This poem was written when he was 12 or 13, but still remains my favourite of all his works.
My Fairy (1845)
I have a fairy by my side
Which says I must not sleep,
When once in pain I loudly cried
It said, 'You must not weep.'
If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,
It says, 'You must not laugh';
When once I wished to drink some gin
It said, 'You must not quaff.'
When once a meal I wished to taste
It said, 'You must not bite';
When to the wars I went in haste
It said, 'You must not fight.'
'What may I do?' at length I cried,
Tired of the painful task.
The fairy quietly replied,
And said, 'You must not ask.'