Both together:—let me slake
All my thirst for sweet heart-ache;
Let my bower be of yew,
Interwreath’d with myrtles new;
Pines and lime-trees full in bloom
And my couch a low grass-tomb.

To A Cat

Cat! who hast pass’d thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d?—How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears—but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me—and upraise
Thy gentle mew—and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists—
For all the wheezy asthma,—and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nick’d off—and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter’dst on glass-bottled wall.

On A Lock Of Milton’s Hair

“I was at Hunt’s the other day, and he surprised me with a real authenticated lock of Milton’s hair. I know you would like what I wrote thereon, so here it is—as they say of a Sheep in a Nursery Book.”—Jan., 1818.

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
Worketh He,
Who to thy sacred and ennobled hearse
Would offer a burnt sacrifice of verse
And melody.

How heavenward thou soundest!
Live Temple of sweet noise.
And Discord unconfoundest,
Giving Delight new joys,
And Pleasure nobler pinions:
O where are thy dominions?

Lend thine ear
To a young Delian oath—ay, by thy soul,
By all that from thy mortal lips did roll,
And by the kernel of thy earthly love,
Beauty in things on earth and things above,
I swear!

When every childish fashion
Has vanished from my rhyme,
Will I, grey gone in passion,
Leave to an after- time
Hymning and Harmony
Of thee and of thy works, and of thy life;
But vain is now the burning and the strife;
Pangs are in vain, until I grow high-rife
With old Philosophy,
And mad with glimpses of 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 flushed,
Even at the simplest vassal of thy power,
A lock of thy bright hair,—
Sudden it came,
And I was startled when I caught thy name
Coupled so unaware;
Yet at the moment temperate was my blood—
I thought I had beheld it from the flood!

Written Before Re-Reading “King Lear”

O Golden-tongued Romance with serene lute!
Fair plumed Syren! Queen! if far away!
Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
Shut up thine olden volume, and be mute.
Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute,
Betwixt Hell torment and impassion’d clay
Must I burn through; once more assay
The bitter sweet of this Shakespearian fruit.
Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
When I am through the old oak forest gone,
Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed with the Fire,
Give me new Phœnix-wings to fly at my desire,

Jan., 1818.

When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like full garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee

  By PanEris using Melati.

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