So for John Keats’ birthday AND for Hallowe’en, I give you this chilling fragment…
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….
Some have thought this written to Fanny Brawne (how cruel that seems) but now I believe scholars agree it was written for a poem or play that was never completed. This fragment was not published until much later in the 19th century.
I love it. Happy birthday John.