bright star

8

My sweet girl, I am living today in yesterday. I was in a complete fascination all day. Write me ever so few lines and tell me you will never forever be less kind to me than yesterday. You dazzled me. There is nothing in the world so bright and delicate. You have absorbed me. I have a sensation at the present moment as if I was dissolving.”

Bright star, would I were steadfast 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,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.

John Keats, whose name was writ in water (1795-1821)

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