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For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes, | Who keepeth closed a wondrous riddle-book, Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook. Whose very dogs would execrations howl But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told Against his lineage ; not one breast affords His lady's purpose ; and he scarce could brook Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold, Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul. And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.
XVI. Ah, happy chance ! the aged creature came, Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose, Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand, | Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart To where he stood, hid from the torch's flame, Made purple riot; then doth he propose Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start: The sound of merriment and chorus bland. “A cruel man and impious thou art ! He startled her; but soon she knew his face, Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep and dream And grasped his fingers in her palsied hand, | Alone with her good angels, far apart Saying, “Mercy, Porphyro ! hie thee from this From wicked men like thee. Go, go! I deem place;
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst They are all here to-night, the whole bloodthirsty seem." race !
“I will not harm her, by all saints I swear!" “Get hence ! get hence ! there's dwarfish Hilde- Quoth Porphyro; “0, may I ne'er find grace brand ;
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer, He had a fever late, and in the fit
If one of her soft ringlets I displace, He cursed thee and thine, both house and land ; Or look with ruffian passion in her face ; Then there's that old Lord Maurice, not a whit Good Angela, believe me by these tears ; More tame for his gray hairs --- Alas me! flit! Or I will, even in a moment's space, Flit like a ghost away!” — "Ah, gossip dear, Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen's ears, We're safe enough ; here in this arm-chair sit, . And beard them, though they be more fanged And tell me how" -“Good saints, not here, not than wolves and bears.' here ;
XVIII. Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier."
“Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul !
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, church-yard thing, He followed through a lowly arched way,
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll ; Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume;
Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening, And as she muttered “Well-a - well-a-day !” |
| Were never missed." Thus plaining, doth she He found him in a little moonlight room,
bring Pale, latticed, chill, and silent as a tomb.
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro; “Now tell me where is Madeline," said he,
So woful, and of such deep sorrowing, “0, tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
| That Angela gives promise she will do Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe. When they St. Agnes’ wool are weaving piously.”
Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy, “St. Agnes! Ah! it is St. Agnes' Eve, - Even to Madeline's chamber, and there hide Yet men will murder upon holy days;
| Him in a closet, of such privacy Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve, That he might see her beauty unespied, And be liege-lord of all the elves and fays, And win perhaps that night a peerless bride; To venture so. It fills me with amaze
While legioned fairies paced the coverlet,
“ It shall be as thou wishest," said the dame; Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon, “All cates and dainties shall be stored there While Porphyro upon her face doth look, Quickly on this feast-night; by the tambour Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone
Her own lute thou wilt see ; no time to spare, Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
Save wings, for heaven. Porphyro grew faint: The while. Ah! thou must needs the lady wed, She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal Or may I never leave my grave among the dead." taint.
Anon his heart revives ; her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees; The lover's endless minutes slowly passed :
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one ; The danie returned, and whispered in his ear
Loosens her fragrant bodice ; by degrees To follow her ; with aged eyes aghast
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees; From fright of dim espial. Safe at last,
Half hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed, Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees, The maiden's chamber, silken, hushed and
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed, chaste;
| But dares not look behind, or all the charm is Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain.
fled. His poor guide hurried back with agues in her
Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest, Her faltering hand upon the balustrade,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplexed she lay, Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppressed When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid,
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
| Flown like a thought, until the morrow-day ; Rose, like a missioned spirit, unaware ; With silver taper's light, and pious care,
Blissfully havened both from joy and pain ; She turned, and down the aged gossip led
Clasped like a missal where swart Paynims pray ; To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain, Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed! As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again. She comes, she comes again, like a ring-dove
Stolen to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress, Out went the taper as she hurried in ;
And listened to her breathing, if it chanced Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died ;
| To wake into a slumberous tenderness; She closed the door, she panted, all akin
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless, To spirits of the air, and visions wide ;
And breathed himself; then from the closet crept, No uttered syllable, or, woe betide !
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness, But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
And over the hushed carpet, silent, stept, Paining with eloquence her balmy side ;
And 'tween the curtains peeped, where, lo!- how As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
fast she slept. Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled in her
Then by the bedside, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set A casement high and triple-arched there was,
A table, and, half anguished, threw thereon All garlanded with carven imageries
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, As are the tiger-moth's deep-damasked wings; And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
' Affray his ears, though but in dying tone: And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
The hall-doorshuts again, and all the noise is gone. A shielded scutecheon blushed with blood of
xxx. queens and kings.
And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, xxv.
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavendered ; Full on this casement shone the wintry moon, While he from forth the closet brought a heap And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast, Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd; As down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon; / With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon; 10, leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my love, I krow not where to go.”
Beyond a mortal man impassioned far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Seen mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose ;
Blendeth its odor with the violet, Filling the chilly room with perfume light. — Solution sweet; meantime the frost-wind blows “And now, my love, my seraph fair awake! Like love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite; Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes' sake,
set. Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache.”
'T is dark; quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet; XXXII.
“This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline !" Thus whispering, his warm, unnervéd arm 'T is dark ; the iced gusts still rave and beat : Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream “No dream, alas ! alas ! and woe is mine ! By the dusk curtains ;- 't was a midnight charm Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine. — Impossible to melt as iced stream :
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring? The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam; I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine, , Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies; Though thou forsakest a deceived thing ; It seemed he never, never could redeem
| A dove forlorn and lost, with sick, unpruned wing." From such a steadfast spell his lady's eyes ;
XXXVIII. So mused awhile, entoiled in woofed phantasies.
“My Madeline ! sweet dreamer ! lovely bride! XXXIII.
