Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
February 23
An Elegy on the Death of John Keats
By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
(Died Feb. 23, 1821)
From “Adonais

  I WEEP for ADONAIS—he is dead!
  Oh, weep for Adonais! though our tears
  Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
  And thou, sad, hour, selected from all years
  To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,        5
  And teach them thine own sorrow; say: with me
  Died Adonais; till the Future dares
  Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!
*        *        *        *        *
  He has outsoared the shadow of our night;        10
  Envy and calumny, and hate and pain,
  And that unrest which men miscall delight,
  Can touch him not and torture not again;
  From the contagion of the world’s slow stain
  He is secure, and now can never mourn        15
  A heart grown cold, a head grown gray in vain;
  Nor, when the spirit’s self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.
*        *        *        *        *
  The breath whose might I have invoked in song
  Descends on me; my spirit’s bark is driven        20
  Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
  Whose sails were never to the tempest given;
  The massy earth and sphered skies are riven!
  I am borne darkly, fearfully afar;
  Whilst burning through the inmost veil of Heaven,        25
  The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.
 
 
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