Olga's Gallery

John Keats


Keats, John (1795-1821) English Romantic poet, born in London. The subjects of his poems were widely used by pre-Raphaelite painters.
Isabella, or The Pot of Basil, poem. Isabella is an Italian maiden, was in love with Lorenzo, who did not satisfy her brothers. They murdered their sister's lover and secretly buried him. She dug up the head and kept it in a pot, where she grew basil.
See: Sir John Everett Millais Lorenzo and Isabella  illustrates the following passage from the poem:

Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye
They could not long in the selfsame mansion dwell
Without some stir of heart, some malady;
They could not sit at meals but felt how well
It soothes each to be the other by.
These brethren having found many signs
What love Lorenzo for their sister had
And how she loved him, too, each unconfines
His bitter thoughts to other, well-negh mad
That he, the servant of their trade designs,
Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad When 'twas their plan to coax her by degrees
To some high noble and his olive trees.
See: William Holman Hunt Isabella and the Pot of Basil illustrates another theme of the same poem.

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