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

The Feast of Dian

John Keats (1795–1821)

From ‘Endymion’, Book IV

WHO, who from Dian’s feast would be away?

For all the golden bowers of the day

Are empty left? Who, who away would be

From Cynthia’s wedding and festivity?

Not Hesperus: lo! upon his silver wings

He leans away for highest heaven and sings,

Snapping his lucid fingers merrily!—

Ah, Zephyrus! art here, and Flora too!

Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew,

Young playmates of the rose and daffodil,

Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill

Your baskets high

With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines,

Savory, latter-mint, and columbines,

Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme;

Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime,

All gather’d in the dewy morning: hie

Away! fly, fly!—

Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven,

Aquarius! to whom king Jove has given

Two liquid pulse streams ’stead of feather’d wings,

Two fan-like fountains,—thine illuminings

For Dian play:

Dissolve the frozen purity of air;

Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare

Shew cold through watery pinions; make more bright

The Star-Queen’s crescent on her marriage night:

Haste, haste away!—

Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see!

And of the Bear has Pollux mastery:

A third is in the race! who is the third,

Speeding away swift as the eagle bird?

The ramping Centaur!

The Lion’s mane on end: the Bear how fierce!

The Centaur’s arrow ready seems to pierce

Some enemy: far forth his bow is bent

Into the blue of heaven. He’ll be shent,

Pale unrelentor,

When he shall hear the wedding lutes a-playing.—

Andromeda! sweet woman! why delaying

So timidly among the stars: come hither!

Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither

They all are going.

Danae’s Son, before Jove newly bow’d,

Has wept for thee, calling to Jove aloud.

Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral:

Ye shall for ever live and love, for all

Thy tears are flowing.