t t i ' s b a l l a d s were based not on t h i s i n t i -mate knowledge but onaa rather s u p e r f i c i a l research. He repro-duced the outward forms of mediaevalism but beyond thathhe could not go. Having no r e a l sympathy w i t h the people, he could not think as they do. Only i n S i s t e r Helen did he come close to a mediaeval way of thi n k i n g . But t h i s was because he kept to an old. p l o t . Every d e t a i l of S i s t e r PIelen--the melting image, the pleading r e l a t i v e s , the r e l e n t l e s s avenger and the l o s t souls of both the v i c t i m and the instrument of h i s punishment—is found i n the old b a l l a d s . In Eden Bower and Troy Town R o s s e t t i supplied h i s own m a t e r i a l , "but he was unable to t e l l i t i n a mediaeval manner. As a r e s u l t neither i n subject matter nor i n mood are the two poems true b a l l a d s . La B e l l e Dame sans Merci i s i n form a work of a r t but i n s p i r i t i t belongs to the Middle Ages. The theme l i k e that of Sis-farHelen i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c one, but the reader f e e l s that the poet has f o r the time l i v e d i n a past age to t e l l h i s story. The t a l e i s t o l d with a l l the c a r e f u l d e t a i l and a l l the a i r of t r u t h that a t h i r t e e n t h century poet might have used. The b a l l a d w r i t e r always wrote as i f he had been an eye-witness of the incident.. As i f expecting to be ch a l -lenged as to h i s accuracy, he substantiated every statement. So i n La•Belle Dame sans Merci no ac t i o n i s vague. We know e x a c t l y where everything happened—'in the meads', 'on my pacing steed', i n 'her e l f i n grot', Son the moss',and 'on the cold h i l l - s i d e ' . We know d e f i n i t e l y what the knight and La B e l l e Dame ate — ' r e l i s h sweet And honey w i l d , and manna-dew,1 The supernatural i n f o l k poetry was not made mysterious, but n a t u r a l — a n d so i t i s here. No shadowy vagueness dims the r e a l i t y of the subject; the f u l l l i g h t of day shines on i t . This naive r e a l i s m was beyond R o s s e t t i ' s power. He could be subtle and elaborate but he could not a t t a i n the greatness of s i m p l i c i t y . S i m p l i c i t y of d i c t i o n he did. attempt, but at the expense of d i g n i t y and naturalness. But Keats, who ©oul&e be f a r more subtle than R o s s e t t i , had. i n s t i n c t i v e l y r e a l i z e d that a great deal of the charm of the Middle Ages l a y i n . i t s c h i l d l i k e view of l i f e . Naivety of thought was as character-i s t i c of Gothic a r t and l i t e r a t u r e as s i m p l i c i t y of form was of Classical. This simplicity was often combined with the elaborateness that i s usually associated with the Gothic, In both these aspects La Belle Dame sans Merci, The Eve of  St, Agnes and the Eve of St. Mark come close .in s p i r i t to the Middle Ages 0 C O N C L U S I O N 'But the v i t a l difference i s t h i s , and, i t trans-cends or ignores a l l merely technical points: the Hunt i s s t a t i c , inert, unfinished; the Keats t h r i l l s and i s a l i v e . ' ( l ) This passage, already quoted, regarding Keats and Hunt, makes clear the essential difference between great poetry and minor poetry. And, gifted although Rossetti was, that same quality of v i t a l i t y i s lacking in his poetry. I t , too, i s s t a t i c . Rossetti, i n attempting to 'perfect' the art of the Middle Ages, has deprived i t of l i f e and movement. The charm ..of mediaeval verse i s due to i t s naivety both in subject matter and in style. It i s completely natural whether the story i s told with the dramatic simplicity of the ballads or with the conscious but or i g i n a l a r t i s t r y of Spenser. Of Hunt, Keats and Rossetti, Keats alone was able to capture the spontaneity of the orig i n a l ballads and romances. 