When I have Fears that I May cease to be

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by John Keats

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  • What if I die before I get to fulfill my dreams?
  • Before I can write all the words that I have inside me...
  • Before I can find the one for me...
  • Before I fall in love...
  • 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;
  • Before I realize that there are bigger things in life than love...
  • When I behold, upon the night’s starred face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
  • Before I realize that life is full of beauty, just waiting for me to experience to the wonders of the world, making my desires seem paltry in comparison.
  • 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.
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