634. On first looking into Chapman's Homer

John Keats. 1795-1821

MUCH have I travell'd 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-brow'd 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
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition