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

On a Picture of Leander

John Keats (1795–1821)

COME hither all sweet maidens soberly,

Down-looking aye, and with a chastened light

Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white,

And meekly let your fair hands joinèd be,

As if so gentle that ye could not see,

Untouched, a victim of your beauty bright,

Sinking away to his young spirit’s night,

Sinking bewildered ’mid the dreary sea:

’Tis young Leander toiling to his death;

Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary lips

For Hero’s cheek, and smiles against her smile.

O horrid dream! see how his body dips

Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile:

He’s gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath!