Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

Original Text: 
John Keats, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820). Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1970. PR 4830 E20AB Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2What Elysium have ye known,
3Happy field or mossy cavern,
4Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
5Have ye tippled drink more fine
6Than mine host's Canary wine?
7Or are fruits of Paradise
8Sweeter than those dainty pies
9Of venison? O generous food!
10Drest as though bold Robin Hood
11Would, with his maid Marian,
12Sup and bowse from horn and can.
13     I have heard that on a day
14Mine host's sign-board flew away,
15Nobody knew whither, till
16An astrologer's old quill
17To a sheepskin gave the story,
18Said he saw you in your glory,
19Underneath a new old sign
20Sipping beverage divine,
21And pledging with contented smack
22The Mermaid in the Zodiac.
23     Souls of Poets dead and gone,
24What Elysium have ye known,
25Happy field or mossy cavern,
26Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?


1] The Mermaid Tavern was the principal resort of the Elizabethan dramatists. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.623.