89. H u n t w a s n e v e r c o n s c i o u s l y a r t i f i c i a l l o u t h e l a c k e d K e a t s ' e m o t i o n a l p o w e r . M o r e o v e r , , i n R i m i n i , H u n t made n o a t t e m p t t o a v o i d n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y s e n t i m e n t o r d i c t i o n . L a B e l l e . L a m e s a n s M e r c i , h o w e v e r , b e l o n g s b o t h t o t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y a n d t o t h e m i d d l e a g e s . K e a t s w a s f o r t u n a t e e n o u g h t o l i v e a t a t i m e w h e n e m o t i o n a l k i n s h i p w i t h t h e M i d d l e A g e s w a s p o s s i b l e . I t w a s a t i m e w h e n a g r e a t l i t e r a r y m o v e m e n t h a d r e a c h e d , t h e c r e s t o f i t s i n s p i r a t i o n — w h e n t h e e m o t i o n a l s i d e o f E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e h a d b e e n r e v i v e d a f t e r a p e r i o d o f l e t h a r g y . . P e o p l e w e r e t i r e d o f s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , a n d t u r n e d t o e m o t i o n a l i s m i n r e l i g i o n a n d l i t e r a t u r e f o r r e l i e f . A R o m a n t i c p o e t , r e d i s c o v e r i n g t h e w o n d e r a n d b e a u t y o f l i f e , f e l t — ' l i k e some w a t c h e r o f t h e s k i e s "When a new p l a n e t s w i m s i n t o h i s k e n ; ' ( l ) I t i s t h i s w o n d e r t h a t i n s p i r e s g r e a t a r t . T h e g r e a t e s t a n d m o s t o r i g i n a l m i n d s u s u a l l y come e a r l y i n a c i v i l i z a t i o n — t o t h e p i o n e e r s o f l i t e r a t u r e o n l y i s i t p o s s i b l e t o " s e e l i f e . ' c l e a r l y a n d t o s e e i t w h o l e " . T h e k n o w l e d g e a n d t h e i d e a l s t h a t m a k e u p c i v i l i z a t i o n , a s t h e y a c c u m u l a t e , h a v e t h e e f f e c t o f c h o k i n g u p t h a t o r i g i n a l i t y , t h a t c o n f i d e n c e f r o m w h i c h c o m e s g r e a t a r t . T h e m o s t i m p a s s i o n e d a n d m o s t i m a g i n a t i v e p o e t r y d o e s n o t t h r i v e i n t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f s o p h i s t i c a t i o n that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of advanced c i v i l i z a t i o n . Thus i t i s that with a Homer,.a Dante, a Shakespeare or a Goethe the p o e t i c l i t e r a t u r e of a n a t i o n reaches i t s climax e a r l y i n i t s h i s t o r y , and t h e r e a f t e r d e c l i n e s . O c c a s i o n a l l y , however, as i n f i f t h century Greece and e a r l y nineteenth century England, there i s a reawakening that r i v a l s the e a r l y period i n genuine-ness of emotion. Thus wi t h Keats and h i s great comtemporaries the reader f e e l s an i n t e n s i t y that gives l i f e and o r i g i n a l i t y to t h e i r work. In Keats' poetry the reader i s always aware of the poet's suppressed excitement as he d i s c o v e r s the beauty and. wonder of the world. With R o s s e t t i t h i s excitement was of a d i f f e r -ent order. The novelty of d i s c o v e r y was gone. R o s s e t t i ' s i n t e r e s t was that of a connoisseur. He knew w e l l the super-f i c i a l d e t a i l s of h i s - s u b j e c t — t h e d i c t i o n , the form of the verse and the d e s c r i p t i v e d e t a i l s - - b u t he was unable to share the l i f e behind. The Middle Ages of the Bride's Tragedie and Rose Mary are merely a s h e l l of the o r i g i n a l . Courthope, w r i t i n g i n 1885, s a i d , 'The i n s p i r a t i o n of the romantic school i s now f a i l i n g . ' ( l ) The work of Swinburne and R o s s e t t i he c a l l e d the ' L i t e r a t u r e of A r t i f i c e * because 'we are always conscious of the presence of the a r t i s t : i t i s p l a i n that he i s t h i n k i n g l e s s of the theme i t s e l f than of i t s c a p a c i t i e s ( l ) Courthope, The L i b e r a l Movement i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1885, p. 230. f o r enabling him to d i s p l a y h i s powers of word-painting or of metre-music* ( l ) Keats i s one of the geeat masters of