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[21] with the final words “fall” and “all” in previous lines.

It is a fortunate thing that, in the uncertain destiny of all literary manuscripts, this characteristic document should have been preserved for us. It will be remembered that Keats himself once wrote in a letter that his fondest prayer, next to that for the health of his brother Tom, would be that some child of his brother George “should be the first American poet.” This letter, printed by Milnes, was written Oct. 29, 1818. George Keats died about 1851, and his youngest daughter, Isabel, who was thought greatly to resemble her uncle John, both in looks and genius, died sadly at the age of seventeen. It is pleasant to think that we have, through the care exercised by this Americanized brother, an opportunity of coming into close touch with the mental processes of that rare genius which first imparted something like actual color to English words. To be brought thus near to Keats suggests that poem by Browning where he compares a moment's interview with one who had seen Shelley to picking up an eagle's feather on a lonely heath.

1896

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