The Letters of John Keats

By John Keats; Maurice Buxton Forman | Go to book overview

27. To JANE REYNOLDS. Friday 31 Oct. 1817.

Address: Miss Jane Reynolds ∣ 19 Lamb's Conduit Street

Postmark: 31 OC 1817.

My dear Jane,

When I got home the other night there was a letter from Bailey--and so very kind a one after all my indolence that I felt a very repentance--and finished my Letter to him immediately. I hope you are getting well quite fast. I send you a few lines from my fourth Book with the desire of helping away for you five Minutes of the day--

O Sorrow
Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health from verm〈e〉il Lips?
To give maiden blushes
To the white rose bushes?
Or ist thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

O Sorrow
Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a Lover's eye?
To give the glow worm light?
Or on a moonless night
To tinge on syren shores the salt sea Spry?

O Sorrow
Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?
To give 't at Evening pale
Unto the Nightingale
That thou may'st listen the cold dews among?

O Sorrow
Why dost borrow
Hearts lightness from the Merriment of May?
Lover would not tread
Cowslip on the head
Though he should dance from eve till peep of day.
Nor any drooping flower
Held sacred for thy bower

Wherever he may sport himself and play.

____________________
27
Keats's mention of a letter from Bailey and the completion of his own unfinished letter obviously refers to the opening sentence of the third paragraph of letter 26, p. 55, and fixes the date of that letter towards the end of October. The sending of 'our Love' indicates residence at Hampstead of the three brothers.

-58-

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