On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again

Original Text: 
Richard Monckton Milnes, Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats (New York: Putnam, 1848). PR 4836 A4 1848 ROBA
2      Fair plumed Syren! Queen of far away!
3      Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
4Shut up thine olden pages, and be mute:
5Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute,
6      Betwixt damnation and impassion'd clay
7      Must I burn through; once more humbly assay
8The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearian fruit.
9Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
10      Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
11When through the old oak forest I am gone,
12      Let me not wander in a barren dream,
13But when I am consumed in the fire,
14Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.


1] golden-tongued Romance. The meaning and identification is uncertain. Keats may be contrasting poetic romance and poetic tragedy in general in the sonnet; he may be thinking particularly of The Faerie Queene and King Lear; or in putting aside romance, he may have in mind, to some degree, his own Endymion: A Poetic Romance which he was revising for the press at this time. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.622.