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Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain;
Clasp'd like a missal where swart Paynims pray ;

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

XXVIII.

245

Stolen to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen'd to her breathing, if it chanced
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

And over the hush'd carpet, silent, stept,
And 'tween the curtains peep'd, where, lo!- how fast she

slept.

250

XXIX.

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Then by the bedside, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish'd, threw thereon
A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and jet :
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet !
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarionet,

Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:
The hall-door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

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XXX.

265

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanchéd linen, smooth, and lavender'd,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd ;
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrups, tinct with cinnamon ;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd

From Fez; and spicéd dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar'd Lebanon.

270

XXXI.

These delicates he heap'd with glowing hand
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
Of wreathéd silver : sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.

• 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."

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XXXII.

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Thus whispering, his warm, unnervéd arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains : - 'twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as icéd stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam ;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies :
It seem'd he never, never could redeem

From such a steadfast spell his lady's eyes;
So mused awhile, entoild in wooféd phantasies.

285

XXXIII.

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Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,
Tumultuous, — and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play'd an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call'd " La belle dame sans mercy :
Close to her ear touching the melody;
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter'd a soft moan:
He ceased — she panted quick — and suddenly

Her blue affrayéd eyes wide open shone :
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

295

XXXIV.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep :
There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,

300

At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh ;
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;

Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look'd so dreamingly.

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XXXV.

310

". Ah, Porphyro!” said she, 66 but even now
Tny voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow;
And ihose sad eyes were spiritual and clear :
How changed thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear!
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear !

Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.".

315

XXXVI.

Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flush'd, and like a throbbing star
Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose :
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odor with the violet, -
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows

Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath set.

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XXXVII.

325

'Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
“ This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline !”
'Tis dark: the icéd gusts still rave and beat:
" No dream, alas ! alas ! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine,

Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unprunéd wing."

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XXXVIII.

335

My Madeline ! sweet dreamer ! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil dyed?
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish'd pilgrim, — saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest

Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think'st well
To trust, fair ·Madeline, to no rude infidel.”

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XXXIX.

345

• Hark! 'tis an elfin storm from faery land,
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise arise ! the morning is at hand;
The bloated wassailers will never heed;
Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
There are no ears. to hear, or eyes to see —
Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead :

Awake! arise ! my love, and fearless be,
For o'er the southern moors I have a home for thee."

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XL.

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She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
For there were sleeping dragons all around,
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears -
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found;
In all the house was heard no human sound.
A chain-droop'd lamp was flickering by each door;
The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,

Flutter'd in the besieging wind's uproar;
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

360

XLI.

They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall;
Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide,
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
With a huge empty flagon by his side:

365

The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
By one and one, the bolts full easy slide :

The chains lie silent on the footworn stones ;
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.

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And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch'd, with meagre face deform;

The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold.

375

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness, -
That thou, light-wingéd Dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

5

IO

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvéd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,

Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!

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