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When I recollect for how long Keats had never been for one day free from ferment and torture of mind and body, and that now he lies at rest with the flowers he so desired above him, with no sound in the air but the tinkling bells of a few simple sheep and goats, I feel indeed grateful that he is here, and remember how earnestly I prayed that his suffering might end, and that he might be removed from a world where no one grain of comfort remained for him.”
Several years ago, some English admirers of Keats and some of Keats's American kindred had the badly dilapidated head-stone marking Keats's grave repaired, and the grave now is as represented in the etching in one of these volumes. A medallion portrait, made by Mr. Warrington Wood, was also placed on the wall which cuts off the old cemetery where Keats was buried from the new one now in use, and beneath the medallion was engraved the following acrostic, written by General Sir Vincent Eyre :
“Keats, if thy cherished name be writ in water,'
Each drop has fallen on some woman's cheek -
The inscription on the head-stone had become almost illegible, and the tall grass nearly hid the stone from sight; but now all has been restored, and this inscription, written by Severn, has been cut deep into the stone, where it will last for many years :
“THIS GRAVE CONTAINS ALL THAT WAS MORTAL OF A YOUNG ENGLISH POET, WHO, ON HIS DEATHBED, IN THE BITTERNESS OF HIS HEART AT THE MALICIOUS POWER OF HIS ENEMIES, DESIRED THE WORDS TO BE ENGRAVED ON HIS TOMB
“Here lies one whose name was writ in water.'
In Shelley's " Adonais," written to the memory of Keats, the place of Keats's burial is thus consecrated :
“ Go thou to Rome,- at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness:
“ And gray walls moulder round, on which dull Time
Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand;
Have pitched in Heaven's smile their camp of death, Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished breath.
“ Here pause: these graves are all too young as yet
To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned
Thine own well full, if thod returnest home,
Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.
Only a few years later the heart of Shelley himself was buried a little above the grave of Keats in the newer burying-ground. The faithful Severn lived to a great age, and died in Rome only two or three years ago. He was sought out by all the lovers of Keats who visited Rome, and as the letter written to my mother in 1863 and printed in one of these volumes shows, he kept his love for his friend ever fresh.
Keats's sister Fanny married Señor Llanos, a Spanish gentleman of liberal politics, and the author of “Don Esteban," “Sandoval, the Freemason," and other illustrations of the modern history of the Peninsula. During the existence of the Spanish Republic he represented Spain at the Court of Rome. Madame Llanos is still living in Madrid, and I have a letter, written only a month ago, and sent to me together with her portrait. Her son, Juan Llanos y Keats, is an artist of high repute in Spain.
Among the manuscripts in my possession, I have found the following sonnet, written in 1816. So far as I know, it has not before been printed :
“ There was a season when the fabled name
Of high Parnassus and Apollo's lyre