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John Keats : On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
	And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
	Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo1 hold.
Oft, of one wide expanse had I been told
	That deep-brow'd Homer2 ruled as his demesne;
	Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman3 speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
	When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez4 when with eagle eyes
	He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
	Silent, upon a peak in Darien5. 

John Keats (1795-1821)	1817

 
FOOTNOTES
1Greek God, closely associated with music and poetry; 2famous epic poet of ancient Greece; the Iliad and the Odyssey are generally attributed to him; 3George Chapman, Elisabethan poet and dramatist who published his completed translations of Homer; 4Keats actually meant Balboa, the first European to see the Pacific; 5in Panama
 

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