Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Hush, hush, tread softly, hush, hush, my dear

  • 1
  • 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.
  • 2
  • 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,
  • Hath 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.
  • 3
  • 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 her soft brace and shall coo,
  • While I kiss to the melody, achingall through.