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John Keats

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

Song. Hush, Hush! Tread Softly!


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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