Page images

Oh, I am frighten'd with most hateful thoughts !
Perhaps her voice is not a nightingale's,
Perhaps her teeth are not the fairest pearl ;
Her eye-lashes may be, for aught I know,
Not longer than the May-fly's small fan-horns ;
There may not be one dimple on her hand;
And freckles many; ah! a careless nurse,
In haste to teach the little thing to walk,
May have crumpt up a pair of Dian's legs,
And warpt the ivory of a Juno's neck.


The stranger lighted from his steed,

And ere he spake a word,
He seiz'd my lady's lilly hand,

And kiss'd it all unheard.


The stranger walk'd into the hall,

And ere he spake a word,
He kiss'd my lady's cherry lips,

And kiss'd 'em all unheard.

The stranger walk'd into the bower,-

But my lady first did go -
Aye hand in hand into the bower,

Where my lord's roses blow.

Among Dante Gabriel Rosetti's notes upon Keats I find one to the effect that this song “ reminds one somewhat of Blake's The Will and the Way.”

4. My lady's maid had a silken scarf,

And a golden ring had she, And a kiss from the stranger, as off he went

Again on his fair palfrey.

Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl !
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven's blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!



O BLUSH not so! O blush not so !
Or I shall think

you knowing ; And if you smile the blushing while,

Then maidenheads are going.


There's a blush for won't, and a blush for shan't,

And a blush for having done it: There's a blush for thought and a blush for nought,

And a blush for just begun it.

O sigh not so ! O sigh not so !

For it sounds of Eve's sweet pippin ;
By these loosen'd lips you have tasted the pips

And fought in an amorous nipping.


Will you play once more at nice-cut-core,

For it only will last our youth out,
And we have the prime of the kissing time,

We have not one sweet tooth out.

This song, belonging to the year 1818, has not, I believe, been published till now. It seems to me neither more nor less worthy of Keats's reputation than the Daisy's Song in the foregoing Extracts

There's a sigh for yes, and a sigh for no,

And a sigh for I can't bear it!
O what can be done, shall we stay or run?

O cut the sweet apple and share it!

from an Opera ; but, notwithstanding the brilliant qualities of some of the stanzas, I should have hesitated to be instrumental in adding it to the poet's published works, had it not been handed about in manuscript and more than once copied.



HAD a dove and the sweet dove died;
And I have thought it died of grieving :
O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied,

With a silken thread of my own hand's weaving;
Sweet little red feet! why should you die-
Why should you leave me, sweet bird ! why?
You liv'd alone in the forest-tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss'd you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?

This song was given in the Life, Letters &c., among the Literary Remains in Volume II, under the date 1818.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »