John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

Bright Star



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,
Pillow'd 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 to death.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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# 53 poem on top 500 Poems


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Read poems about / on: snow, star, nature, death, night, love, water

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  • Gold Star - 10,094 Points * Sunprincess * (6/17/2014 9:36:00 PM)

    ......... love the romance in this beautiful poem....especially the last line, ..it's like the cherry on the ice cream sundae.... (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,657 Points Anthony Di''anno (2/8/2014 4:31:00 AM)

    John, would I were a crevice in your heart,
    That held a bright cinder lost in the night,
    I would warm you through and ne'er depart,
    Mind your fevered brow through each tortured night,

    Fetch all that your condition needs to ask,
    I would also fetch things you needed more,
    I would be equal to every task,
    Let you trespass my thirsty human shore,

    For I would abandon respectable,
    And be a fool at true love's own behest,
    So when they drummed and tolled your sad death knell,
    I had met each and every request,

    Your voice is the whisper in a poet's breath,

    You are the Bright Star that shines beyond death. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sara Abu Zaki (1/30/2014 8:16:00 AM)

    @Nachiketha i believe he was addressing a night star and wishing he was as steadfast (still, eternally fixed) as it was. not because the star shines in loneliness above the Earth and watches over the seasons but because he (our poet) wishes to remain still in his lover's embrace and forever in love as he is in that particular moment.

    Imagine, swooning to death.. geez (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sam Mohammed (12/17/2013 7:35:00 AM)

    i love the poem, and, in fact, this poem explains almost half of my life.this is the best, a man can get! i am seeing a shining star everyday with my parents in my dream and i wish i will sleep forever in this happiness
    but unfortunately my mom breaks the dream for school. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 248 Points David Wood (4/6/2013 4:58:00 AM)

    What a beutiful poem. He was writing about his love Fanny Brawne. I wrote a poem Bright Star as a tribute to Keats. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Kelsey Clark (12/19/2012 8:09:00 PM)

    For anyone who is deeply moved by romantic poetry, there is a movie called Bright Star that is centered on John Keats' love for a woman and their passionate but tragic love for one another. It is a lovely film. I just thought I'd share it since it makes this poem even more moving being used in a film. (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 18,524 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (10/13/2014 2:39:00 AM)

    Meaningful it is.

  • Rookie Allison Helman (4/19/2012 1:14:00 PM)

    This is one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read. John Keats so fluidly describes the pain and joy of love, this sweet unrest as not opposing sides but, potential alchemic ingredients which amalgamate and stabilize with the constancy of bright star. To ... live forever or swoon to death is again all the same as a future possibility once one exists consecrated in the heightened state of Universal, Creative, Now, Love. Everything else would only be an apparent change in form not essence as illustrated by Beauty is truth, truth beauty... from Ode to a Grecian Urn but, again once alchemic, they are one and the same. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (4/19/2012 10:40:00 AM)

    Though it shines brightly before our eyes
    a star flickers as it dies
    and Keats' loving heart
    inspires this analogy into art (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sophie Hu (3/20/2012 9:25:00 AM)

    Keats is shining like a bright star for this poem, as well as for love, a bright star that dies not and fades not. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Neha Shaikh (12/24/2011 9:03:00 AM)

    this is very nice poem as the poet is invoking the bright pole star and longs for its steadiness but at the same time he does not want its loneliness. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sylva Portoian (4/20/2011 5:13:00 AM)

    I can't understand
    Why some unfair people put marks
    If they don't understand others’ stanzas...
    Leave for others to read and comment

    I think the marks should be removed...
    He died
    He doesn't need marks
    But His Stanzas are alive
    We all are enjoying...
    Every phrase soulfully He produced

    This I call it Human's unsolved confused mentality...!
    They attack a poet
    Who was born a saint...
    I have more to say... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sylva Portoian (4/20/2011 4:59:00 AM)

    He was...as He imagined...
    He saw the Bright Star

    Although he was ill
    As he was optimist
    He saw only that Bright Star

    Because...
    He knew everyone
    One day will sigh

    But His poetic star
    Will always shine

    And He...will remain
    As a Bright Star
    As far as
    Any one can read this poem
    Sensefuly

    Sensing with John Keats
    And fervently... (Report) Reply

Read all 40 comments »

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