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“All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

“The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

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"And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
" A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!
“Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood !
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.
“This seraph-band, each waved his hand :
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light:
“This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart --
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

“But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.

"It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring -
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

“But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the pilot's cheer ;
My head was turned perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear.

"Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze --
On me alone it blew.

The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.

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"O sweeter than the marriage-feast, 'Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay!

The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
'Tis a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way
The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,
What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothèd knight;
And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that's far away.

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest ! He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.

"He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak,
But moss and rarest misletoe :
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she.

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone; and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.

The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel !
It moaned as near, as near can be,
But what it is she cannot tell.
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree.

CHRISTABEL

PART I

The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek -
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the

sky.

'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, And the owls have awaken’d the crowing

cock;
Tu-whit!_Tu-whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff, which
From her kennel beneath the rock
Maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the

hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud ;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

Hush, beating heart of Christabel !
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak.

What sees she there?

There she sees a damsel bright,
Drest in a silken robe of white,
That shadowy in the moonlight shone:
The neck that made that white robe wan,

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.

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Her stately neck, and arms were bare; And gladly our stout chivalry
Her blue-veined feet unsandaled were; Will he send forth, and friends withal,
And wildly glittered here and there To guide and guard you safe and free
The gems entangled in her hair.

Home to your noble father's hall."
I guess, 'twas frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she -

She rose : and forth with steps they passed Beautiful exceedingly!

That strove to be, and were not, fast.

Her gracious stars the lady blest, “Mary mother, save me now!”

And thus spake on sweet Christabel : Said Christabel, “and who art thou?" “All our household are at rest,

The hall as silent as the cell ; The lady strange made answer meet,

Sir Leoline is weak in health, And her voice was faint and sweet :

And may not well awakened be, “Have pity on my sore distress,

But we will move as if in stealth ; I scarce can speak for weariness :

And I beseech your courtesy, Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!” This night, to share your couch with me.” Said Christabel, “How camest thou here?” And the lady, whose voice was faint and They crossed the moat, and Christabel sweet,

Took the key that fitted well ; Did thus pursue her answer meet :

A little door she opened straight, “My sire is of a noble line,

All in the middle of the gate; And my name is Geraldine:

The gate that was ironed within and withFive warriors seized me yestermorn,

out, Me, even me, a maid forlorn :

Where an army in battle array

had They choked my cries with force and fright,

marched out. And tied me on a palfrey white.

The lady sank, belike through pain, The palfrey was as fleet as wind,

And Christabel with might and main And they rode furiously behind.

Lifted her up, a weary weight, They spurred amain, their steeds were Over the threshold of the gate: white:

Then the lady rose again,
And once we crossed the shade of night. And moved, as she were not in pain.
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me.

So, free from danger, free from fear,
I have no thought what men they be; They crossed the court: right glad they
Nor do I know how long it is
(For I have lain entranced, I wis)

And Christabel devoutly cried Since one, the tallest of the five,

To the Lady by her side; Took me from the palfrey's back,

"Praise we the Virgin all divine, A weary woman, scarce alive.

Who hath rescued thee from thy distress!” Some muttered words his comrades spoke: “Alas, alas !” said Geraldine, He placed me underneath this oak; "I cannot speak for weariness." He swore they would return with haste; So, free from danger, free from fear, Whither they went I cannot tell

They crossed the court: right glad they I thought I heard, some minutes past, Sounds as of a castle bell. Stretch forth thy hand," thus ended she, Outside her kennel the mastiff old “And help a wretched maid to flee.” Lay fast asleep, in moonshine cold.

The mastiff old did not awake, Then Christabel stretched forth her hand, Yet she an angry moan did make. And comforted fair Geraldine:

And what can ail the mastiff bitch? “O well, bright dame, may you command Never till now she uttered yell The service of Sir Leoline;

Beneath the eye of Christabel.

were.

were.

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