Poem – Dawlish Fair – John Keats

Over the hill and over the dale, 

And over the bourn to Dawlish– 

Where gingerbread wives have a scanty sale 

And gingerbread nuts are smallish. 

Rantipole Betty she ran down a hill 

And kicked up her petticoats fairly; 

Says I I’ll be Jack if you will be Gill– 

So she sat on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody coming, here’s somebody coming! 

Says I ’tis the wind at a parley; 

So without any fuss any hawing and humming 

She lay on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody here and here’s somebody there! 

Says I hold your tongue you young Gipsey; 

So she held her tongue and lay plump and fair 

And dead as a Venus tipsy. 
O who wouldn’t hie to Dawlish fair, 

O who wouldn’t stop in a Meadow, 

O who would not rumple the daisies there 

And make the wild fern for a bed do!

 

Poem – His Last Sonnet – John Keats

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! – 

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night, 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask 

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors – 

No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 

Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

Poem – An Extempore – John Keats

When they were come into Faery’s Court 

They rang — no one at home — all gone to sport 

And dance and kiss and love as faerys do 

For Faries be as human lovers true — 

Amid the woods they were so lone and wild 

Where even the Robin feels himself exil’d 

And where the very books as if affraid 

Hurry along to some less magic shade. 

‘No one at home’! the fretful princess cry’d 

‘And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride 

And all for nothing my new diamond cross 

No one to see my persian feathers toss 

No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool 

Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule. 

Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there 

Burst the door open, quick — or I declare 

I’ll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.’ 

The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape 

Star’d at the Fool, the Fool was all agape 

The Princess grasp’d her switch but just in time 

The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme. 

‘O mighty Princess did you ne’er hear tell 

What your poor servants know but too too well 

Know you the three great crimes in faery land 

The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand 

I made a whipstock of a faery’s wand 

The next is snoring in their company 

The next the last the direst of the three 

Is making free when they are not at home. 

I was a Prince — a baby prince — my doom 

You see, I made a whipstock of a wand 

My top has henceforth slept in faery land. 

He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince 

But he has never been a King’s son since 

He fell a snoring at a faery Ball 

Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing 

But ape — so pray your highness stay awhile 

‘Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow — 

Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow — 

While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite 

Peal’d the brown hazel twig to lilly white 

Clench’d her small teeth, and held her lips apart 

Try’d to look unconcerned with beating heart. 

They saw her highness had made up her mind 

And quaver’d like the reeds before the wind 

And they had had it, but O happy chance 

The Ape for very fear began to dance 

And grin’d as all his uglyness did ache– 

She staid her vixen fingers for his sake 

He was so very ugly: then she took 

Her pocket mirror and began to look 

First at herself and [then] at him and then 

She smil’d at her own beauteous face again. 

Yet for all this — for all her pretty face 

She took it in her head to see the place. 

Women gain little from experience 

Either in Lovers, husbands or expense. 

The more their beauty the more fortune too 

Beauty before the wide world never knew. 

So each fair reasons — tho’ it oft miscarries. 

She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries. 

‘My darling Ape I wont whip you today 

Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play.’ 

They all three wept but counsel was as vain 

As crying cup biddy to drops of rain. 

Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw 

The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw. 

The Princess took it and dismounting straight 

Trip’d in blue silver’d slippers to the gate 

And touch’d the wards, the Door full courteously 

Opened — she enter’d with her servants three. 

Again it clos’d and there was nothing seen 

But the Mule grasing on the herbage green. 

End of Canto xii. 
Canto the xiii. 

The Mule no sooner saw himself alone 

Than he prick’d up his Ears — and said ‘well done! 

At least unhappy Prince I may be free — 

No more a Princess shall side saddle me 

O King of Othaiete — tho’ a Mule 

‘Aye every inch a King’ — tho’ ‘Fortune’s fool.’ 

Well done — for by what Mr. Dwarfy said 

I would not give a sixpence for her head.’ 

Even as he spake he trotted in high glee 

To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree 

And rub’d his sides against the mossed bark 

Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark 

Except his Bridle — how get rid of that 

Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait. 

At last it struck him to pretend to sleep 

And then the thievish Monkies down would creep 

And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away. 

No sooner thought of than adown he lay 

Sham’d a good snore — the Monkey-men descended 

And whom they thought to injure they befriended. 

