When I have Fears that I may Cease to Be

Original Text: 
Richard Monckton Milnes, Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats (New York: Putnam, 1848). PR 4836 A4 1848 ROBA
2      Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
3Before high-piled books, in charactery,
4      Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
5When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
6      Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
7And think that I may never live to trace
8      Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
9And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
10      That I shall never look upon thee more,
11Never have relish in the faery power
12      Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
13Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
14Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


1] Sent to Reynolds in a letter dated January 31, 1818. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.622.