Keats' Poems By John Keats Lamia

    As men talk in a dream, so Corinth all,
  Throughout her palaces imperial,
  And all her populous streets and temples lewd,
  Mutter'd, like tempest in the distance brew'd,
  To the wide-spreaded night above her towers.
  Men, women, rich and poor, in the cool hours,
  Shuffled their sandals o'er the pavement white,
  Companion'd or alone; while many a light
  Flared, here and there, from wealthy festivals,
  And threw their moving shadows on the walls,
  Or found them cluster'd in the corniced shade
  Of some arch'd temple door, or dusky colonnade.

    Muffling his face, of greeting friends in fear,
  Her fingers he press'd hard, as one came near
  With curl'd gray beard, sharp eyes, and smooth bald crown,
  Slow-stepp'd, and robed in philosophic gown:
  Lycius shrank closer, as they met and past,
  Into his mantle, adding wings to haste,
  While hurried Lamia trembled: "Ah," said he,
  "Why do you shudder, love, so ruefully?
  Why does your tender palm dissolve in dew?" —
  "I'm wearied," said fair Lamia: "tell me who
  Is that old man? I cannot bring to mind
  His features: — Lycius! wherefore did you blind
  Yourself from his quick eyes?" Lycius replied,
  "'Tis Apollonius sage, my trusty guide
  And good instructor; but to-night he seems
  The ghost of folly haunting my sweet dreams."

    While yet he spake they had arrived before
  A pillar'd porch, with lofty portal door,
  Where hung a silver lamp, whose phosphor glow
  Reflected in the slabbed steps below,
  Mild as a star in water; for so new,
  And so unsullied was the marble hue,
  So through the crystal polish, liquid fine,
  Ran the dark veins, that none but feet divine
  Could e'er have touch'd there. Sounds AEolian
  Breath'd from the hinges, as the ample span
  Of the wide doors disclos'd a place unknown
  Some time to any, but those two alone,
  And a few Persian mutes, who that same year
  Were seen about the markets: none knew where
  They could inhabit; the most curious
  Were foil'd, who watch'd to trace them to their house:
  And but the flitter-winged verse must tell,
  For truth's sake, what woe afterwards befel,
  'Twould humour many a heart to leave them thus,
  Shut from the busy world of more incredulous.

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