Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain.

His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her faltering hand upon the balustrade,

Old Angela was feeling for the stair, When Madeline, Saint Agnes' charméd maid,

Rose, like a missioned spirit, unaware; With silver taper's light, and pious


She turned, 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 ringdove frayed and fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in, Its little smoke in pallid moonshine died:

She closed the door, she panted, all akin To spirits of the air, and visions wide: No uttered syllable, or, woe betide! But to her heart, her heart was voluble, Paining with eloquence her balmy side;

As though a tongueless nightingale should swell

Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arched there was,

All garlanded with carven imageries Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,

And diamonded with panes of quaint device,

Innumerable of stains and splendid

dyes As are the tiger-moth's deep-damasked wings;

And in the midst, 'mong thousand

A shielded scutcheon blushed with blood of queens and kings.

As down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon: Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,

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

She seemed a splendid angel, newly drest,

Save wings, for heaven:-Porphyro grew faint:

She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon, And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,

Of all its wreathéd pearls her hair she frees; Unclasps her warméd jewels one by


Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees

Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:

Half hidden, like a mermaid in seaweed, Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,

In fancy, fair Saint Agnes in her bed, But dares not look beliind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly In sort of wakeful swoon, perplexed she lay,


Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppressed

Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued


Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day; Blissfully havened both from joy and pain;


And twilight saints, and dim embla- As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.


Clasped like a missal where swart
Paynims pray;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from

Stolen to this paradise, and so entranced,

Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress, And listened 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 Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul closet crept, doth ache." Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness, And over the hushed carpet, silent, stept, And 'tween the curtains peeped, where, lo!-how fast she slept.

Thus whispering, his warm, unnervéd
Shaded was her


Sank in her pillow.

Then by the bedside, where the faded


Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set A table, and, half anguished, threw thereon

A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and

O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!
The boisterous, midnight, festive clar-
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clar-

Affray his ears, though but in dying


The hall-door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,

In blanchéd linen, smooth, and lavendered,

While he from forth the closet brought
a heap

Of candied apple, quince, and plum,
and gourd;
With jellies soother than the creamy

And lucid syrops, tinct with cinna


Manna and dates, in argosy transferred
From Fez; and spicéd dainties, every


From silken Samarcand to cedared Leb


These delicates he heaped with glowing hand

On golden dishes and in baskets bright Of wreathed silver: sumptuous they stand

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


Open thine eyes, for meek Saint Agnes'


"And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!

Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite :

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By the dusk curtains:-'t was a midnight charm

Impossible to melt as icéd stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight

Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seemed he never, never could redeem
From such a steadfast spell his lady's

So mused awhile, entoiled in woofed fan


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Made tunable with every sweetest vow;
And those sad eyes were spiritual and

How changed thou art! how pallid,
chill, and drear!

Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complain-
ings dear!

O, leave me not in this eternal woe, For if thou diest, my love, I know not where to go.

Beyond a mortal man impassioned far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flushed, and like a throbbing


Seen mid the sapphire heaven's deep

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

Against the window-panes; Saint Agnes'
moon bath set.

'Tis dark quick pattereth the flaw-
blown sleet:

"This is no dream, my bride, my Mad-

"Tis dark the icéd gusts still rave

and beat:

"Nodream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade
and pine.-
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither

I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine,
Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;
A dove forlorn and lost, with sick, un-
pruned wing."

"My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely

Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and
vermeil dyed?

"Hark! 't is an elfin-storm from fairy

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

There are no ears to hear, or eyes to

After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famished pilgrim,- saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob
thy nest

Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think'st

To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel."


Drowned 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."

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-dropped lamp was flickering by each door;

The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,

Fluttered in the besieging wind's up


And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

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 foot-worn stones;

Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.


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:

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

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