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Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil, Page 12
by John Keats (February—April, 1818).

Who hath not loiter'd in a green church-yard,
    And let his spirit, like a demon-mole,
Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard,
    To see scull, coffin'd bones, and funeral stole;
Pitying each form that hungry Death hath marr'd,
    And filling it once more with human soul?
Ah! this is holiday to what was felt
When Isabella by Lorenzo knelt.

She gaz'd into the fresh-thrown mould, as though
    One glance did fully all its secrets tell;
Clearly she saw, as other eyes would know
    Pale limbs at bottom of a crystal well;
Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow,
    Like to a native lily of the dell:
Then with her knife, all sudden, she began
To dig more feverntly than misers can.

Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon
    Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies;
She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone,
    And put it in her bosom, where it dries
And freezes utterly into the bone
    Those dainties made to still an infant's cries:
Then 'gan she work again; nor stay'd her care,
But to throw back at times her veiling hair.

That old nurse stood beside her wondering,
    Until her heart felt pity to the core
At sight of such a dismal labouring,
    And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar,
And put her lean hands to the horrid thing:
    Three hours they labour'd at this travail sore;
At last they felt the kernel of the grave,
And Isabella did not stamp and rave.

PAGE 12 OF 16.

• • • • •Dearest Romantic, to read the thirteenth page of Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil,
kindly click on the link at the very bottom of this page.
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AUTHOR: John Keats (February—April, 1818).
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