They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough 

And off he went run, trot, or anyhow–

Poem – A Galloway Song – John Keats

Ah! ken ye what I met the day 

Out oure the Mountains 

A coming down by craggi[e]s grey 

An mossie fountains — 

A[h] goud hair’d Marie yeve I pray 

Ane minute’s guessing — 

For that I met upon the way 

Is past expressing. 

As I stood where a rocky brig 

A torrent crosses 

I spied upon a misty rig 

A troup o’ Horses — 

And as they trotted down the glen 

I sped to meet them 

To see if I might know the Men 

To stop and greet them. 

First Willie on his sleek mare came 

At canting gallop — 

His long hair rustled like a flame 

On board a shallop. 

Then came his brother Rab and then 

Young Peggy’s Mither 

And Peggy too — adown the glen 

They went togither — 

I saw her wrappit in her hood 

Fra wind and raining — 

Her cheek was flush wi’ timid blood 

‘Twixt growth and waning — 

She turn’d her dazed head full oft 

For there her Brithers 

Came riding with her Bridegroom soft 

And mony ithers. 

Young Tam came up an’ eyed me quick 

With reddened cheek — 

Braw Tam was daffed like a chick — 

He coud na speak — 

Ah Marie they are all gane hame 

Through blustering weather 

An’ every heart is full on flame 

Ah! Marie they are all gone hame 

Fra happy wedding, 

Whilst I — Ah is it not a shame? 

Sad tears am shedding.

Poem – Celia – Alexander Pope.

Celia, we know, is sixty-five, 

Yet Celia’s face is seventeen; 

Thus winter in her breast must live, 

While summer in her face is seen. 
How cruel Celia’s fate, who hence 

Our heart’s devotion cannot try; 

Too pretty for our reverence, 

Too ancient for our gallantry!

Poem – Argus – Alexander Pope

When wise Ulysses, from his native coast 

Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss’d, 

Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone, 

To all his friends, and ev’n his Queen unknown, 

Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares, 

Furrow’d his rev’rend face, and white his hairs, 

In his own palace forc’d to ask his bread, 

Scorn’d by those slaves his former bounty fed, 

Forgot of all his own domestic crew, 

The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew! 
Unfed, unhous’d, neglected, on the clay 

Like an old servant now cashier’d, he lay; 

Touch’d with resentment of ungrateful man, 

And longing to behold his ancient lord again. 

Him when he saw he rose, and crawl’d to meet, 

(‘Twas all he could) and fawn’d and kiss’d his feet, 

Seiz’d with dumb joy; then falling by his side, 

Own’d his returning lord, look’d up, and died!

Poem – Farewell To London – Alexander Pope

Dear, damn’d distracting town, farewell! 

Thy fools no more I’ll tease: 

This year in peace, ye critics, dwell, 

Ye harlots, sleep at ease! 
Soft B– and rough C–s adieu, 

Earl Warwick made your moan, 

The lively H–k and you 

May knock up whores alone. 
To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d 

Till the third watchman’s toll; 

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde 

Save three-pence and his soul. 
Farewell, Arbuthnot’s raillery 

On every learned sot; 

And Garth, the best good Christian he, 

Although he knows it not. 
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go; 

Farewell, unhappy Tonson! 

Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe, 

Lean Philips, and fat Johnson. 
Why should I stay? Both parties rage; 

My vixen mistress squalls; 

The wits in envious feuds engage: 

And Homer (damn him!) calls. 
The love of arts lies cold and dead 

In Halifax’s urn: 

And not one Muse of all he fed 

Has yet the grace to mourn. 
My friends, by turns, my friends confound, 

Betray, and are betrayed: 

Poor Y–r’s sold for fifty pound, 

And B–ll is a jade. 
Why make I friendships with the great, 

When I no favour seek? 

Or follow girls, seven hours in eight? 

I us’d but once a week. 
Still idle, with a busy air, 

Deep whimsies to contrive; 

The gayest valetudinaire, 

Most thinking rake, alive. 
Solicitous for others’ ends, 

Though fond of dear repose; 

Careless or drowsy with my friends, 

And frolic with my foes. 
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 

For sober, studious days! 

And Burlington’s delicious meal, 

For salads, tarts, and pease! 
Adieu to all, but Gay alone, 

Whose soul, sincere and free, 

Loves all mankind, but flatters none, 

And so may starve with me.