word-painting i n E n g l i s h — g r e a t e r than R o s s e t t i because of the warmth and l i f e he imparted to everything he touched. The Romantic poet i s by nature, as R o s s e t t i i s , s u b j e c t i v e , and f o r that reason incapable of producing the two highest forms of l i t e r a t u r e - - d r a m a t i c and epic poetry. Keats i s a paradox— a Romantic,--more than that--an aesthete, who was able a t times to d i v e s t himself of h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y and enter i n t o the object he was p o r t r a y i n g . Thus i t i s that the People of Keats' poems l i v e and the scenery and atmosphere belong to the world of r e a l i t y . To everything--even inanimate o b j e c t s - -h i s enthusiasm imparted movement and f e e l i n g . To the f i g u r e s on a Gecian urn he gave more l i f e and r e a l i t y than R o s s e t t i or Hunt ever gave to a l i v i n g character. E o s s e t t i ' s snake-woman, L i l i t h , i s an a b s t r a c t i o n i n human form; Keats' temptress, Lamia, 'though l i a b l e to be turned, into p a i n f u l shapes has a s o u l of humanity.' (2 ) Keats i s able to recreate l i f e - - l i f e that he knew only through h i s imagination. For t h i s reason he must always hold a place not with the purely a e s t h e t i c poets but i n the company of the great c r e a t i v e poets whose genius i s above c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , , l ) Courthopej l o c . c i t . 2} Leigh Hunt, quoted by C o l v i n , John Keats, 1918, p. 410. BIBLIOGRAPHY POETIC WORKS Hunt, Leigh, The P o e t i c a l Works of Leigh Hunt and Thomas Hood T selected,, ed. with i n t r o d u c t i o n "by W0 Sharp. The Canterbury Poets, London,,, n 0 d. Keats, John* The Poems of John Keats, ed. w i t h i n t r o d u c t i o n and notes "by Ernest da Selincourt, 0 Methuen and co., l t d c London, 1926, De S e l i n c o u r t ' s e d i t i o n of the poems contains many valuable c r i t i c a l notes and references to Keats' l e t t e r s , R o s s e t t i , Dante G a b r i e l , Poems, New York, John W, L o v e l l company, 1881(?) R o s s e t t i , Dante G a b r i e l . The House of Life., A Sonnet Sequence, ed. with notes and i n t r o d u c t i o n by P a u l l F r a n k l i n Baum. Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press. Cambridge. 1928. This e d i t i o n contains comments on the style and meaning of each of the sonnets. For the purposes of t h i s essay the study of the d i c t i o n of the sonnets was most u s e f u l . LETTERS Keats, John. The L e t t e r s of John Keats, ed, Maurice Buxton Forman a Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press,, London, 1931, R o s s e t t i , Dante G a b r i e l , Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , h i s f a m i l y  l e t t e r s , ed, with a memoir by W i l l i a m Michael R o s s e t t i . In Two Volumes. E l l i s and Elvey. London, 1895. The memoir and l e t t e r s give an e x c e l l e n t p i c t u r e of the R o s s e t t i f a m i l y c i r c l e . The l e t t e r s , however, are l i m i t e d to those addressed to the R o s s e t t i family,, In t h i s essay use has been made of l e t t e r s quoted by various biograpbers--Caine•> Benson e t c . R o s s e t t i , W i l l i a m Michael ed. R o s s e t t i papers, 1868-1870 a London. Sands and Co, 1903. These papers give an e x c e l l e n t picvture of the Pre-iRapbaelite School of a r t i s t s . They are however of l i t t & & use i n the study of R o s s e t t i ' s poetry. CRITICAL WORKS, BIOGRAPHIES ETC, 1, General 0 A r i s t o t l e . The P o e t i c s . W i l l i a m Heinemann Ltd, London. 1927. Beers, Henry A. A H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h Romanticism i n the  E i g h t eenth Century. Henry Holt and Company. New York, 1899, Beers' definition and explanation of romanticism i n h i s f i r s t chapter i s very i n t e r e s t i n g . Beers, Henry A. A H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h Romanticism i n the Nineteenth Century, Kegan, Paul,, Trench, Truhner and co. l t d . London. 