1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Keats

H. D., "Stanzas to the Memory of Mr. Keats, the poet, who died at Rome on this day twelvemonth" Imperial Magazine 4 (August 1822) 735.



Another knell has rung to-day,
And call'd another mortal home;
A flower which bloom'd but to decay,
And wither in "Imperial Rome."
A flow'r which might have been the pride
Of many a Briton's son and daughter,
Is gone for aye, — 'twas he who cried,
"O let my name be writ in water."

Say, saw ye not the sparkling lyre,
By airy hands unstrung?
And heard ye not the notes expire,
And melt into a funeral song?
Oh! 'twas a song of grief and woe,
Unlike the odes of reeking slaughter,
It sang of him that's now laid low,
Who'd fain have writ his name in water.

He ask'd a grave, and that was all,
No marbled monument or bust,
Then fell to earth, as roses fall,
That mix their sweetness with the dust.
Tho' many keep pursuing Fame,
Few, very few have ever caught her,
Yet with that few let Keats's name,
Be found, at last — not writ in water.
Feb. 23d. 1822.