Production Photos from
John Keats’ Endymion,
Photos by Tim Fuller
Preshow music with Harlan Hokin, Michael Henderson,
Robert Villa and Paul Amiel
Be still the unimaginable lodge
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
Conception to the very bourne of heaven,
Then leave the naked brain; be still the leaven,
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
Gives it a touch ethereal—a new birth.
O magic sleep! O comfortable bird,
That broodest o’er the troubled sea of the mind
Till it is hushed and smooth!
But woe is me, I am but as a child
To gladden thee; and all I dare to say,
Is, that I pity thee; that on this day
I’ve been thy guide; that thou must wander far
In other regions, past the scanty bar
To mortal steps, before thou canst be ta’en
From every wasting sigh, from every pain,
Into the gentle bosom of thy love.
Lo! this is he,
That same Adonis, safe in the privacy
Of this still region all his winter-sleep.
Ay, sleep; for when our love-sick queen did weep
Over his wanèd corse, the tremulous shower
Healed up the wound, and, with a balmy power,
Medicined death to a lengthened drowsiness:
The which she fills with visions, and doth dress
In all this quiet luxury; and hath set
Us young immortals, without any let,
To watch his slumber through.
What can I do, Alpheus? Dian stands
Severe before me. Persecuting fate!
Unhappy Arethusa! thou wast late
A huntress free in— At this, sudden fell
Those two sad streams adown a fearful dell.
The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent.
Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast;
And there, ere many days be overpassed,
Disabled age shall seize thee; and even then
Thou shalt not go the way of agèd men;
But live and wither, cripple and still breathe
Ten hundred years—which gone, I then bequeath
Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
Moreover, and in chief,
He must pursue this task of joy and grief
Most piously; —all lovers tempest-tost,
And in the savage overwhelming lost,
He shall deposit side by side.
Which done, and all these labors ripened,
A youth, by heavenly power lov’d and led,
Shall stand before him; whom he shall direct
How to consummate all.
Glaucus and Scylla reunited
Were I given
To utter secrets, haply I might say
Some pleasant words: —but Love will have his day.
So wait awhile expectant.
Why must such desolation betide
As thou speak’st of? Are not these green nooks
Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks
Utter a gorgon voice? Does yonder thrush,
Schooling its half-fledg’d little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tales?—
Speak not of grief, young stranger.
Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
Your lutes and gentler fate?—
We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing,
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide—
Come hither, lady fair, and joinèd be
To our wild minstrelsy!
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.