The Letters of John Keats

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

weak--otherwise very well. Pray do not stop so long up stairs--it makes me uneasy--come every now and then and stop a half minute. Remember me to your Mother

Your ever affectionate

J. Keats.


197. To FANNY BRAWNE. 〈March 1820?〉 Address: Miss Brawne No postmark.

Sweetest Fanny,

You fear, sometimes, I do not love you so much as you wish? My dear Girl I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more have I lov'd. In every way--even my jealousies have been agonies of Love, in the hottest fit I ever had I would have died for you. I have vex'd you too much. But for Love! Can I help it? You are always new.1 The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass'd my window home yesterday, I was fill'd with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time. You uttered a half complaint once that I only lov'd your Beauty.2 Have I nothing else then to love in you but that? Do not I see a heart naturally furnish'd with wings imprison itself with me? No ill prospect has been able to turn your thoughts a moment from me. This perhaps should be as much a subject of sorrow as joy--but I will not talk of that. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you: how much more deeply then must I feel for you knowing you love me. My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it. I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment--upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses. The anxiety shown about our Loves in your last note is an immense pleasure to me: however you must not suffer such

____________________
1
Surely this is Keats's retractation of the lines in 'Ever let the Fancy roam' (Letter 98, p. 263): 'Where's the Maid Whose lip mature is ever new? . . . Fancy has her . . . Never fulsome, ever new . . .'
2
See Letter 136, p. 357, in which Keats answers some remarks of Miss Brawne's on this subject.

-476-

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