John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

When I have Fears that I may cease to be


WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high pil`d 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 feel 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.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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Read poems about / on: romance, magic, power, alone, world, night, love, fear

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  • J B (2/15/2005 4:51:00 PM)

    Can someone please explain what this means? ? I have to write a thesis paper on it by February 22! ! ! Thanks, Jessy (Report) Reply

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