Tuesday, February 26, 2008
John Keats was buried on this day in 1821 in Rome, beneath his famous self-written epitaph: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” Keats took the line from Beaumont & Fletcher’s 1610 play Philaster, or Love Lies-Ableeding, in which the unreliable King, who is considering executing his own daughter, is warned that “all your better deeds / Shall be in water writ, but this in marble.” Keats remains among my favorite poets with Endymion and the Odes among those poems to which I return with regularity.
A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
The music of Keat's words never fails to transport me to another world of "sweet dreams, and quiet breathing".