It wasn't until I was in college that I discovered an interest in poetry. The first poet to attract me was Keats. These are three favorites.
O soft embalmer of the still midnight, Shutting, with careful fingers and benign, Our gloom-pleased eyes, embowered from the light, Enshaded in forgetfulness divine; O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close, In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes, Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws Around my bed its lulling charities; Then save me, or the passéd day will shine Upon my pillow, breeding many woes; Save me from curious conscience that still lords Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole; Turn the key deftly in the oiléd wards, And seal the hushed casket of my soul.
How many bards gild the lapses of time! A few of them have ever been the food Of my delighted fancy -- I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime: And often, when I sit me down to rhyme, These will in throngs before my mind intrude: But no confusion, no disturbance rude Do they occasion; 'tis a pleasing chime. So the unnumbered sounds that evening store; The songs of birds -- the whisp'ring of the leaves -- The voice of waters -- the great bell that heaves With solemn sound -- and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves, Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.
When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, Before high-piléd books, in charact'ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain; When I behold, upon the night's starred face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the fairy power Of unreflecting love! -- then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame and nothingness do sink.