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Alone, without a peer:
Star'd, where upon their heads the cornice pas And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise al “ Young stranger!
their breasts. I've been a ranger
At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain,new stuff’d, in youth,with triumphsca
Of old romance. These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry daj,
On love, and wing'd St. Agnes' saintly care,
I thought to leave thee
They told her how, upon St. Agnes Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey'd middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline:
The music, yearning like a god in pain,
She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine, St. Agnes' Eve-Ah, bitter chill it was!
Fix'd on the floor, saw many a sweeping train The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold; (grass,
Pass by-she heeded not at all: in vain The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen
Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier, And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
And back retir'd; not cool'd by high disdain, Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere: His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
She sigh'd for Agnes' dreams, the sweetest of the Like pious incense from a censer old,
year. Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death, Past the sweet virgin's picture while his prayer he
She danc'd along with vague, regardless eyes, saith.
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short
The hallow'd hour was near at hand: she sighs
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport ;
Hoodwink'd with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St. Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow mord.
So, purposing each moment to retire,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors, And scarce three steps, ere music's golden tongue
Buttress'd from moonlight, stands he, and implores Flatter'd to tears this aged man and poor;
All saints to give him sight of Madeline, But no--already had his deathbell rung;
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseed;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss--in sooth such
things have been. Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reprieve, And all night kept awake, for sinners' sake to grieve. He ventures in: let no buzz'd whisper tell:
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
Will storm his heart, love's fev'rous citadel: And so it chanc'd, for many a door was wide,
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes, From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft,
Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
Whose very dogs would execrations howl
Against his lineage: not one breast affords
Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
Or I will, even in a moment's space,
“ Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul ? bang dadi They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
Were never miss'd.” — Thus plaining, doth she
We're safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit, Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.
Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline's chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy ejaku He follow'd through a lowly arched way,
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion'd fairies pac'd the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.
“ It shall be as thou wishest,” said the dame:
“ All cates and dainties shall be stored there
Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
Wait here, my child,with patience; kneel in prayer
The while: ah! thou must needs the lady wed
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.”
So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The dame return'd, and whisper'd in his ear
To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last,
Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
The maiden's chamber, silken, hush'd, and chaste;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleas'd amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold, Her falt'ring hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid,
Rose, like a mission'd spirit, unaware:
With silver taper's light, and pious care,
She turn'd, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed;
She comes, she comes again, like ring-dove fray'd
Out went the taper as she hurried in;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died : “ I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,” She closed the door, she panted, all akin Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne'er find grace To spirits of the air and visions wide:
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to
Eth See loce Ble Sol
Po Cr Ic TL A do
And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear:
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, (drear!
No uttered syllable, or, woe betide!
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone: But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gose. Paiving with eloquence her balmy side;
And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd, Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stified, in her dell.
While he from forth the closet brought a beap A casement high and triple-arch'd there was, Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd; All garlanded with carven imag'ries
With jellies soother than the creamy curd, Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass, And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon; And diamonded with panes of quaint device, Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one, As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings; From silken Samarcand to cedar'd Lebanon. And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
These delicates he heap'd with glowing liand And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
In the retired quiet of the night,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache."
Thus whispering, his warm, underved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
By the dusk curtains:- 'twas a midnight charm She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.
Impossible to melt as iced stream: Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam; Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees; Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies: Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
It seem'd he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady's eyes;
Awakening up, he took her hollow lute-
Tumultuous, and, in chords that tenderest be, But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled. 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;~
He ceased-she panted quick-and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone: (stone.
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured
Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep: As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.
There was a painful change, that nigh expellid Stol'n to this paradise, and so entranced,
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep;
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And over the hush'd carpet, silent, stept,
TI A А. А T
And moan forth witless words with many a sigb;
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
“ Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “ but even now
fast she slept.
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
Beyond a mortal man impassion'd far
- Ethereal, flush'd, and like a throbbing star Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform; * Seen mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose; The Beadsman, after thousand aves told, Into her dream he melted, as the rose
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold. Blendeth its odour with the violet,Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows Like love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet (set.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE. Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense as though of hemlock I had drunk, 'Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains “ This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline !"
One minute past, and lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, “ No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
But being too happy in thine happiness,Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.
That thou, light-winged dryad of the trees, Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
In some melodious plot I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine,
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing."
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been “ My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride!
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Ei Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest? (dyed? Tasting of Flora and the country green, * Thy beauty's shield, heart-shap'd and vermeil
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
O for a beaker full of the warm south, After so many hours of toil and quest,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, A famish'd pilgrim,-saved by miracle.
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
And purple-stained mouth; Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think'st well
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel."
And with thee fade away into the forest dim: “ Hark! 'tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
What thou among the leaves hast never known, Arise-arise! the morning is at hand;
The weariness, the fever, and the fret The bloated wassaillers will never heed :
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead:
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow [dies; Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be,
And leaden-eyed despairs, For o'er the southern moors I have a home for thee."
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow. For there were sleeping dragons all around,
Away! away! for I will Ay to thee,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: A chain-droop'd lamp was flickering by each door;
Already with thee! tender is the night, The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Flutter'd in the besieging wind's uproar;
Cluster'd around by all her starry fays; And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall; Like phantoms, to the iron porch, they glide;
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy Where lay the porter, in uneasy sprawl,
ways. With a huge empty flagon by his side:
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet By one, the bolts full easy slide :
Wherewith the seasonable month endows The chains lie silent on the footworn stones;
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans. White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
Fast fading vi »lets cover'd up in leaves ; These lovers fled away into the storm.
And mid-May's eldest child, That night the baron dreamt of many a woe,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm, Darkling I listen; and, for many a time Were long be-nightmar'd. Angela the old I have been half in love with easeful Death,
AD Le Ple
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, She will bring thee, all together,
All delight of summer weather;
From dewy sward or thorny spray; While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad All the heaped Autumn's wealth, In such an ecstasy!
With a still, mysterious stealth: Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain She will mix these pleasures up To thy high requiem become a sod.
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:—thou shalt hear Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn ;
And, in the same moment-hark!
'Tis the early April lark, Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold; Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
White-plum'd lilies, and the first Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst; To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Shaded hyacinth, alway Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
Sapphire queen of the mid-May; As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearled with the self-same shower,
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm Pleasure never is at home:
When the bee-hive casts its swarm; At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Acorns ripe down-pattering,
While the autumn breezes sing.
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where's the cheek that doth not fade, O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Too much gaz'd at? where's the maid Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
Whose lip mature is ever new? And the enjoying of the spring
Where's the eye, however blue, Fades as does its blossoming;
Doth not weary? where's the face Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
One would meet in every place ? Blushing through the mist and dew,
Where's the voice, however soft, Cloys with tasting: what do then?
One would hear so very oft? Sit thee by the ingle, when
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth The sear faggot blazes bright,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth. Spirit of a winter's night;
Let, then, winged Fancy find When the soundless earth is muffled,
Thee a mistress to thy mind:
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her