1901. This ^ H i s t o r y ' emphasizes the 'Gothic-* elements i n Romantic poetry* Courthope, W i l l i a m John. The L i b e r a l Movement i n E n g l i s h . L i t e r a t u r e . J . Murray, London. 1885. The chapter on 'The L i t e r a t u r e of A r t i f i c e ' i s a c r i t i c i s m of the too conscious a r t i s t r y of Swinburne and R o s s e t t i , Drinkwater, John. The O u t l i n e of L i t e r a t u r e , In Three Volumes. V o l . II and I I I , G, P. Putnam's Sons. New York. 1923, E l t o n , O l i v e r . A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e ^ 1780-1830, In Two Volumes, V o l , I I , Edward Arnold, London, 1920, E l t o n i s e s p e c i a l l y informative when d i s c u s s i n g Hunt's i n f l u e n c e on Keats, E l t o n , O l i v e r . A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1830-1880, In Two Volumes. Vol, I I . Edward Arnold, London, 1927, Heine, H e i n r i c h , 'Die Romantische Schule*, Samtliche  Werke. 7 Band, L e i p z i g , 1910., Legouis, Emile and Cazamian;, Louis, A H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , J , M, Dent and Sonsj,, Ltd. London, 1930, This was not p a r t i c u l a r i l y u s e f u l f o r the purposes of t h i s essay, Cazamian stres s e s overmuch the sensuous-ness of Keats' poetry. He f i n d s i n symbolism the key to. a l l R o s s e t t i ' s work. Pater, Walter H„ 'Romanticism', Macmillan's Magazine. May, V o l . 35. " London, 64 et seq. P i e r c e , F r e d e r i c k . Currents and Eddies i n the E n g l i s h Rom- a n t i c Generation. Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press. New Haven, 1918. Powell, A. E. The Romantic Theory of Poetry, Edward Ar n o l d and Co, London. 1926. walker, Hugh, The L i t e r a t u r e of the V i c t o r i a n E ra. The U n i v e r s i t y Press. Cambridge, 1913, This contains an e x c e l l e n t b r i e f account of the i n f l u e n c e s on R o s s e t t i ' s work and of the q u a l i t i e s and weaknesses of h i s 'untrammelled art*» 2, Keats and Hunt, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. fThe Cockney School of Poetry, No, IV*„ V o l , I I I . A p r i l to September, 1818, William Blackwood, Edinburgh. 1818. 519-524, This b i a s e d and abusive review of Endymion assumes that * Johnny Keats' i s merely an i m i t a t o r of Hunt, Bradley, Andrew C e c i l , Oxford Lectures on Poetry. 'The L e t t e r s of Keats', Macmillan and co., l i m i t e d , London. 190,9, This e x c e l l e n t study analyzes Keats' character, i d e a l s , and ambitions, as revealed i n h i s l e t t e r s . B r i d g e s , Robert, C o l l e c t e d Essays Papers e t c . of Robert  Bridges . V o l , IV, *A C r i t i c a l I n t roduction to " Keats*, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press. London. 1929, C o l v i n , Sidney, John Keatss His L i f e and Poetry, His Fri e n d s , Critics» and After-Fame, Second Editions Macmillan and Co., Ltd, London, 1918, This i s the best biography of Keats, Some of the c r i t i c i s m s of h i s poetry are va l u a b l e . 95 Erlande, A l b e r t . The L i f e of John Keats. Preface by J , Middleton Murry. Translated from the French by Marion Robinson, Jonathan Cape. London* 1929, Fausset, Hugh I'Anson. Keats A Study i n Development, M a r t i n Seeker, London, 1922. This i s an i n t e r e s t i n g study of the development of Keats* powers as a poet 0 Lowell, Amy, John Keats, In Two Volumes, Jonathan Cape, London, 1925, This biography recounts i n v i v i d d e t a i l the events of Keats' l i f e . M a c k a i l , J , ¥, Lectures on Poetry, 'Keats*, Longmans s Green and CoT, iiondon, l y i x , M a c kail pays a t r i b u t e to Keats' poetry, which,he says a needs no apology, Monkhouse, Cosmo. L i f e of Leigh Hunt, Walter Scott, London, 1893, Moult, Thomas. '.John Keats and the Poetry of our Day*, The F o r t n i g h t l y Review. V o l , CIX, February, 1921, Chapman and H a l l , L td, London, 1921, This a r t i c l e c o n t r a s t s K e a t s i a n a e s t h e t i c s with the modern poet's tendency to p h i l o s o p h i z e , Murry, John Middleton, Keats and Shakespeare, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press. Humphrey M i l f o r d . London, 1926. John Middleton Murry f i n d s that Keats, l i k e Shakespeare^ was a epure poet', Murry, John Middleton, Studies i n Keats, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, London, 1930, This contains some o r i g i n a l c r i t i c i s m of various poems and a d i s c u s s i o n of some aspects of Keats* work. The Q u a r t e r l y Review. 