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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

After Dark Vapours Have Oppressed Our Plains

John Keats (1795–1821)

AFTER dark vapours have oppressed our plains

For a long dreary season, comes a day

Born of the gentle South, and clears away

From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.

The anxious month, relievèd of its pains,

Takes as a long-lost right the feel of May;

The eyelids with the passing coolness play,

Like rose leaves with the drip of summer rains.

The calmest thoughts come round us—as of leaves

Budding,—fruit ripening in stillness,—autumn suns

Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves,—

Sweet Sappho’s cheek;—a smiling infant’s breath,—

The gradual sand that through an hour-glass runs,—

A woodland rivulet, a Poet’s death.