Rome II

Rome II

  VII Lay me down in cool salt water. Lay me down like Noah’s daughter. Lay me down and tell me you miss me. Lay me down when I’m dead, and kiss me. In the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome Close by the pyramid of Cestius The bones of John Keats lay down in cool Earth.  His words were not writ on water As it says on his stone, his last request. Green leaves of ground-cover fill the grave :– This now resurgent life of his remains. But his Real remains are writ upon the winds of eternity Sung over and over lo these last two hundred years And will be as long as English poetry is remembered. A small gray cat circles my calves and lays Him down by Keats’ grave. These cats, some say, Are the ghosts of those buried here, and they Lay upon the stones and plots as if protecting them From daemons who would steal their souls or Their legacies. This gray stays. Is protective. Abides like all-abiding Death. Makes his bed now Upon the tripod’s canvas case as I recite for camera And for “the darkling” the great Ode to a Nightingale And caress with my finger tips the green grass Of Keats’ hair as my tears water the soil of his long- Gone longing for death and the bliss of final solitude.    ...
Ode to a Nightingale

Ode to a Nightingale

Jack Ramey reads Ode To a Nightingale. http://www.springwoodpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Nightingale1_01.mp3   My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains ….My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains ….One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: ‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, ….But being too happy in thine happiness, — ……..That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees, ……………..In some melodious plot ….Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, ……..Singest of summer in full-throated ease. O for a draught of vintage! that hath been ….Cool’d a long age in the deep-delvèd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green, ….Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South! ….Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, ……..With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, ……………..And purple-stainèd mouth; ….That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, ……..And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget ….What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret ….Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, ….Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; ……..Where but to think is to be full of sorrow ……………..And leaden-eyed despairs; ….Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, ……..Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, ….Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, ….Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, ….And haply the...
Ode on a Grecian Urn

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Jack Ramey reads Ode on a Grecian Urn. http://www.springwoodpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Grecian-Urn-2.mp3   Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, …..Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express …..A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape …..Of deities or mortals, or of both, …..In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? …..What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? ……….What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard …..Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d, …..Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave …..Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; …..Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; …..She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, …..…..For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed …..Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied, …..For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! …..For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d, …..For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, …..That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d, …..…..A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. Who are these coming to the sacrifice? …..To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, …..And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea...