When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

By John Keats 1795–1821 John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
   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 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.

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Poet John Keats 1795–1821

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Reading & Books, Living, Love, Poetry & Poets, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss, The Mind

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 John  Keats

Biography

John Keats, who died at the age of twenty-five, had perhaps the most remarkable career of any English poet. He published only fifty-four poems, in three slim volumes and a few magazines. But at each point in his development he took on the challenges of a wide range of poetic forms from the sonnet, to the Spenserian romance, to the Miltonic epic, defining anew their possibilities with his own distinctive fusion of earnest energy, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Reading & Books, Living, Love, Poetry & Poets, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss, The Mind

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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