Diary of the Plague Year: Day 33 17 April 2020: Quotidian Poetry John Keats (1795-1821)

 

 

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 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.

FROM:

Love Letters and Poems
of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Penguin

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 16 31 March 2020: Keats, Sonnet to Sleep

The Keats poem from Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings:

Sonnet, to Sleep

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom‑pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:

O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen” ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities.

Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,
Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords

Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
And seal the hushèd Casket of my Soul.