When I Have Fears

I have no patience for the Romantic poets.  No belief in the idea that one might drowse on one’s sofa and wait for inspiration to strike.  No inclination to wait for “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” which one might pluck from a castle in the air and transpose onto paper.

But Keats is the great exception for me:

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 feel 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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