THE TENDERNESS OF ANGELS

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“Bright star, would I were as 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 steadfast , still unchangeable,

Pillow`d upon my fair love`s ripening breast,

To feel forever it`s 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.”

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The romantic poet John Keats` love for Fanny Brawne inspired some of the most beautiful and tender love letters and poems ever written. Living next door to her in Hampstead between 1819 and 1820 produced many of his most creative and notable poems. Their love for each other was passionately intense……….

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv`d but three summer days, three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

Through their letters, we come to understand the greatness of their spirit and love for each other and not just their accomplishments. There is a melancholic tone used throughout Bright Star because Keats` impossible wish is for not only the love between himself and Fanny to be unchanging and eternal like the star, but that they could remain unchanging and “sleepless.” Knowing this is not possible, he shares his sad emotions with us of the bitter sweet existence of the star`s lonely “splendour.” Keats desires a life with his beloved Fanny which never moves on, or is corrupted by the passage of time.

Jesus said, “When the dead rise, they will neither marry or be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Perhaps the fathomless deepness of the love between these two people may help to explain those words; such a clear and tender love can only be found within the hearts of angels.

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