The Poetical Works of John Keats/A Spenserian Stanza

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A SPENSERIAN STANZA.[1]

"In after-time, a sage of mickle lore
Yclep'd Typographus, the Giant took,
And did refit his limbs as heretofore,
And made him read in many a learned book,
And into many a lively legend look;
Thereby in goodly themes so training him,
That all his brutishness he quite forsook,
When, meeting Artegall and Talus grim,
The one he struck stone-blind, the other's eyes wox dim."


  1. Lord Houghton explains this effusion as follows:—"The copy of 'Spenser' which Keats had in daily use, contains the following stanza, inserted at the close of Canto ii. Book v. His sympathies were very much on the side of the revolutionary 'Gyant.' who 'undertook for to repair' the 'realms of nations run awry,' and to suppress 'tyrants that make men subject to their law,' 'and lordings curbe that commons over-aw,' while he grudged the legitimate victory, as he rejected the conservative philosophy, of the 'righteous Artegall' and his comrade, the fierce defender of privilege and order. And he expressed, in this ex post facto prophecy, his ronviction of the ultimate triumph of freedom and equality by the power of transmitted knowledge."