John Keats’ “Bright Star! Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art”

John Keats’ “Bright Star! Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art”

For whatever reasons, the DVD, “Bright Star” (about the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne) still hasn’t been released here yet. I am looking forward with keen anticipation to seeing it. For an insightful review of the movie by one of Keats’ biographer, Andrew Motion, see The Guardian review here.  “Edge of Love” (based on David N. Thomas’ book: Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow about the relationship between Dylan Thomas, Caitlin and Vera Phillips and her husband, William) would finally be available in September. In the meantime, I did a woodcut of Keats to use to illustrate his ever-so-exquisite sonnet, “Bright Star! Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art”. A copy can be ordered at

“Bright Star Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art”
                         John Keats

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 the earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask.
     Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
     Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
     Awake for ever in sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
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