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And win perhaps that night a peerless She turned, and down the agèd gossip bride,

led

195 While legioned fairies paced the cover- To a safe level matting. Now prepare, let,

Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed; And pale enchantment held her sleepy- She comes, she comes again, like ring-dove eyed.

frayed' and fled. Never on such a night have lovers met,

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Out went the taper as she hurried in; Since Merlin paid his Demon all the mon- Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, strous debt.

died:

She closed the door, she panted, all akin “It shall be as thou wishest,” said the To spirits of the air, and visions wide: dame:

No uttered syllable, or, woe betide! “All cates and dainties shall be storèd But to her heart, her heart was voluble, there

Paining with eloquence her balmy side; Quickly on this feast-night: by the As though a tongueless nightingale tambour frame

should swell

206 Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, spare,

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in her dell. For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare

A casement high and triple-arched there On such a catering trust my dizzy head. was, Wait here, my child, with patience; All garlanded with carven imag'ries kneel in prayer

Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of The while. Ah! thou must needs the knot-grass, lady wed,

And diamonded with panes of quaint Or may I never leave my grave among

device, the dead.”

180 Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,

As are the tiger-moth's deep-damasked So saying, she hobbled off with busy wings; fear.

And in the midst, 'mong thousand The lover's endless minutes slowly heraldries, passed;

And twilight saints, and dim emThe dame returned, and whispered in blazonings,

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A shielded scutcheon blushed with blood To follow her; with agèd eyes aghast of queens and kings. From fright of dim espial. Safe at last,

185 Full on this casement shone the wintry Through many a dusky gallery, they moon, gain

And threw warm gules? on Madeline's The maiden's chamber, silken, hushed, fair breast, and chaste;

As down she knelt for heaven's grace and Where Porphyro took covert, pleased boon; amain.

Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together His poor guide hurried back with agues in pressed, her brain.

And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:

a Her falt'ring hand upon the balustrade, She seemed a splendid angel, newly Old Angela was feeling for the stair, 191 dressed, When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmèd Save wings, for heaven:-Porphyro grew maid,

faint: Rose, like a missioned spirit, unaware: She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from With silver taper's light, and pious mortal taint.

his ear

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225 care,

i frightened.

2 red.

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rain,

As though a rose should shut, and be a

bud again. Stol'n to this paradise, and so en

tranced, Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress, And listened to her breathing, if it chanced

246 To wake into a slumberous tenderness; Which when he heard, that minute did

he bless, And breathed himself: then from the

closet crept, Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness, 250 And over the hushed carpet, silent,

stepped, And 'tween the curtains peeped, where,

lo!-how fast she slept. Then by the bedside, where the faded

These delicates he heaped with glowing

hand On golden dishes and in baskets bright Of wreathèd silver: sumptuous they

stand In the retired quiet of the night, Filling the chilly room with perfume light.

275 “And now, my love, my seraph fair,

awake! Thou art my heaven, and I thine

eremite: Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes'

sake, Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul

doth ache.”

Thus whispering, his warm, unnervèd arm

280 Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her

dream By the dusk curtains:—'twas a mid

night charm Impossible to melt as iced stream:

moon

Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set

1 black.

The lustrous salvers in the moonlight How changed thou art! how pallid, gleam;

chill, and drear! Broad golden fringe upon the carpet

Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, lies:

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Those looks immortal, those complainIt seemed he never, never could re- ings dear! deem

Oh leave me not in this eternal woe, From such a steadfast spell his lady's For if thou diest, my Love, I know not eyes;

where to go.'

315 So mused awhile, entoiled in woofèd phantasies.

Beyond a mortal man impassioned far

At these voluptuous accents, he arose, Awakening up, he took her hollow lute, - Ethereal, flushed, and like a throbbing Tumultuous,-and, in chords that ten- star derest be,

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Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep He played an ancient ditty, long since repose; mute,

Into her dream he melted, as the rose 320 In Provence called, “La belle dame sans Blendeth its odor with the violet,merci,”

Solution sweet: meantime the frostClose to her ear touching the melody;

wind blows Wherewith disturbed she uttered a soft Like Love's alarum, pattering the sharp moan:

sleet He ceased-she panted quick-and Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' suddenly

295 moon hath set. Her blue affrayèd eyes wide open shone:

'Tis dark: quick pattereth the flawUpon his knees he sank, pale as smooth- blown sleet:

325 sculptured stone.

“This is no dream, my bride, my

Madeline!” Her eyes were open, but she still be- 'Tis dark: the icèd gusts still rave and held,

beat: Now wide awake, the vision of her “No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine! sleep:

Porphyro will leave me here to fade and There was a painful change, that nigh pine.expelled

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Cruel! what traitor could thee hither The blisses of her dream so pure and bring?

330 deep,

I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine, At which fair Madeline began to weep, Though thou forsakest a deceived And moan forth witless words with thing; — many a sigh;

A dove forlorn and lost with sick unWhile still her gaze on Porphyro, would pruned wing.”

keep; Who knelt, with joined hands and “My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely piteous eye,

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bride! Fearing to move or speak, she looked so Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest? dreamingly.

Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and

vermeil dyed? "Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest

After so many hours of toil and quest, Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine A famished pilgrim, -saved by miracle. ear,

Though I have found, I will not rob thy Made tunable with every sweetest nest

340 vow;

Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think'st And those sad eyes were spiritual and well clear:

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To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

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now

never

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a

star,

“Hark! 'tis an elfin-storm from faery That night the Baron dreamt of many land,

a woe, Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed: And all his warrior-guests, with shade Arise-arise! the morning is at hand;- and form The bloated wassailers will

Of witch, and demon, and large coffinheed:

worm, Let us away, my love, with happy Were long be-nightmared. Angela the speed;

old

375 There are no ears to hear, or eyes to Died palsy-twitched, with meagre face see,

deform; Drowned all in Rhenish and the sleepy The Beadsman, after thousand avès mead:

told, Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be, For aye unsought for slept among his For o'er the southern moors I have a ashes cold. home for thee."

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HYPERION She hurried at his words, beset with fears,

A FRAGMENT For there were sleeping dragons all

BOOK I around, At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready Deep in the shady sadness of a vale spears

Far sunken from the healthy breath of Down the wide stairs a darkling way morn, they found.

355 Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one In all the house was heard no human sound.

Sat gray-haired Saturn, quiet as a stone, A chain-drooped lamp was flickering by Still as the silence round about his lair; 5 each door;

Forest on forest hung about his head The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, | Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was and hound,

there, Fluttered in the besieging wind's up- Not so much life as on a summer's day roar;

Robs not one light seed from the feathered Ind the long carpets rose along the gusty grass, floor.

360 But where the dead leaf fell, there did it

rest. They glide, like phantoms, into the A stream went voiceless by, still deadened

wide hall; Like phantoms, to the iron porch they By reason of his fallen divinity glide;

Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl, reeds With a huge empty flagon by his side: Pressed her cold finger closer to her lips. The wakeful bloodhound rose, and Along the margin-sand large footmarks shook his hide, 365 went,

15 But his sagacious eye an inmate owns: No further than to where his feet had By one, and one, the bolts full easy strayed, slide:

And slept there since. Upon the sodden The chains lie silent on the footworn ground stones;

His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, The key turns, and the door upon its dead, hinges groans.

Unsceptered; and his realmless eyes were

closed; And they are gone: ay, ages long | While his bowed head seemed listening to ago

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the Earth, These lovers fled away into the storm. / His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

IO

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his place;

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rear

It seemed no force could wake him from Thy thunder, conscious of the new com

mand, But there came one, who with a kindred Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house; hand

And thy sharp lightning in unpractised Touched his wide shoulders, after bending hands low

Scorches and burns our once serene doWith reverence, though to one who knew it main. not.

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O aching time! O moments big as years! She was a Goddess of the infant world; All as ye pass swell out the monstrous By her in stature the tall Amazon

truth,

65 Had stood a pigmy's height: she would And press it so upon our weary griefs have ta’en

That unbelief has not a space to breathe. Achilles by the hair and bent his neck; Saturn, sleep on:-0 thoughtless, why Or with a finger stayed Ixion's wheel. 30 did I Her face was large as that of Memphian Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude? sphinx,

Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes? 70 Pedestaled haply in a palace court, Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep. When sages looked to Egypt for their lore. As when, upon a trancèd summer night, But oh! how unlike marble was that face; Those green-robed senators of mighty How beautiful, if sorrow had not made 35 woods, Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self. Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest There was a listening fear in her regard, stars, As if calamity had but begun;

Dream, and so dream all night without a As if the vanward clouds of evil days

stir,

75 Had spent their malice, and the sullen Save from one gradual solitary gust

40 Which comes upon the silence, and dies Was with its stored thunder laboring up. off, One hand she pressed upon that aching As if the ebbing air had but one wave: spot

So came these words and went; the while Where beats the human heart, as if just in tears there,

She touched her fair large forehead to the Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain; ground,

80 The other upon Saturn's bended neck 45 Just where her falling hair might be outShe laid, and to the level of his ear

spread Leaning with parted lips, some words she A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet. spake

One moon, with alteration slow, had shed In solemn tenor and deep organ tone: Her silver seasons four upon the night, Some mourning words, which in our feeble | And still these two were postured motiontongue

less,

85 Would come in these like accents; oh how Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern; frail

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The frozen God still couchant on the To that large utterance of the early Gods! earth, ‘Saturn, look up!—though wherefore, And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet: poor old King?

Until at length old Saturn lifted up I have no comfort for thee, no, not one: His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?' gone, For heaven is parted from thee, and the And all the gloom and sorrow of the place, , earth

55 And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a spake, God;

As with a palsied tongue, and while his And ocean too, with all its solemn noise, beard Has from thy scepter passed; and all the Shook horrid with such aspen-malady: air

"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion, Is emptied of thine hoary majesty. Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;

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