Hyperion "The Same Bright, Patient Stars"

John Keats

"The Same Bright, Patient Stars"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Hyperion is an account of the overthrow of the old gods, the Titans, by Zeus, or Jupiter, and his brothers and sisters, the younger gods. The king among the Titans was Cronus, here called by his Roman name, Saturn. The opening scene is one of absolute stillness; beside a river lies the giant body of the monarch Saturn, deposed from his throne as ruler of the world by his own children. There has been bitter war, and the fallen king is stunned by his defeat. He is visited by Thea, wife of the sun-god Hyperion; she tries to comfort him in his misery. He wonders why he cannot create a new world to rule, and Thea leads him away to where the other gods lie. Meanwhile, one Titan who had not been deposed, Hyperion, has been busy conducting the sun across the heavens. He finishes his journey and enters his great golden palace in the sky. He is in a rage at what has happened to his fellow Titans and wonders if he too will be removed from his office and driven from his home. His mother, Coelus, attempts to comfort him and tells him to consult with Saturn down on earth. Hyperion, heeding her words, arises and looks at the stars–the same bright patient stars–and plunges into the night.

Ere half this region-whisper had come down,
Hyperion arose, and on the stars
Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide
Until it ceased; and still he kept them wide:
And still they were the same bright, patient stars.
Then with a slow incline of his broad breast,
Like to a diver in the pearly seas,
Forward he stooped over the airy shore,
And plunged all noiseless into the deep night.