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest? Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,
Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil Tumultuous, — and, in chords that tenderest be,
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
| After so many hours of toil and quest, Close to her ear touching the melody ; -
| A famished pilgrim, — saved by miracle. Wherewith disturbed, she uttered a soft moan;
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest, He ceased — she panted quick — and suddenly
Saving of thy sweet self ; if thou think'st well Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone ;
| To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel. Upon his knees he sank, pale assmooth-sculptured
They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall !
Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide, Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Where lay the porter, in uneasy sprawl, Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep.
With a huge empty flagon by his side; There was a painful change, that nigh expelled
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide, The blisses of her dream so pure and deep;
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns; . At which fair Madeline began to weep,
By one, and one, the bolts full easy slide ; And moan forth witless words with many a sigh ;
gh; | The chains lie silent on the footworn stones ; While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep. The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans. Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye, Fearing to move or speak, she looked so dreamingly.
And they are gone ! ay, ages long ago . XXXV.
These lovers fled away into the storm. “Ah, Porphyro !” said she, “but even now
That night the baron dreamt of many a woe, Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form Made tunable with every sweetest vow;
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm, And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear;
Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old How changed thou art ! how pallid, chill, and Died palsy-twitched, with meagre face deform: drear !
The beadsman, after thousand aves told, Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold. Those looks immortal, those complainings dear! |
THOU HAST SWORN BY THY GOD, MY | Sprinkled with pearl, and pearling flowers atween, JEANIE.
Do like a golden mantle her attire ;
And being crowned with a garland green, Thou hast sworn by thy God, my Jeanie,
Seem like some maiden queen. By that pretty white hand o' thine,
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold And by a' the lowing stars in heaven,
So many gazers as on her do stare, That thou wad aye be mine!
Upon the lowly ground affixéd are ; And I hae sworn by my God, my Jeanie,
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, And by that kind heart o' thine,
But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, By a' the stars sown thick owre heaven,
So far from being proud. That thou shalt aye be mine?
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring. Then foul fa' the hands that wad loose sic bands, And the heart that wad part sic luve !
Tell me, ye merchants' daughters, did ye see But there's nae hand can loose my band, So fair a creature in your town before ? But the finger O' Him abuve.
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, Though the wee, wee cot maun be my bield, | Adorned with Beauty's grace and Virtue's store? And my claithing ne'er sae mean,
Her goodly eyes like sapphires, shining bright, I wad lap me up rich i' the faulds o' luve, - Her forehead ivory white, Heaven's armfu' o' my Jean.
Hercheeks like apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips like cherries charming men to bite, Her white arm wad be a pillow for me,
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded, Fu' safter than the down;
Her paps like lilies budded, And Luve wad winnow owre us his kind, kind Her
ind Her snowy neck like to a marble tower; wings,
And all her body like a palace fair, And sweetly I'd sleep, and soun'.
Ascending up with many a stately stair Come here to me, thou lass o' my luve !
To Honor's seat and Chastity's sweet bower. Come here and kneel wi' me !
Why stand ye still, ye virgins, in amaze, The morn is fu' o' the presence o' God,
Upon her so to gaze, And I canna pray without thee.
Whilst ye forget your former lay to sing, The morn wind is sweet 'mang the beds o' new oder powTo which the woods did answer, and your echo ring.
Is in the loved one's merged ;
0, never by love's own warm art And thou maun speak o'me to thy God,
So cold a plea was urged ! And I will speak o' thee.
No!-hearts that love hath crowned or crossed, ALLAN CUNNINGHAM. Love fondly knits together;
But not a thought or hue is lost
That made a part of either.
It is an ill-told tale that tells
More conscious of his own ;
That, mid love's warm, clear weather, Some angel she had been.
Together tend like climbing flowers, Her long, loose yellow locks, like golden wire, And, turning, grow together.
Such fictions blink love's better part,
Giver of all things fair, but fairest this Yield up its half of bliss ;
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see The wells are in the neighbor heart
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself When there is thirst in this :
Before me; Woman is her name, of man There findeth love the passion-flowers
Extracted : for this cause he shall forego On which it learns to thrive,
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere ; Makes honey in another's bowers,
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.' But brings it home to hive.
She heard me thus, and though divinely
brought, Love's life is in its own replies, –
Yet innocence and virgin modestý, To each low beat it beats,
Her virtue and the conscience of her worth, Smiles back the smiles, sighs back the sighs,
That would be wooed, and not unsought be And every throb repeats.
won, Then, since one loving heart still throws
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired, Two shadows in love's sun,
The more desirable ; or, to say all, How should two loving hearts compose
Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought, And mingle into one ?
Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, 'she turned :
I followed her; she what was honor knew,
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
I led her blushing like the morn : all Heaven,
And happy constellations on that hour MINE eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Shed their selectest influence; the earth Of fancy, my internal sight, by which
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.
When I approach
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best; Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained | All higher knowledge in her presence falls And in her looks, which from that time infused
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
Loses discountenanced, and like folly shows; And into all things from her air inspired
Authority and reason on her wait, The spirit of love and amorous delight.
As one intended first, not after made She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
Occasionally; and, to consummate all, To find her, or forever to deplore
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
In procreation common to all kinds,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud :
Union of mind, or in us both one soul; " This turn hath made amends; thou hast Harmony to behold in wedded pair fulfilled
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,