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To Robert Batty M.D. on His Giving Me a Lock of Miltons Hair

by
 It lies before me there, and my own breath 
Stirs its thin outer threads, as though beside 
The living head I stood in honoured pride, 
Talking of lovely things that conquer death.
Perhaps he pressed it once, or underneath Ran his fine fingers when he leant, blank-eyed, And saw in fancy Adam and his bride With their heaped locks, or his own Delphic wreath.
There seems a love in hair, though it be dead.
It is the gentlest, yet the strongest thread Of our frail plant,--a blossom from the tree Surviving the proud trunk; as if it said, Patience and gentleness in power.
In me Behold affectionate eternity.

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