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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Who Am I to Tell Shelley (Summer 1820)


File:Regent's Canal Limehouse1823.jpg

Regent's Canal Limehouse: from Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, Metropolitan Improvements, or London in the Nineteenth Century (1827-1830)

Tumbling down to my own incautious fathom of loss
Who am I to tell Shelley not to go near the water?
Shelley, with his long legs and pedigree, has always patronized me.
With nowhere better than a rented room to die in

Who am I to tell Shelley I won't be staying over?
My mind scattered by fever like a pack of cards
Who am I to tell Shelley to load every rift with ore?
Who am I to tell Shelley with my crystal ball

He will invite Leigh Hunt when I decline to join him
And on meeting Hunt's boat in Leghorn he will die at sea.
Who am I to tell Shelley he will outlive me
Not in eternity as he thought but by a matter of months.


from TC: Junkets on a Sad Planet: Scenes from the Life of John Keats

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