Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art

Other Sonnets of 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 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 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.




The exact date when John Keats wrote this sonnet is not set: a tentative date – October-December of 1819, although some biographers point October 1818 (Robert Gittings) or July 1819. For a long time had a notion that this sonnet is the last work of Keats as the poet wrote it in volume of Shakespeare owned to Severn at 29 of September 1820 on the way to Italy. But later was found a list, made by Charles Brown, with the date “1819”. For the first time sonnet “BRIGHT STAR” was published in the Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal at September 27, 1838.

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