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.


John Keats.