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Bright Star

Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

John Keats - Author

Jane Campion - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780143117742 | 144 pages | 16 Sep 2009 | Penguin | 5.19 x 7.83in | 18 - AND UP
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The epic romance of one of the most celebrated poets in the English language

Coming to theatres in September 2009 is the tragic love story of nineteenth-century poet John Keats and the love of his life, Fanny Brawne. Keats died at the young age of twenty-five, leaving behind some of the most exquisite and moving verse and letters ever written, inspired by his deep love for Fanny. Bright Star is a collection of Keat's romantic poems and correspondence in the heat of his passion, and is a dazzling display of a talent cut cruelly short.

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 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.



La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
 Alone and palely loitering;
The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
 And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
 So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
 And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
 With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheek a fading rose
 Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads
 Full beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
 And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
 And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
 A faery's song.

I made a garland for her head,
 And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look'd at me as she did love,
 And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
 And honey wild, and manna dew;
And sure in language strange she said,
 I love thee true.

She took me to her elfin grot,
 And there she gaz'd and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild sad eyes--
 So kiss'd to sleep.

And there we slumber'd on the moss,
 And there I dream'd, ah woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dream'd
 On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
 Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cry'd--"La belle Dame sans merci
 Hath thee in thrall!"

I saw their starv'd lips in the gloam
 With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke, and found me here
 On the cold hill side.

And this is why I sojourn here
 Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
 And no birds sing.