1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Keats

G. Y. H., "On the Death of John Keats" 1826; Imperial Magazine 9 (November 1827) 1046.



Hast thou never heard the Poet's nightingale
Chant her sweet music in the midnight hour,—
Notes of unearthly tone, and magic power,
And in a bright enchantment wrap the vale?—
When to her nest a loathsome adder crept,
And crush'd in death the bird of Poesy;
As ceased her meekest moan to dim the eye,
And all grew dreary silent where she wept.—
So the bright bard, denied a fleeting name,
Unstrung his harp, and spurn'd his deathless song,
Died of deep grief, for undeserved wrong,
And left to worthless men his living fame:
Tears were his theme, but grief, that knows no tear,
Veil'd his young eyes, and clos'd his brief career!
June 5th, 1826.