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.
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.
- by John Keats (1795 - 1821), "On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ronald A. Beckett , "On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer", 2013, from To One who has been Long in City Pent. Four Poems by John Keats, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2020-04-15
Line count: 14
Word count: 113