Much have I traveled 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 never did I 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.
John Keats - 1795-1821
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles
Haydon! Forgive me, that I cannot speak Definitively on these mighty things; Forgive me that I have not Eagle's wings— That what I want I know not where to seek: And think that I would not be over meek In rolling out upfollow'd thunderings, Even to the steep of Helciconian springs, Were I of ample strength for such a freak— Think too that all those numbers should be thine; Whose else? In this who touch thy vesture's hem? For when men star'd at what was most divine With browless idiotism—o'erwise phlegm— Thou hadst beheld the Hesperean shine Of their star in the East, and gone to worship them.