Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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 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.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


John Keats

Born in 1795, John Keats was an English Romantic poet and author of three poems considered to be among the finest in the English language

Date Published: 1848-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/when-i-have-fears-i-may-cease-be