I do remember reading La Belle Dame sans Merci during my second year of university. There was something haunting about its simplicity that appealed to the sensibilities of a young literature student.
But when I read Keats now it's all I can do to even breathe. It is good poetry, and good poetry binds together pure unadulterated feeling with winning combinations of words.
And I know that when I am old, I will love him even more. That is why Keats is the best of the Romantic poets.
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd 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 faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.