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19. Aug 2005

Realm of Fancy

Ever let the Fancy roam,   
Pleasure never is at home:   
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,   
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;   
Then let winged Fancy wander         
Through the thought still spread beyond her:   
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,   
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.   
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;   
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,         
And the enjoying of the Spring   
Fades as does its blossoming;   
Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,   
Blushing through the mist and dew,   
Cloys with tasting: What do then?          
Sit thee by the ingle, when   
The sear faggot blazes bright,   
Spirit of a winter’s night;   
When the soundless earth is muffled,   
And the caked snow is shuffled          
From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon;   
When the Night doth meet the Noon   
In a dark conspiracy   
To banish Even from her sky.   
Sit thee there, and send abroad,         
With a mind self-overaw’d,   
Fancy, high-commission’d:—send her!   
She has vassals to attend her:   
She will bring, in spite of frost,   
Beauties that the earth hath lost;         
She will bring thee, all together,   
All delights of summer weather;   
All the buds and bells of May,   
From dewy sward or thorny spray;   
All the heaped Autumn’s wealth,        
With a still, mysterious stealth:   
She will mix these pleasures up   
Like three fit wines in a cup,   
And thou shalt quaff it:—thou shalt hear   
Distant harvest-carols clear;          
Rustle of the reaped corn;   
Sweet birds antheming the morn:   
And, in the same moment—hark!   
’Tis the early April lark,   
Or the rooks, with busy caw,         
Foraging for sticks and straw.   
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold   
The daisy and the marigold;   
White-plum’d lilies, and the first   
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;         
Shaded hyacinth, alway   
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;   
And every leaf, and every flower   
Pearled with the self-same shower.   
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep       
Meagre from its celled sleep;   
And the snake all winter-thin   
Cast on sunny bank its skin;   
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see   
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,          
When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest   
Quiet on her mossy nest;   
Then the hurry and alarm   
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;   
Acorns ripe down-pattering,          
While the autumn breezes sing.   
Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;   
Every thing is spoilt by use:   
Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,   
Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid           
Whose lip mature is ever new?   
Where’s the eye, however blue,   
Doth not weary? Where’s the face   
One would meet in every place?   
Where’s the voice, however soft,           
One would hear so very oft?   
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth   
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.   
Let, then, winged Fancy find   
Thee a mistress to thy mind:           
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres’ daughter,   
Ere the God of Torment taught her   
How to frown and how to chide;   
With a waist and with a side   
White as Hebe’s, when her zone           
Slipt its golden clasp, and down   
Fell her kirtle to her feet,   
While she held the goblet sweet,   
And Jove grew languid.—Break the mesh   
Of the Fancy’s silken leash;           
Quickly break her prison-string   
And such joys as these she’ll bring.—   
Let the winged Fancy roam,   
Pleasure never is at home.   
John Keats (1795-1821)  
John Keats var en af den engelske romantiks allerstørste digtere, et helt usædvanligt digterisk og sprogligt geni, som desværre døde af tuberkulose kort efter, at han for alvor syntes at have fundet sin form og sit format.

Mange af hans digte er forholdsvis vanskelige, men en perle som denne har den dobbelte fordel at være både smuk og forholdsvis let tilgængelig.