This is part of the web site of Shakespeare's sonnets

Below is a portrait of John Keats. His sonnet, 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer' links in with Shakespeare's Sonnet 86, as Chapman, who translated The Iliad, is thought by many to be the rival poet.







  Portrait of John Keats.

This and other portraits are available on the Keats web site which is well worth a visit




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General notes

Sonnets 1 - 50

Sonnets 51 - 100

Sonnets 101 - 154

text facsimiles


 On first looking into Chapman's Homer.


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 Cortez, 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.

 realms of gold = places of legend.

in fealty to = under the lordship of.

demesne = kingdom.

serene - used here as a noun. = serenity.

Cortez - one of the Spanish Conquistadores, 1485-1554.

Darien - A peak in Panama.  

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