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