British poet John Keats (1795-1821) was just 25 and penniless when a lung disease ended his life. He was never married, but Fanny Brawne was the love of his life, and he expressed his love in his letters to her with words that became descriptions of love itself.
Perhaps he spoke for all men in their dreams of a first love when two years before his death, he thusly described his and Fanny’s unending love (BELOW):
“This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calm’d — see here it is —
I hold it towards you.”
When Keats died away from their family-shared country home, Fanny was so overwhelmed by the news she’d long expected, she completely withdrew from life and never recovered from the anticipated loss.
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