5 JULY 1884, Page 31

The Works of John Keats. Edited by Harry Buxton Forman.

(Reeves and Turner.)—" The text and arrangement of the present edition of Keats' poetry," writes Mr. Forman in his preface, "are those of the library edition which has recently been published." " His principle," he goes on to tell us, "has been to gather together every- thing he could End from the hand of the poet." This is a principle from which we are inclined to dissent. What a poet has deliberately left unpublished should be so left. Of course, in Keats's case there is a difficulty. His early death leaves us sometimes in doubt what he approved of. But there are some things about which the proper course seems tolerably clear. The cancelled passages in " Endymion," for instance, should have been left alone. The poet rejected them, and it seems nothing less than presumption to drag them into the light. The case here is plain ; but there are other matters in which there is room for doubt—the alternative version of " Hyperion," for instance. Putting this question aside, Mr. Forman's handy one-volume edition is all that could be wished. The portrait is not the most characteristic of the poet that we have seen.