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So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The lover's endless minutes slowly passed :
The dame returned, and whispered 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, hushed and
chaste; Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain. His poor guide hurried back with agues in her
Her faltering hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid,
Rose, like a missioned spirit, unaware ;
With silver taper's light, and pious care,
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 a ring-dove
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
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 heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blushed with blood of
queens and kings.
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
Anon his heart revives; her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one ;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees;
Half hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is
Awakening up, he took her hollow lute, –
Tumultuous, – and, in chords that tenderest be,
He played an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence called “La belle dame sans mercy”;
Close to her ear touching the melody; —
Wherewith disturbed, she uttered a soft moan ;
He ceased — she panted quick — and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone;
Upon his knees he sank, pale assmooth-sculptured
Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep.
There was a painful change, that nigh expelled
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep ;
They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall ! Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide,
O, leave me not in this eternal woe, For if thou diest, my love, I know not wheretogo."
XXXVI, Beyond a mortal man impassioned far At these voluptuous accents, he arose, Ethereal, flushed, 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
xxxvii. "Tis dark; quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet; “This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline !” 'T is dark ; the iced 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, unpruned wing."
Sprinkled with pearl, and pearling flowers atween,
Do like a golden inantle her attire;
And being crownéd with a garland green,
Seem like some maiden queen.
Her modest eyes, abashéd to behold
So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixed are ;
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold,
But blush to hear her praises sung so loud,
So far from being proud.
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring.
Tell me, ye merchants' daughters, did ye see
So fair a creature in your town before ?
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, -
Adorned with Beauty's grace and Virtue's store ?
Her goodly eyes like sapphires, shining bright.
Her forehead ivory white,
Her cheekslike apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips like cherries charming men to bite,
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded,
Her paps like lilies budded,
Her snowy neck like to a marble tower;
And all her body like a palace fair,
Ascending up with many a stately stair
To Honor's seat and Chastity's sweet bower.
Why stand ye still, ye virgins, in amaze,
Upon her so to gaze,
Whilst ye forget your former lay to sing,
Such fictions blink love's better part,
Yield up its half of bliss;
The wells are in the neighbor heart
When there is thirst in this :
There findeth love the passion-flowers
On which it learns to thrive,
Makes honey in another's bowers,
But brings it home to hive.
Love's life is in its own replies, –
To each low beat it beats,
Smiles back the smiles, sighs back the sighs,
And every throb repeats.
Then, since one loving heart still throws
Two shadows in love's sun,
How should two loving hearts compose .
And mingle into one *
THOMAS Kid BLE HERVEY.
MINE eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight, by which
Abstract, as in a trance, methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took
. From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was the
But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed :
The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair,
That what seemed fair in all the world seemed
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained
And in her looks, which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
To find her, or forever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure :
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned
With what all earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable. On she came,
Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his voice, nor uninformed
Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud :
“This turn hath made amends; thou hast
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair, but fairest this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me; Woman is her name, of man
Extracted : for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere; -
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul'
She heard me thus, and though divinely
Yet innocence and virgin modesty,
Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,
That would be wooed, and not unsought be
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired,
The more desirable; or, to say all,
Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned:
I followed her; she what was honor knew,
And with obsequious majesty approved
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower.
I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven,
And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whispered it to the woods, and from their
Flung rose, slung odors from the spicy shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.
O, FoRMED by Nature, and refined by Art,
With charms to win, and sense to fix the heart :
By thousands sought, Clotilda, canst thou free
Thy crowd of captives and descend to me?
Content in shades obscure to waste thy life,
A hidden beauty and a country wife
0, listen while thy summers are my theme !
Ah soothe thy partner in his waking dream |
In some small hamlet on the lonely plain,
Where Thames through meadows rolls his mazy
Or where high Windsor, thick with greens arrayed,
Waves his old oaks, and spreads his ample shade.
Fancy has figured out our calm retreat;
Already round the visionary seat
Our limes begin to shoot, our flowers to spring.
The brooks to murmur, and the birds to sing.
Where dost thou lie, thou thinly peopled green,
Thou nameless lawn, and village yet unseen,
Where sons, contented with their native ground,
Ne'er travelled further than ten furlongs round,
And the tanned peasant and his ruddy bride
Were born together, and together died,
Where early larks best tell the morning light,
And only Philomel disturbs the night !
Midst gardens here my humble pile shall rise,
With sweets surrounded of ten thousand dyes;
All savage where th' embroidered gardens end,
The haunt of echoes, shall my woods ascend;
Andoh if Heaven th’ ambitious thought approve,
A rill shall warble 'cross the gloomy grove, –
A little rill, o'er pebbly beds conveyed,
Gush down the steep, and glitter through the glade.
Whatcheering scents these bordering banks exhale!
How loud that heifer lows from yonder vale !
That thrush how shrill his note so clear, so high,
He drowns each feathered minstrel of the sky.
Here let me trace beneath the purpled morn
The deep-mouthed beagle and the sprightly horn,
Or lure the trout with well-dissembled flies,
Or fetch the fluttering partridge from the skies.
Nor shall thy hand disdain to crop the vine,