Shelley wrote this long poem as an elegy for Shelley’s close friend and fellow poet John Keats , who died in Rome of tuberculosis at the age of 26. The mood of the poem begins in dejection, but ends in optimism—hoping Keats’ spark of brilliance reverberates through the generations of future poets and inspires revolutionary change throughout Europe. Adonis is the stand-in for Keats, for he too died at a young age after being mauled by a boar. In Shelley’s version, the “beast” responsible for Keats’s death is the literary critic, specifically one from London’s Quarterly who gave a scathing review of Keats’ poem “Endymion” (Shelley was unaware of the true cause of Keats’s death). Urania (also known as “Venus” or “Aphrodite”), who is Adonis’ lover in the myth, is rewritten here as the young man’s mother (possibly because Keats had no lover at the time of his death). In a sense, Keats is not dead, for like other great poets, he lives within those who benefited from his life and poetry, and he is alive because he is “one with Nature.” He is even Christlike, a divinity among the best of poets. Even so, he died too soon. In death, he beacons the living to join him in eternity.