Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
X. His Last Sonnet
By John Keats (1795–1821)
 
BRIGHT STAR! would I were steadfast as thou art!
  Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
  Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task        5
  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,
  Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,        10
To feel forever its soft fall and swell,
  Awake forever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever, or else swoon to death. 1
 
Note 1. Another reading:—
  Half passionless, and so swoon on to death.
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