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Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil, Page 1
by John Keats (February—April, 1818).

A story from Boccaccio

Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel!
    Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye!
They could not in the self-same mansion dwell
    Without some stir of heart, some malady;
They could not sit at meals but feel how well
    It soothed each to be the other by;
They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep,
But to each other dream, and nightly weep.

With every morn their love grew tenderer,
    With every eve deeper and tenderer still;
He might not in house, field, or garden stir,
    But her full shape would all his seeing fill;
And his continual voice was pleasanter
    To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill;
Her lute-string gave an echo of his name,
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same.

He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,
    Before the door had given her to his eyes;
And from her chamber-window he would catch
    Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;
And constant as her vespers would he watch,
    Because her face was turn'd to the same skies;
And with sick longing all the night outwear,
To hear her morning-step upon the stair.

A whole long month of May in this sad plight
    Made their cheeks paler by the break of June:
"To-morrow will I bow to my delight,
    "To-morrow will I ask my lady's boon."—
"O may I never see another night,
    "Lorenzo, if thy lips breathe not love's tune."—
So spake they to their pillows; but, alas,
Honeyless days and days did he let pass;

PAGE 1 OF 16.

• • • • •Dearest Romantic, to read the second page of Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil,
kindly click on the link at the very bottom of this page.
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• • • •To read poems by Other Horrible Workers (poets
in today's day and age), kindly click HERE.
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AUTHOR: John Keats (February—April, 1818).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: PoeticSpace:Keats:Poems:IsabellaOrThePotOfBasil:Page1
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