Song. (Hush, hush! tread softly!...)

by John Keats

I.

Hush, hush! tread softly! hush, hush, my dear!
All the house is asleep, but we know very well
That the jealous, the jealous old bald-pate may hear,
Tho' you've padded his night-cap -- O sweet Isabel!
Tho' your feet are more light than a Faery's feet,
Who dances on bubbles where brooklets meet, --
Hush, hush! soft tiptoe! hush, hush, my dear!
For less than a nothing the jealous can hear.

II.

No leaf doth tremble, no ripple is there
On the river, -- all's still, and the night's sleepy eye
Closes up, and forgets all its Lethean care,
Charm'd to death by the drone of the humming May-fly;
And the moon, whether prudish or complaisant
Has fled to her bower, well knowing I want:
No light in the dusk, no torch in the gloom,
But my Isabel's eyes, and her lips pulp'd with bloom.

III.

Lift the latch! ah gently! ah tenderly -- sweet!
We are dead if that latchet gives one little clink!
Well done -- now those lips, and a flowery seat --
The old man may sleep, and the planets may wink;
The shut rose shall dream of our loves and awake
Full-blown, and such warmth for the morning take,
The stock-dove shall hatch his soft twin-eggs and coo,
While I kiss to the melody, aching all through!

1818

Source:

The poetical works of John Keats.
Copyright 1871
James Miller, 647 Broadway, New York
 
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