Yet once again adieu!


Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., 1950 – Keats * EC8.K2262.817p (G)

Forgive me Haydon that I cannot speak
Definitively on these mighty things.

John Keats (1795-1821). Poems (London, 1817).

Among those who viewed the controversial marbles in London was the poet John Keats, accompanied by his friends Benjamin Robert Haydon and John Hamilton Reynolds. Keats presented this copy of his first book to Reynolds, inscribing fair copies of his sonnets “To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles,” “On seeing the Elgin Marbles,” and two others on its flyleaves – the only extant copy texts for these four poems. Like Byron, Keats had a volume of his verse, Endymion (1818), condemned by the Quarterly Review; and Byron chose to make light of this harsh review in Canto XI of Don Juan (1823): “’Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle, / Should let itself be snuffed out by an Article.”