, like most of his contemporaries, knew Homer
through the translations of Alexander Pope
. Much Elizabethan
had not been reprinted, and was therefore hard to come by.
, a friend and former tutor, had managed to borrow a 1616 folio of George Chapman
translation of Homer through Leigh Hunt
. Keats and Clarke pored
over the calf-skin folio until dawn, rereading favorite passages,
amazed at how Chapman's translation brought the stories to new life.
When Keats got home, he wrote this sonnet
, and then sent a copy by
messenger to Clarke, who found it on his table when he came down to
a few hours later.
Incidently, none of Keats' contemporaries noticed the historical error.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
was the first to point out that it was Balboa
and not Cortez
, who was the first European to discover the Pacific