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Lines on seeing a Lock of Milton’s Hair
Chief of organic Numbers!
Old Scholar of the Spheres!
Thy spirit never slumbers,
But rolls about our ears
For ever and for ever.
O, what a mad endeavour
Who, to thy sacred and ennobled hearse,
Would offer a burnt sacrifice of verse
How heavenward thou soundedst
Live Temple of sweet noise;
And discord unconfoundedst:
Giving delight new joys,
And Pleasure nobler pinions –
O where are thy Dominions!
Lend thine ear
To a young delian oath – aye, by thy soul,
By all that from thy mortal Lips did roll;
And by the Kernel of thine earthly Love,
Beauty, in things on earth and things above,
When every childish fashion
Has vanish’d from my rhyme
Will I grey-gone in passion
Give to an after-time
Hymning and harmony
Of thee, and of thy Words and of thy Life:
But vain is now the bruning and the strife –
Pangs are in vain – until I grow high-rife
With Old Philosophy
And mad with glimpses at futurity!
For many years my offerings must be hush’d:
When I do speak I’ll think upon this hour,
Because I feel my forehead hot and flush’d,
Even at the simplest vassal of thy Power, –
A Lock of thy bright hair!
Sudden it came,
And I was startled when I heard thy name
Coupled so unaware –
Yet, at the moment, temperate was my blood:
Methought I had beheld it from the flood.
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