When I have fears that I may cease to be (John Keats)

When I have fears…

by 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.


Dear George,

I am so afraid, George. I think I can be one of the greatest poets in English literature. Can you see it in front of you? Rows and rows of books, only from me, the fulfilment of my potential that I think I have, and people are buying them! But what if I die before I can show the world how much potential I have!? What if I don’t have enough time!?

When I look around me, I see so much that I can transform into sonnets, ballads or epics. I see romances and nature that I can write about. But I am so afraid I won’t have enough time to write about everything I now see around me. I am so afraid I will not have enough days left.

And then of course before I forget, the love of my life: what if I lose her, what if I can never look upon her anymore? I do not know what I would do then!

I think about all these things, and see myself on this big earth alone, seemingly the only one thinking about this. But while I was thinking about this, I found out that love and fame are not important in life; only to live is. When I die, love and fame have no function anymore.

Best wishes and hoping to see you soon.

Your brother,

John Keats

by Anonymous

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