Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art

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 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.

John Keats

This poem has very much to do with the one called “Asleep! O Sleep A Little While, White Pearl” in many differents aspects. The one I noticed the most was the form of address to his loving wife, which is a term of endearment. In this case, instead of saying White Pearl, he says Bright Star. Whereas the adjective “white” stands for purity and innocence, as I said before in the other analysis, the term “Bright Star” is making reference who is now dead in Heaven watching from the sky, so John Keats wife would be the brightest star

among the rest of them for him.

Another important feature that we must take into account is the fact that the title of the poem is repeated here twice as well, as it happens to “Asleep! O Sleep A Little While, White Pearl”.

From then on, the poem continues with many methaphors like the following ones:

The word “eternal” has to do with death, and the expression “for ever” is also related to eternity, endless and never-ending things.

The sky and the stars can also be compared to death, since both are endless.

The content of the fifth line is very interesting, as it says: Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite.

Nature has more patience than anything else in the universe, because it has the whole eternity to wait for anything, so nothing is forever but the Earth and sky and nobody can hang on.

The expression sleepless Eremite is logical: she (his wife), as a star, is always awake, taking care of her relatives and people beloved, so stars never sleep.

In the sixth line we find the word “priestlike” and it works as an adjective, so here we see another allusion to religion, Christian religion in this case. The same happens in the poem “Asleep! O Sleep A Little While, White Pearl”, so they both are very similar in this sense.

In this poem John Keats talks about his “dear love’s ripening breast”, while in “Asleep! O Sleep A Little While, White Pearl” he mentions a “sudden love”. Furthermore, “breast” is a female feature: his wife.

“Awake for ever in a sweet unrest”, this line makes reference to a couple of adjectives used before in this poem: eternal and sleepless.

Finally, the last word of the poem reveals what the poem is about: death.