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John Keats: The Apothecary Poet, Page 10
by Sir William Osler (1908).

On February 27 he passed away quietly in Severn's arms.

All lovers of poetry cherish Keats's memory for the splendour of the verse with which he has enriched our literature. There is also that deep pathos in a life cut off in the promise of such rich fruit. He is numbered among 'the inheritors of unfulfilled renown', with Catullus and Marlowe, with Chatterton and Shelley, whom we mourn as doubly dead in that they died so young.

It was with true prophetic insight that he wrote in 1818 to his brother George,

What though I leave this dull and earthly mould,
Yet shall my spirit lofty converse hold
With after times.


Shelley, who was so soon to join this 'gentle band', and find with Keats 'a grave among the eternal', has expressed the world's sorrow in his noble elegy. I quote in conclusion his less well-known fragment:

Here lieth one whose name was writ on water.
But, ere the breath that could erase it blew,
Death, in remorse for that fell slaughter,
Death, the immortalizing winter, flew
Athwart the stream,—and time's printless torrent grew
A scroll of crystal, blazoning the name
Of Adonais. . . .


PAGE 10 OF 10.

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