'Endymion, A P o e t i c a l Romance, by John Keats', V o l , XIX, A p r i l to November, 1818, John Murray. London. 1818, 2 S a i t o , Takeshi, Keats' View of Poetry, Cobden-Sanderson, London, 1929, This study, by a Japanese professor of E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e s i s very Valuable, although uneven. van Doren, Mark. 'John Keats, 1821-1921'. The Nation. V o l . 112. February, 1921. The Nation, Inc. New York. 292 et seq. 3„ ffiossetti. Benson, Arthur C R o s s e t t i , E n g l i s h Men of L e t t e r s Series., Macmillan and Co. L t d . London,, 1904. This i s an e x c e l l e n t study of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e and work, Buchanan 9 Robert, The F l e s h l y School of Poetry and ohher phenomena of the day. Strahan and Go. London. 1872, (from a r t i c l e by * Thomas M a i t l a n d ' 9 Contemporary Review, October, 1871,) Buchanan's a r t i c l e , l a t e r published i n book form, attacks R o s s e t t i ' s sensuousness and c l a s s e s him w i t h the French decadents. Caine, T. H a l l . R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Dante G a b r i e l Rossettio E l l i o t Stock. London, 1882. H a l l Caine's r e c o l l e c t i o n s supplement those of W i l l i a m Michael R o s s e t t i . Although favourable i n the main to R o s s e t t i , they r e v e a l the morbid i n t r o s p e c t i v e side of h i s character, M i l n e r , George, 'On Some M a r g i n a l i a Made by Dante G„ R o s s e t t i i n a Copy of Keats' Poems,8 E n g l i s c h e Studien a 61 Band, 0, R, R e i s l e n d , L e i p z i g . 1926/27. 211-219, The M a r g i n a l i a supply valuable evidence of R o s s e t t i ' s love f o r and study of Keats* poetry,, R o s s e t t i , Dante G a b r i e l , 'The S t e a l t h y School of C r i t i c i s m ' * The Athenaeum, December 16, 1871. London. 1871, 792-794. R o s s e t t i defends The House of L i f e against Buchanan's anonymous attacko Shine, H i l l . 'The Influence of Keats on R o s s e t t i * . Englische  Studien, 61 Band, 0, R. Reisland, L e i p z i g , 1926/27^ 183-210. This a r t i c l e f i n d s d e f i n i t e F t e x t u a l evidence of the i n f l u e n c e of Keats on. R o s s e t t i , Swinburne, Algernon Charles. The Complete Works of Swinburne, ed. S i r Edmund Gosse and Thomas V, Wise. V o l , V. W i l l i a m Heinemann Ltd, London, 1926. Swinburne, Algernon Charles, Under the Microscopea D,. White, London, 1872, Swinburne's defence of the cause of 'The F l e s h l y School 8 i s o b v i o u s l y b i a s e d . Watts, Theodore, 'The Truth About R o s s e t t i ' , The Nineteenth » Century. V o l . X I I I , Jan.-June, 1883. Kegan, Paul, Trench & co, London. 4©4-4?50 This very favourable study of R o s s e t t i * s genius f i n d i n h i s love of the mysticism of the Middle Ages a form of escape from the m a t e r i a l i s m of h i s time. Winwar, Prances. Poor Splendid Wings The R o s s e t t i s and t h e i r  C i r c l e , L i t t l e , Brown and Co, Boston, 1933, This study of the Pre-Raphaelties i s v i v i d and in f o r m a l . In t h i s respect i t resembles Amy Lowell's l i f e of Keats, Woodberry, George Edward, Studies of a L i t t e r a t e u r , *A L i t e r a r y P o r t r a i t of R o s s e t t i ' , Harcourt, Brace and Co, New York. 1921. This i s a very complete and unbiased study of R o s s e t t i ' s a e s t h e t i c i s m . 

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