On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer
Time Period: 1795-1821
by John Keats
(meaning a translation of Homer’s works by George Chapman, a contemporary of Shakespeare)
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 I felt I like some watcher of the skies
When I 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.