200 years ago Keats’s landlord sent Fanny Brawne a cheeky Valentine poem

On Sunday 14 January 1819, Charles Brown (who thought he could best ‘protect’ Keats from Fanny Brawne by flirting with her) sent Miss Brawne a Valentine’s Day  poem. There is no record of how mortified Keats felt when Brown and Miss Brawne chuckled over his lines:

Whene’er we chance to meet
You know the reason why
You pass me in the street
And toss your head so high—

Because my walking stick
Is not a dandy twig,
Because my boots are thick,
Because I wear a wig.

Because you think my coat
Too often has been worn,
And the tie about my throat
Is at the corners torn…

To see me thus equipped
What folly to be haughty!
Pray were you never whipped
At school for being naughty?

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