Open main menu

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


Hush, hush, tread softly, hush, hush, my dear,
All the house is asleep, but we know very well
That the jealous, the jealous old baldpate may hear,
Though you’ve padded his night-cap, O sweet Isabel.
Though your feet are more light than a fairy’s feet,
Who dances on bubble where brooklets meet –
Hush, hush, tread softly, hush, hush, my dear,
For less than a nothing the jealous can hear.


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,
Charmed 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 darkness, no torch in the gloom,
But my Isabel’s eyes and her lips pulped with bloom.


Lift the latch, ah gently! ah tenderly, sweet,
We are dead if that latchet gives one little chink.
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 stockdove shall hatch her soft brace and shall coo,
While I kiss to the melody, aching all through.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.