(Keats’ death mask)
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled 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.
–John Keats, “When I Have Fears”
The search is a lifelong one, of course, amidst the transitoriness of change and time passing. Happy is the poet or person who can say he or she has found what this poet sought unsuccessfully in vain, succumbing to T.B at 26.
Certainly there is much–money, fame, celebrity, etc.–that pales viewed against the prospect of “the faery power of unreflecting love”. One learns much about the sensibility of both poet and blogger in this one.