What friends are for . . .

Not for attribution

Keats wrote poetry after social outings, flushed with the joy of them, as in “On leaving some friends at an early hour“: “What a height my spirit is contending!/ ‘Tis not content so soon to be alone.”

Or leaving his friend Leigh Hunt’s cottage, walking five miles at night to his own lodgings: “I have many miles on foot to fare./ Yet feel I little of the cool, bleak air.”

Or in “To my brothers,” where Keats and his brother Tom, 17, sit at night in their lodgings, one composing, the other studying: “And while for rhymes I search around the poles,/ Your eyes are fixed, as in poetic sleep,/ Upon the lore so voluble and deep. . . . Many such eves of gently whispering noise/ May we together pass and calmly try/ What are this world’s true joys . . .”

Hear…

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