KEATS FINALES HYPERION AND THE EVE OF SAINT -- CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION . 9 BOOK 111 continued PAGE The Vision of Apollo and
the Fall of Hyperion. Apollo gains the Sun, . 5 BOOK IV The
Investiture of the Muses. The Sun Gods Prophecy . 35 BOOK V The
Titanomachia . 54 BOOK V1 The Wanderings of the Moon . 84 BOOK V11
Hyperions Deposition and the Golden Age . . 101 THE EVE OF SAINT
MARK. - 133 EPILOGUE . 157 INTRODUCTION To Keats, . . . whose free
soul stood, Up to the chin in the Pierian flood. Hero and Leander.
THE author of these Finales is not unaware how much excuse it is
necessary to offer to the public for any attempt to complete Keats.
Such he had to make to himself before the work was begun. Shelleys
caution in the Preface of his Prometheus Unboztnd reAinded him of
the high comparison such an attempt would challenge and if the
stringing of the bow of Ulysses was not to be undertaken without
misgiving and doubt, it was yet not without the conjecture as to
whether a mark might not be hit which no man yet has struck. The
objections will come mainly from the sentimentalist and the
hyper-critic. The first will find many good reasons doubtless, but
the superscription of the poem will predetermine the others
judgment. Both these classes belong in general to an older school
there is a younger generation of men to whom the facts of Keats
life are as remote almost as the age of Shakespeare, and to this
freed class the author looks and belongs, reverential to the poets
memory on this side idolatry, but endeavouring to retain that sense
of coldness and abstraction so necessary in the right pursuit of
any art. This is perhaps the first essay to complete these splendid
fragments, but by no meansthe first Finales made to unfinished
works. Illustrious precedent can be claimed, in Chapman conclud-
ing Marlowes incomparable Hero and Leander, Spenser accomplishing
Chaucers story left half told, and the Shakespearean dramatists too
fre- quently revising and recasting each others plays. To go much
further back, there was an ancient poet of Smyrna of repute who
composed Con- tinuations to Homer. These examples are sufficient to
prove that it cannot be disrespectful or profane to try to com-
plete Keats fragments. That it is wise or even safe may be
questioned, but at least the pioneer is in good company. In
conclusion, Keats own words can be cited. Speaking of the story of
the imagined death of Ulysses, as related by Dante, he said that he
would receive as authentic anything told in addition or
continuation of an ancient tale, and would be glad to have more
news of Ulysses than looked for- Me digno a cib, io ne altri l
crede. That the continuer of the Fall of Hyperion is not Dante,
doubtless alters the situation, but the noble words can be
extended, and for this charitable extension the author asks. The
enthusiastic reception given by the discern- ing public to recent
publications concerning Keats made hopeful indications to the
author that a fair hearing may be accorded his own work and if
there are any interested to-day in the Wars of the Gods and the
Giants, and can endure a fresh hand on a great theme, for them this
book is written and to them this preface specially addressed. These
Finales, as here given, were written and publication started in
1914. Since then the number of books has been added to and the poem
differently arranged. The intervening books will be put before
thepublic later, should the reception of these warrant it...
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