"Remember Keats. Remember the words he had cut on his tombstone."

Keats himself chose the epitaph Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water for his gravestone.

The phrase in water writ appears in Scene 3, Act V of Beaumont and Fletcher's play Philaster, believed to have been written some time between 1608 and 1611:

                                                                      ... all your better deeds

                                            Shall be in water writ, but this is marble

Friends of Keats, who felt that the poet had been badly treated during his lifetime, preceded the epitaph chosen by Keats with the following inscription:

This Grave contains all that was Mortal of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone


John Keats's tombstone in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJohn Keats's tombstone in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome - Credit: Piero Montesacro