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

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles

John Keats (1795–1821)

MY spirit is too weak—mortality

Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,

And each imagin’d pinnacle and steep

Of godlike hardship tells me I must die

Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.

Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep,

Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye.

Such dim-conceivèd glories of the brain

Bring round the heart an undescribable feud;

So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,

That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude

Wasting of old Time—with a billowy main—

A sun—a shadow of a magnitude.