What's there to be afraid of in the world of "The Darkling Thrush"? We're so glad you asked. It turns out that the answer is quite simple: everything. The world's going to hell in a handbasket, and our speaker is bound and determined to be a tour guide along the way. Sure, there aren't any actual ghosts and ghouls and creepy-crawlies around, but people who seem to be ghostly and ghoulish might just be scarier than the real thing. Reality, it turns out, is scarier than fiction, and this world is all-too-real. And all-encompassing. In other words, there's no way to get out. Comfortable yet?
The speaker of this poem isn't actually afraid of the future. He is just convinced that we should be.
The speaker of this poem is terrified of any and all change.