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Get hence! get hence! there's dwarfish Hildebrand;
He had a fever late, and in the fit He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
Then there's that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
More tame for his gray hairs-Alas me! flit !
Flit like a ghost away."-" Ah, Gossip dear,
We're safe enough; here in this armchair sit,
And tell me how "-" Good Saints! not here, not here: "Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier."
He follow'd through a lowly arched way, Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume; And as she mutter'd " Well-a-well-aday!"
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, lattic'd, chill, and silent as a tomb. "Now tell me where is Madeline," said he,
"O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom Which none but secret sisterhood may
When they St. Agnes' wool are weaving piously."
"St. Agnes! Ah! it is St. Agnes' EveYet men will murder upon holy days: Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve, And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays,
To venture so: it fills me with amaze
This very night; good angels her deceive!
But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve."
Feebly she laugheth in the languid
While Porphyro upon her face doth look, Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone Who keepeth clos'd a wond'rous riddlebook,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook. But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told
His lady's purpose; and he scarce could brook
Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex'd she lav.
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day; Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain;
Clasp'd like a missal where swart Paynims pray ;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.
Stol'n to this paradise, and SO entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress, And listen'd to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumberous tenderness; Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath'd himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness, And over the hush'd carpet, silent, stepped,
And 'tween the curtains peep'd, where, lo!-how fast she slept.
Then by the bed-side, where the faded
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set A table, and, half-anguish'd, threw thereon
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, Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.
And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd; With jellies soother than the creamy curd, [mon; And lucent syrops, tinct with cinna Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd From Fez; and spiced dainties, every [banon. From silken Samarcand to cedar'd Le
These delicates he heap'd with glowing
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.
"And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite :
Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes' sake,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache."
Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved Shaded was her
Sank in her pillow.
By the dusk curtains:-'twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream: The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam:
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies: It seem'd he never, never could redeem From such a sted fast spell his lady's eyes; So mus'd awhile, entoil'd in woofed phantasies.