When I have Fears that I may cease to be

Program Note

When I have Fears that I may cease to be is a poem by English poet John Keats (1795 - 1821) which profiles the inner thoughts of an individual reflecting on their own mortality and how that may affect priorities in that individual's life. Set as an inner-monologue, the music delineates between the outside world (exemplified by the subdued piano accompaniment), and the inner-thoughts of the person. Occasionally, the outer and inner-worlds mingle, sometimes complimentary, sometimes obtusely.





When I have Fears that I may cease to be


When I have Fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,

Before high pil'd books, in charact'ry.

Hold like rich garners the full-ripened 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, which the magic hand of chance;

When when I feel, fair creature of an hour!

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery

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 1795 - 1821


General Info

Year(s) composed: 2011

Duration: 5:30'


October 13th, 2011

Robert Franken berry, tenor / 

Tanya Stambuk, piano

The Seasons Concert Hall, Yakima, WA

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