"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
- John Keats, Endymion22
Here lies one whose name was writ in water.
- Keats' epitaph23
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is allYe know on earth, and all ye need to know.
- John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"24
My spirit is too weak - mortalityWeighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep, And each imagined pinnacle and steepOf godlike hardship tells me I must dieLike a sick eagle looking at the sky.
- John Keats, from "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles"25
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 taskOf pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft fallen maskOf 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.
- John Keats, "Bright Star"26
I weep for Adonais - he is dead! O, weep for Adonais! though our tearsThaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, from the Keats elegy Adonais27
When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charact'ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain; When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love! - then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
- John Keats, "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be"28