Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Short poem

John Keats (1795-1821)

When I have Fears that I may Cease to Be

              1When I have fears that I may cease to be
              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.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Richard Monckton Milnes, Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats (New York: Putnam, 1848). PR 4836 A4 1848 ROBA
First publication date: 1848
RPO poem editor: J. R. MacGillivray
RP edition: 3RP 2.622.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/28

Composition date: January 1818
Composition date note: January 31, 1818
Form: English Sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg

Other poems by John Keats