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John Keats' Hyperion

John Keats' Hyperion

The opening page of the manuscript of Keats's epic fragment, `Hyperion',. Add. MS 37000, f.1
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Keats began his epic fragment `Hyperion' in 1818 but it was not published until 1820. This first version of the poem is concerned, like so much of Keats' writing, with the nature of poetry and the development of the poet, distilled through an allegorical tale of ancient gods. Although this was planned as Keats' greatest and most ambitious work, it was never finished.

Below is a transcription of the beginning of the poem after correction:

Hyperion Book 1st

Deep in the shady sadness of a Vale,
Far sunken from the healthy breath of Morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and Eve's one star,
Sat grey hair'd Saturn quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his Lair.
Forest on forest hung above his head,
Like Cloud on Cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not at all the dandelion's fleece:
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.


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