Tuesday, February 23, 2010

John Keats

John Keats died in Rome on this day in 1821. Below is one my favorites among Keats' poems. The odes and other poems are truly great but this small, seemingly slight, poem moves me in ways that I am still trying to fathom.

I had a dove, and the sweet dove died
And I have thought it died of grieving;
O what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied
With a silken thread of my own hand’s weaving:
Sweet little red feet! why would you die?
Why would you leave me, sweet bird, why?
You liv’d alone on the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing, could you not live with me?
I kiss’d you oft, and gave you white pease;
Why not live sweetly as in the green trees?

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