John Keats

Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil

A Story from Boccaccio

And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
And she forgot the dells where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;
She had no knowledge when the day was done,
And the new morn she saw not: but in peace
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore,
And moisten'd it with tears unto the core.

And so she ever fed it with thin tears,
Whence thick, and green, and beautiful it grew,
So that it smelt more balmy than its peers
Of Basil-tufts in Florence; for it drew
Nurture besides, and life, from human fears,
From the fast mouldering head there shut from view:
So that the jewel, safely casketed,
Came forth, and in perfumed leafits spread.

O Melancholy, linger here awhile!
O Music, Music, breathe despondingly!
O Echo, Echo, from some sombre isle,
Unknown, Lethean, sigh to us—O sigh!
Spirits in grief, lift up your heads, and smile;
Lift up your heads, sweet Spirits, heavily,
And make a pale light in your cypress glooms,
Tinting with silver wan your marble tombs.

Lines 417- 440

  1. Works

  2. To Autumn
  3. Bright Star
  4. Chapman's Homer
  5. Endymion
  6. The Eve of St. Agnes
  7. The Eve of St. Mark
  8. Ode to a Nightingale
  9. Isabella
  10. Lamia
  11. La Belle Dame Sans Merci
  12. Ode on a Grecian Urn
  13. Ode on Indolence
  14. Ode on Melancholy
  15. Ode to Psyche
  16. O Solitude!
  17. Keats's Last Letter