James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 23


By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)

(Died Feb. 23, 1821)

JUST as the earliest flowers began to blow,

(He felt the daisies growing o’er his grave)

His fevered heart found rest; those grasses wave

Unconscious o’er the form that sleeps below;

Yet there the “rathe primroses” surely know,

And tender violets (howsoever rave

The rude winds o’er his slumber) that he gave

Them human love in human hearts to grow.

His “name was writ in water?” still ’tis called

By every dryad’s ghost that mournful fleets!

That name through earth and heaven hath been extolled;

That name the Summer’s requiem repeats;

But he, with charms of Faëry deep enthralled,

Hears no dull earth-tones echoing “where is Keats!”