To Julia under Lock and Key

Original Text: 
Owen Seaman, In Cap and Bells (London: John Lane, 1900): 66-67. Internet Archive. AAR-9730.
[A form of betrothal gift in America is an anklet secured
by a padlock, of which the other party keeps the key.]
1When like a bud my Julia blows
2In lattice-work of silken hose,
3Pleasant I deem it is to note
4How, 'neath the nimble petticoat,
5Above her fairy shoe is set
7And soothly for the lover's ear
8A perfect bliss it is to hear
9About her limb so lithe and lank
10My Julia's ankle-bangle clank.
11Not rudely tight, for 'twere a sin
12To corrugate her dainty skin;
13Nor yet so large that it might fare
14Over her foot at unaware;
15But fashioned nicely with a view
16To let her airy stocking through:
17So as, when Julia goes to bed,
18Of all her gear disburdenèd,
19This ring at least she shall not doff
20Because she cannot take it off.
21And since thereof I hold the key,
22She may not taste of liberty,
23Not though she suffer from the gout,
24Unless I choose to let her out.


6] zonulet: belt, girdle. See Robert Herrick's "Upon Julia's Riband":
As shews the Aire, when with a Rain-bow grac'd;
So smiles that Riband 'bout my Julia's waste:
Or like---Nay 'tis that Zonulet of love,
Wherein all pleasures of the world are wove.
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Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: