I woke up today with these lines of Keats in my head: "a thing of beauty is a joy forever, its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness;" (from Endymion) for some strange reason and was so moved by them that I just had to have a root around his poems again and post another.
When I studied Keats at college for a brief course, I have to admit, I wasn't impressed and tuned out a bit. But now, reading him again years later, I find there's so much more to him than what I thought. And the language - the language is just beautiful - if you don't let the out-dated vernacular put you off! There's just something so sublime and soothing about Keats' language. It illuminates and comforts, like a restorative balm, for the mind and the soul.
Here's his famous love poem, Bright Star:
Bright Star - 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.