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PUBLISHERS' PREFACE.

THE present Edition of Keats Poems is a complete reprint of all his Poems out of Copyright to the present time, and contains considerably more than any other Non-copyright Edition yet published.

BEDFORD STREET,

STRAND.

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PREFATORY MEMOIR.

“Whom the Gods love die young," was the belief of antiquity; and such seems to have been, in truth, the case when John Keats, the gifted and beloved, passed away in the dawn of his life, after singing a few brief songs—the promise of a glorious hereafter, destined never to be fulfilled. The tenderest interest hovers over the memory of this young poet. Next to Chatterton's his name has become a spell to move the warmest pity and sympathy in English hearts, for his short life was not a happy one, and he died without knowing that he had won the laurel of immortality.

John Keats was born October 29th, 1795. His father had married the daughter of Mr. Jennings, a large stable owner on the Pavement, Moorfields, in whose employment he had originally lived. His mother was lively and very intelligent. Her son John had a strong affection for her; and we are told in Lord Houghton's delightful “Life and Letters of Keats," that once when she was ill, and the doctor had ordered that she should not be disturbed, the little boy of four years old kept watch outside her bedroom door for more than three hours, armed with an old sword, which he had somewhere picked up.

While still a very little fellow he was sent to school with his brothers George and Thomas to Mr. Clarke, of Enfield, the father of the Shakspearian Charles Cowden Clarke. This school was deservedly in high repute; and here Keats displayed remarkable

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