Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
IV. The Ringlet
By Charles Tennyson (1808–1879)
(To ——.)

I HAVE a circlet of thy sunny hair,
  And ’t is, I wot, a blessing to mine eyes;
  For gentle, happy thoughts are sworn to rise,
  Whene’er I view it, softly folded there,
Lifeless and listless, like a treasure’s key,        5
  Unwitting of the dreams it doth compel
  Of gems and gold piled high in secret cell,
  Too royal for a vulgar gaze to see!
If they were stolen, the key might never tell;
  If thou wert dead, what should the ringlet say?        10
  It shows the same, betide thee ill or well,
Smiling on earth, or shrouded in decay!
  And were cold winter with thee, Isabel,
  I might be smiling here on blossoms of thy May.

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