To One who has been Long in City Pent. Four Poems by John Keats

Song Cycle by Ronald A. Beckett

Word count: 691

1. To one who has been long in city pent [sung text not yet checked]

To one who has been long in city pent,
 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
 And open face of heaven, -- to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with hearts content,
 Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
 Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
 Catching the notes of Philomel, -- an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
 He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
 That falls through the clear ether silently.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Per chi molto tempo restò nelle città rinchiuso", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer [sung text not yet checked]

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
  And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
  Round many western islands have I been,
  Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
  That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
  Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
  Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
  When a new planet swims into his ken;
  Or like stout Cortes when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific — and all his men
  Looked at each other with a wild surmise —
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Authorship

Confirmed with The Book of the Sonnet, ed. by Leigh Hunt and S. Adams Lee, London, Sampson Low, Son, & Marston, 1867.

Note included in the above edition, line 12: “Stared” has been thought by some too violent, but it is precisely the word required by the occasion. The Spaniard was too original and ardent a man either to look, or to affect to look, coldly superior to it. His “eagle eyes” are from life, as may be seen by Titian’s portrait of him.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Bright star [sung text not yet checked]

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite

The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains, and the moors -

No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

First published in Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal, September 1838, headed "Sonnet"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. A song about myself [sung text not yet checked]

There was a naughty boy,
  A naughty boy was he,
He would not stop at home,
  He could not quiet be --
    He took
    In his knapsack
    A book
    Full of vowels
    And a shirt
    With some towels,
    A slight cap
    For night cap,
    A hair brush,
    Comb ditto,
    New stockings
    For old ones
    Would split O!
    This knapsack
    Tight at's back
    He rivetted close
  And followed his nose
    To the north,
    To the north,
  And follow'd his nose
    To the north.

There was a naughty boy
  And a naughty boy was he,
For nothing would he do
  But scribble poetry --
    He took
    An ink stand
    In his hand
    And a pen
    Big as ten
    In the other,
    And away
    In a pother
    He ran
    To the mountains
    And fountains
    And ghostes
    And postes
    And witches
    And ditches
    And wrote
    In his coat
    When the weather
    Was cool,
    Fear of gout,
    And without
    When the weather
    Was warm --
    Och the charm
    When we choose
  To follow one's nose
    To the north,
    To the north,
  To follow one's nose
    To the north!

There was a naughty boy
  And a naughty boy was he,
He kept little fishes
  In washing tubs three
    In spite
    Of the might
    Of the maid
    Nor afraid
    Of his Granny-good --
    He often would
    Hurly burly
    Get up early
    And go
    By hook or crook
    To the brook
    And bring home
    Miller's thumb,
    Tittlebat
    Not over fat,
    Minnows small
    As the stall
    Of a glove,
    Not above
    The size
    Of a nice
    Little baby's
    Little fingers --
    O he made
    'Twas his trade
  Of fish a pretty kettle
    A kettle --
    A kettle
  Of fish a pretty kettle
    A kettle!

There was a naughty boy,
  And a naughty boy was he,
He ran away to Scotland
  The people for to see --
    There he found
    That the ground
    Was as hard,
    That a yard
    Was as long,
    That a song
    Was as merry,
    That a cherry
    Was as red,
    That lead
    Was as weighty,
    That fourscore
    Was as eighty,
    That a door
    Was as wooden
    As in England --
  So he stood in his shoes
    And he wonder'd,
    He wonder'd,
  He stood in his
    Shoes and he wonder'd.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]