A man is out to coffee with his friend, Simonoff, in the Lower East side of New York City. A man walks into the cafe trying to sell a dozen roses for only a dollar. Simonoff purchases the dozen and launches into a story from his past which prompted his present buying of the roses. He had been sitting in the same cafe, feeling sad after a meeting with his superintendent and upset at the state of the world. Suddenly, a young man with blue eyes walked up to him acknowledged that he looked unhappy. He then handed Simonoff a rose and quoted a line from John Keats: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." The man says his name is John Keats, and Simonoff is interested by him. He follows him through the city as he hands out roses to the poorest children and an agitated communist politician, repeating the line from Keats every time, reminding people again of the beauty of the world. His last rose he gives to an unhappy girl sitting by a fountain. SHe is beautiful, and John is very adoring and warm in his conversation with her. Simonoff watches as her face changes as she slips into a mood of romance and affection toward John, the apostle of beauty. Before the two can continue their conversation, a man comes up to them and takes John away. He tells them that John is crazy and thinks he is an old dead poet, but that he can always find him when he runs away by the trail of roses he leaves behind him. Simonoff watches as the spirit of Keats is dragged away from him, only to be remembered in the same cafe with the man selling a cheap wilted dozen of roses.
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