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Lines On The Mermaid Tavern
John Keats (1795-1821)


The Rhyme Maker
John Keats 1795 to 1821.
John Keats
1795-1821


Theme:  Poetry and Poets

Special Rhyme List:  Video


NOTES:
The Mermaid Tavern in London was a famous inn of the Elizabethan Age.  It was a frequent gathering place for the poets and playwrights of the era, where they would gather to drink wine and discuss (and argue) points of poetry and politics.  William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were two of the inn's most famous regulars.  English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh gets credit for establishing the tavern in 1603, the name coming from the sign hanging over its entryway, picturing “The Mermaid in the Zodiac”.

first stanza: Elysium is Greek mythology's heaven. Canary wine was a wine popular in Keats' day, ostensibly from Spain's Canary Islands.
- S. H. Bass  


more  John Keats at vintagewinepoems.com
A Draft Of Sunshine
Fill Me A Brimming Bowl
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Give me wine, women, and snuff   A/V
Ode To A Nightingale   A/V


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Lines On The Mermaid Tavern
John Keats (1795-1821), English poet                         reading of Keats' Lines On The Mermaid Tavern

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison ? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host's sign-board flew away.
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer's old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story.
Said he saw you in your glory.
Underneath a new old-sign
Sipping bev'erage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?


from Poems (1897)


Project Gutenberg LogoFree E-Books at Project Gutenberg

Free Audio Book at LibriVox.org


JOHN KEATS at Amazon:

 The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)


       

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