Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Keats's Birthday

On this day in 1795 the great English poet John Keats was born. His life was a tragedy. He was orphaned by the age of 15 and died in Rome at the age of 25. But his slim body of work lives on, often held to be second only to Shakespeare.

I post the following chilling poem in the spirit of Halloween. It's thought to be a fragment from a longer work that Keats never completed.

This living hand, now warm and capable...

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed -- see here it is --
I hold it towards you.

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