Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with thy 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 steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast.
To feel for ever it’s 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.” —
Bright Star, a poem by John Keats
It was the last poem he ever wrote, found scribbled on a page of Shakespeare’s sonnets. My father used to read it to me when I was little, we used to say it together until everything changed. It’s one of my favourite poems in the world.