200 years ago Keats wrote of the joy of May

On Tuesday 4 May 1819, Keats wrote to his brother George in America: ‘This is the 3d of May [he had the date wrong] & every thing is in delightful forwardness; the violets are not withered before the peeping of the first rose.’

And in the midst of this wide-quietness
A rosy Sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain;
With buds and bells and stars without a name;
With all the gardener, fancy e’er could feign
Who breeding flowers will never breed the same—
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win;
A bright torch and a casement ope at night
To let the warm Love in.
[Ode to Psyche lines 58-67]

 

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