Fill for Me a Brimming Bowl
Fill for me a brimming bowl
And in it let me drown my soul:
But put therein some drug, designed
To Banish Women from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That fills the mind with fond desiring,
But I want as deep a draught
As e’er from Lethe’s wave was quaff’d;
From my despairing heart to charm
The Image of the fairest form
That e’er my reveling eyes beheld,
That e’er my wandering fancy spell’d.
In vain! away I cannot chace
The melting softness of that face,
The beaminess of those bright eyes,
That breast—earth’s only Paradise.
My sight will never more be blest;
For all I see has lost its zest:
Nor with delight can I explore,
The Classic page, or Muse’s lore.
Had she but known how beat my heart,
And with one smile reliev’d its smart
I should have felt a sweet relief,
I should have felt “the joy of grief”.
Yet as the Tuscan ‘mid the snow
Of Lapland dreams on sweet Arno,
Even so for ever shall she be
The Halo of my Memory.
“When twenty three year old John Keats met eighteen year old Fanny Brawne in the autumn of 1818, a love affair began, and the thirty-seven surviving letters and notes Keats wrote to Fanny … bear compelling witness to its tenderness, passion and intensity. It was the first love most of us dream of enjoying, but with an end so tragic that it proved hard for them to bear.” Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne (2009)
John Keats Contemporaries
Percy Bysshe Shelley