The Poetry Corner

Lines On Seeing A Lock Of Milton's Hair

By John Keats

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 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.