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To Robert Batty, M.D., On His Giving Me A Lock Of Milton's Hair

It lies before me there, and my own breath
Stirs its thin outer threads, as though beside
The living head I stood in honoured pride,
Talking of lovely things that conquer death.
Perhaps he pressed it once, or underneath
Ran his fine fingers when he leant, blank-eyed,
And saw in fancy Adam and his bride
With their heaped locks, or his own Delphic wreath.

There seems a love in hair, though it be dead.

It is the gentlest, yet the strongest thread
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