Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
With comment by John Birtwhistle
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, gleaned = harvested the last grains
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, charactery = finished lettering1
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain; garners = grain stores
When I behold, upon the night's starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, romance = imaginative story2
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance; hand of chance: the poet plays along
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, with accidents of language
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the fairy power fairy = enchanting
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 died of tuberculosis aged twenty-five. Having trained in medicine, he could recognise his own symptoms. Coughing onto his pillow, he calmly directed his friend: ‘Bring me the candle, Brown, and let me see this blood… I know the colour of that blood; it is arterial blood; —I cannot be deceived in that colour; that drop of blood is my death-warrant—I must die.’3 Keats enclosed his sonnet ‘When I have …
Correspondence to John Birtwhistle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Provenance Milnes RM, ed. Life. Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats London: Edward Moxon, 1848. Spelling and punctuation modernized.