Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast – John Keats

Anyone who has fallen in love and rested their weary head upon their lover’s breast can relate to these immortal, romantic words by poet John Keats. Keats’ is characterized by sensual imagery, most notably in a series of odes. His good friend, Joseph Severn, believed this to be Keats’ last poem before his death in 1821 and the young age of 25.

Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon in death.




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