Isabella, or the Pot of Basil, by John Keats, 1818.
Isabella, or the Pot of Basil (1818) is a narrative poem by John Keats adapted from a story in Boccaccio's Decameron (IV.5). It tells the tale of a young woman whose family intend to marry her to "some high noble and his olive trees," but who falls for Lorenzo, one of her brothers' employees. When the brothers learn of this they murder Lorenzo and bury his body. His ghost informs Isabella in a dream. She exhumes the body and buries the head in a pot of basil which she tends obsessively, while pining away.
The first two stanzas read:
Isabella, or the Pot of Basil
A Story from Boccaccio
by John Keats
FAIR Isabel, poor simple Isabel!
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love’s eye!
They could not in the self-same mansion dwell
Without some stir of heart, some malady;
They could not sit at meals but feel how well 5
It soothed each to be the other by;
They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep
But to each other dream, and nightly weep.
With every morn their love grew tenderer,
With every eve deeper and tenderer still; 10
He might not in house, field, or garden stir,
But her full shape would all his seeing fill;
And his continual voice was pleasanter
To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill;
Her lute-string gave an echo of his name, 15
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same.
The rest of the long narrative poem can be read at the following link: http://www.bartleby.com/126/38.html