Written by John Keats in February 1818, in praise of Edmund Spenser.
Spenser was Keats' biggest poetic influence for most of his life.
Spenser, a jealous honorer of thine
Spenser, a jealous honorer of thine,
A forester deep in thy midmost trees,
Did last eve ask my promise to refine
Some English that might strive thine ear to please.
But Elfin-Poet, 'tis impossible
For an inhabitant of wintry earth
To rise like Phoebus with a golden quell,
Fire-wing'd, and make a morning in his mirth:
It is impossible to escape from toil
'O the sudden, and receive thy spiriting:--
The flower must drink the nature of the soil
Before it can put forth its blossoming.
Be with me in the summer days, and I
Will for thine honor, and thy pleasure try.