John Keats

When I have fears

The Human Seasons

To Autumn

Bright Star

  When I have fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain, Before high-piled books, in charactery, 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. January 1818.

  The Human Seasons

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear Takes in all beauty with an easy span: He has his Summer, when luxuriously Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming high Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings He furleth close; contented so to look On mists in idleness--to let fair things Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook. He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, Or else he would forego his mortal nature. Teignmouth, the second week of March 1818.

  To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, 
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, 
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of spring?  Ay, where are they? 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, - 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
Among the river sallows, borne aloft 
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

Written in Winchester on 19 September 1819.
First published in 1820.

  Bright Star

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 swell and fall, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever or else swoon to death.
Spring 1819.
This sonnet was dedicated to Fanny Brawne. The romantic engagement with Fanny, lasting from December 1818 until Keats's death in Rome (February 1821), spanned some of the most poetically productive years of his life.

  
    

John Keats (miniature oil, 1819) and Fanny Brawne.

John Keats

(London, 31 october 1795
Rome, 23 february 1821)



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Update: 04-06-2016.