This was written in 1815 by John Keats. Although still an early poem, his
writing is much stronger here than in almost any of his 1814 work.
The story is similar to "La Belle Dame sans Merci," only in that poem the woman lures
the knight into the forest and abandons him. "Emma" is just a simple pastoral
romance, but the imagery and feel is similar the other poem.
Some critics claim that "Emma" is actually Georgina Wylie, his future sister-in-law,
and in fact a copy of this poem in the handwriting of Keats' brother George
substitutes "Georgina" for "Emma."
O come, dearest Emma! the rose is full blown
O come, dearest Emma! the rose is full blown,
And the riches of Flora are lavishly strown;
The air is all softness, and chrystal the streams,
And the west is resplendently cloathed in beams.
We will hasten, my fair, to the opening glades,
The quaintly carv'd seats, and the freshening shades;
Where the fairies are chaunting their evening hymns,
And in the last sun-beam the sylph lightly swims.
And when thou art weary, I'll find thee a bed,
Of mosses, and flowers, to pillow thy head;
There, beauteous Emma, I'll sit at thy feet,
While my story of love I enraptur'd repeat.
So fondly I'll breathe, and so softly I'll sigh,
Thou wilt think that some amorous zephyr is nigh;
Ah! no--as I breathe it, I press thy fair knee,
And then, thou wilt know that the sigh comes from me.
Then why, lovely girl, should we lose all these blisses?
That mortal's a fool who such happiness misses;
So smile acquiescence, and give me thy hand,
With love-looking eyes, and with voice sweetly bland.