Dear Valentine

Feb 12, 2010

By Ziggy

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A happy one to you though I always thought it strange that Love was symbolized by Cupid–a rolly polly little guy carrying dangerous weapons.

I am falling in love again with the poet John Keats. As a young man living in Hampstead Heath, he fell in love with the seventeen year old Fanny Brawne who became his muse.

Alas and alack, Keats was consumptive and as he became sicker he fell more deeply in love with Fanny who was trying to nurse him back to health. Moving to Rome, Italy to a climate that was conducive to tubercular patients, Keats died on the 23 of February 1821. Fanny never got over it. She wore mourning dress for years and walked the heath quoting the poems Keats wrote for her. Here is one of them:

Bright Star

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast 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.

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