The Letters of John Keats

By Maurice Buxton Forman; John Keats | Go to book overview

the extasies in which I have pass'd some days and the miseries in their turn, I wonder the more at the Beauty which has kept up the spell so fervently. When I send this. round I shall be in the front parlour watching to see you show yourself for a minute in the garden. How illness stands as a barrier betwixt me and you! Even if I was well --I must make myself as good a Philosopher as possible. Now I have had opportunities of passing nights anxious and awake I have found other thoughts intrude upon me. "If I should die," said I to myself, "I have left no immortal work behind me--nothing to make my friends proud of my memory--but I have lov'd the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember'd."1 Thoughts like these came very feebly whilst I was in health and every pulse beat for you--now you divide with this (may I say it?) "last infirmity of noble minds"2 all my reflection.

God bless you, Love.

J. Keats.


187. To FANNY BRAWNE. 〈Feb. 1820?〉

Address: Mrs Brawne

No postmark.

My dearest Girl,

You spoke of having been unwell in your last note: have you recover'd? That note has been a great delight to me. I am stronger than I was: the Doctors say there is very little the matter with me, but I cannot believe them till the weight and tightness of my Chest is mitigated. I will not indulge or pain myself by complaining of my long separation from you. God alone knows whether I am destined to taste of happiness with you: at all events I myself know thus much, that I consider it no mean Happiness to have lov'd you thus far--if it is to be no further I shall not be unthankful--if I am to recover, the day of my recovery shall see me by your side from which nothing shall separate me. If well you are the only medicine that can keep me so. Perhaps, aye surely, I am writing in too depress'd a state of mind-- ask your Mother to come and see me--she will bring you a better account than mine.

Ever your affectionate

John Keats.

____________________
1
Cf. Letter 201, p. 480.
2
See "'Lycidas', l". 71.

-468-

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