1818 | London

Sharing the Apple

John Keats asks for a bite.

O blush not so! O blush not so!
    Or I shall think you knowing;
And if you smile the blushing while,
    Then maidenheads are going.

There’s a blush for won’t, and a blush for shan’t,
    And a blush for having done it:
There’s a blush for thought and a blush for naught,
    And a blush for just begun it.

O sigh not so! O sigh not so!
    For it sounds of Eve’s sweet pippin;
By these loosen’d lips you have tasted the pips
    And fought in an amorous nipping.

Will you play once more at nice-cut-core,
    For it only will last our youth out,
And we have the prime of the kissing time,
    We have not one sweet tooth out.

There’s a sigh for yes, and a sigh for no,
    And a sigh for “I can’t bear it!”—
O what can be done, shall we stay or run?
    O cut the sweet apple and share it!


John Keats

“Adam and Eve.” Having been apprenticed to a surgeon in Edmonton for five years, Keats went to London in 1815 to study medicine at Guy’s Hospital. He soon turned his attention to poetry. He published his Poems in 1817, Endymion in 1818, and his Odes in 1819. The lyric poet died at the age of twenty-five in 1821 of tuberculosis in Rome.