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“All stood together on the deck,
“The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
"And the bay was white with silent light,
“But soon there breathed a wind on me,
"It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
“But soon I heard the dash of oars,
"Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
“The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy,
"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,
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
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 Mariner, whose eye is bright,
He went like one that hath been stunned,
The lady sprang up suddenly,
The night is chill; the forest bare;
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, And the owls have awaken’d the crowing
Hush, beating heart of Christabel !
What sees she there?
There she sees a damsel bright,
Is the night chilly and dark?
Her stately neck, and arms were bare; And gladly our stout chivalry
Home to your noble father's hall."
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,
So, free from danger, free from fear,
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.