This Living Hand

Title: This Living Hand
Writer: John Keats
Genre: Gothic

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-calm’d.

See, here it is –

I hold it towards you –

posthumously (adverb): after death
earnest (adjective): with deep sincerity
tomb (noun): an enclosure for a dead body
vein(noun): a narrow tube in the body that carries blood
conscience (noun): your inner sense of right and wrong

Read by Tara Benwell

Note: This is a fragment of a poem discovered posthumously. John Keats was not known for gothic poetry, but he was born on Halloween Day (1795). Many people believe this is the last poem Keats wrote before dying at the age of 25 from tuberculosis.


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