On Seeing a Lock of Milton’s Hair. Ode
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
Who, to thy sacred and ennoblèd hearse,
Would offer a burnt sacrifice of verse
How heavenward thou soundedst
Live Temple of sweet noise;
And discord unconfoundedst:
Give 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
Leave to an after-time
Hymning and harmony
Of thee, and of thy works 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 caught thy name
Coupled so unaware -
Yet, at the moment, temperate was my blood:
Methought I had beheld it from the flood.