John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

Song. Hush, Hush! Tread Softly! Poem by John Keats


1.
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 Fairy'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.

2.
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,
Hath 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.

3.
Lift the latch! ah gently! ah tenderly -- sweet!
We are dead if that latchet gives one little chink!
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's take;
The stock-dove shall hatch her soft brace and shall coo,
While I kiss to the melody, aching all through!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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