Fragment Of “The Castle Builder.”

Fragment Of “The Castle Builder.”

by John Keats

Fragment Of "The Castle Builder."


To-night I’ll have my friar, let me think

About my room, I’ll have it in the pink;

It should be rich and sombre, and the moon,

Just in its mid-life in the midst of June,

Should look thro’ four large windows and display

Clear, but for gold-fish vases in the way,

Their glassy diamonding on Turkish floor;

The tapers keep aside, an hour and more,

To see what else the moon alone can show;

While the night-breeze doth softly let us know

My terrace is well bower’d with oranges.

Upon the floor the dullest spirit sees

A guitar-ribband and a lady’s glove

Beside a crumple-leaved tale of love;

A tambour-frame, with Venus sleeping there,

All finish’d but some ringlets of her hair;

A viol, bow-strings torn, cross-wise upon

A glorious folio of Anacreon;

A skull upon a mat of roses lying,

Ink’d purple with a song concerning dying;

An hour-glass on the turn, amid the trails

Of passion-flower; just in time there sails

A cloud across the moon, the lights bring in!

And see what more my phantasy can win.

It is a gorgeous room, but somewhat sad;

The draperies are so, as tho’ they had

Been made for Cleopatra’s winding-sheet;

And opposite the stedfast eye doth meet

A spacious looking-glass, upon whose face,

In letters raven-sombre, you may trace

Old “Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin.”

Greek busts and statuary have ever been

Held, by the finest spirits, fitter far

Than vase grotesque and Siamesian jar;

Therefore ’tis sure a want of Attic taste

That I should rather love a Gothic waste

Of eyesight on cinque-coloured potter’s clay,

Than on the marble fairness of old Greece.

My table-coverlits of Jason’s fleece

And black Numidian sheep-wool should be wrought,

Gold, black, and heavy, from the Lama brought.

My ebon sofas should delicious be

With down from Leda’s cygnet progeny.

My pictures all Salvator’s, save a few

Of Titian’s portraiture, and one, though new,

Of Haydon’s in its fresh magnificence.

My wine, O good! ’tis here at my desire,

And I must sit to supper with my friar.


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