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And thought to leave her far away be- “Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus hind;

stood, But cheerly, cheerly,

Trilling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood, She loves me dearly;

With sidelong laughing; She is so constant to me, and so kind : And little rills of crimson wine imbrued I would deceive her

His plump white arms, and shoulders, , And so leave her,

enough white But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

For Venus' pearly bite;

And near him rode Silenus on his ass, “Beneath my palm trees, by the river Pelted with flowers as he on did pass side,

Tipsily quaffing. I sat a-weeping: in the whole world

“Whence wide


merry Damsels! There was no one to ask me why I wept,

whence came ye! And so I kept

So many, and so many, and such glee? Brimming the water-lily cups with tears

Why have ye left your bowers desolate, Cold as my fears.

Your lutes, and gentler fate? –

"We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the “Beneath my palm trees, by the river

wing, side,

A conquering! I sat a-weeping: what enamour'd bride,

Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill be

tide. Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds,

We dance before him thorough kingdoms

wide: But hides and shrouds Beneath dark palm trees by a river side?

Come hither, lady fair, and joined be

To our wild minstrelsy!' “And as I sat, over the light blue hills

“Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs ! whence There came a noise of revellers: the

came ye! rills Into the wide stream came of purple Why have ye left your forest haunts,

So many, and so many, and such glee? hue

why left 'Twas Bacchus and his crew!

Your nuts in oak-tree cleft ? The earnest trumpet spake, and silver

'For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree; thrills

For wine we left our heath, and yellow From kissing cymbals made a merry

brooms, din

And cold mushrooms; 'Twas Bacchus and his kin!

For wine we follow Bacchus through the Like to a moving vintage down they

earth; came,

Great God of breathless cups and chirpCrown'd with green leaves, and faces all

ing mirth! on flame;

Come hither, lady fair, and joined be All madly dancing through the pleasant

To our mad minstrelsy! yalley, To scare thee, Melancholy !

“Over wide streams and mountains great O then, then, thou wast a simple ,

we went, name!

And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent, And I forgot thee, as the berried holly Onward the tiger and the leopard pants, By shepherds, is forgotten, when, in

With Asian elephants:

Onward these myriads — with song and Tall chestnuts keep away the sun and dance, moon:

With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' I rush'd into the folly!


frozen grass,

hail ;


Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,

“There is not one, Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files, No, no, not one Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid ; Of seamen, and stout galley-rower's toil: Thou art her mother, With toying oars and silken sails they glide, And her brother, Nor care for wind and tide. Her playmate, and her wooer in the

shade.” "Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes,

THE EVE OF ST. AGNES From rear to van they scour about the plains;

St. AGNES' EVE Ah, bitter chill it was ! A three days' journey in a moment done: The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold ; And always, at the rising of the sun, The hare limp'd trembling through the About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn,

And silent was the flock in woolly fold : On spleenful unicorn.

Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while

he told “I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown

His rosary, and while his frosted breath, Before the vine-wreath crown! Like pious incense from a censer old, I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing Seem'd taking flight for heaven, withTo the silver cymbals' ring!

out a death, I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while Old Tartary the fierce!

his prayer he saith. The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail, And from their treasures scatter pearled His prayer he saith, this patient, holy Great Brahma from his mystic heaven Then takes his lamp, and riseth from groans,

his knees, And all his priesthood moans, And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning

wan, pale.

Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees : Into these regions came I following him, The sculptur'd dead, on each side, seem Sick-hearted, weary so I took a whim

to freeze, To stray away into these forests drear

Emprison'd in black, purgatorial rails : Alone, without a peer :

Knights, ladies, praying in dumb oraAnd I have told thee all thou mayest hear.


He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails “Young stranger !

To think how they may ache in icy hoods I've been a ranger

and mails. In search of pleasure throughout every clime:

Northward he turneth through a little Alas! 'tis not for me!

door, Bewitch'd I sure must be,

three steps,

Music's To lose in grieving all my maiden prime. golden tongue

Flatter'd to tears this aged man and “Come then, Sorrow!

poor; Sweetest Sorrow !

already had his deathbell rung; Like an own babe I nurse thee on my The joys of all his life were said and breast:

sung: I thought to leave thee

His was harsh penance on St. Agnes' And deceive thee,

Eve: But now of all the world I love thee best. Another way he went, and soon among



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Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reprieve, Full of this whim was thoughtful Made-
And all night kept awake, for sinners'

sake to grieve.

The music, yearning like a God in pain,

She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes That ancient Beadsman heard the pre

divine, lude soft;

Fix'd on the floor, saw many a sweeping

And so it chanc'd, for many a door was

Pass by — she heeded not at all : in vain
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft

Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier, The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to

And back retir'd; not cool'd by high chide :


But she saw not: her heart was other
The level chambers, ready with their

Were glowing to receive a thousand

She sigh'd for Agnes' dreams, the sweet

est of the year. guests: The carved angels, ever eager-eyed, Star'd where upon their heads the cor

She danc'd along with vague, regardless nice rests,

eyes, With hair blown back, and wings put

Anxious her lips, her breathing quick cross-wise on their breasts.

and short: The hallow'd hour was near at hand:

she sighs At length burst in the argent revelry,

Amid the timbrels, and the throng'd With plume, tiara, and all rich array,

resort Numerous as shadows haunting, fairily Of whispers in anger, or in sport; The brain, new stuff'd, in youth, with

'Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and triumphs gay

scorn, Of old romance. These let

us wish

Hoodwink'd with faery fancy; all amort, away,

Save to St. Agnes and her lambs unAnd turn, sole-thoughted, to one Lady

shorn, there,

And all the bliss to be before to-morrow Whose heart had brooded, all that win

try day, On love, and wing’d St. Agnes’ saintly So, purposing each moment to retire, care,

She linger'd still. Meantime, across the

, As she had heard old dames full many

moors, times declare.

Had come young Porphyro, with heart


on fire

They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve, For Madeline. Beside the portal doors, Young virgins might have visions of Buttress'd from moonlight, stands he, delight,

and implores And soft adorings from their loves re- All saints to give him sight of Madeline, ceive

But for one moment in the tedious hours, Upon the honey'd middle of the night That he might gaze and worship all If ceremonies due they did aright;

unseen; As, supperless to bed they must retire, Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss — in And couch supine their beauties, lily sooth such things have been.

white: Nor look behind, nor sideways, but re- He ventures in : let no buzz'd whis per tell : quire

All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords Of Heaven with upward eyes for all Will storm his heart, Love's fev'rous that they desire.

citadel :


For him, those chambers held barbarian "Now tell me where is Madeline,” said hordes,

he, Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords, “O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom Whose very dogs would execrations howl Which none but secret sisterhood may Against his lineage: not breast

see, affords

When they St. Agnes' wool are weaving Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,

piously.” Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

“St. Agnes! Ah! it is St. Agnes' Eve —

Yet men will murder upon holy days: Ah, happy chance! the aged creature Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve, came,

And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Shuffling alone with ivory-headed wand,

Fays, To where he stood, hid from the torch's To venture so: it fills me with amaze flame,

To see thee, Porphyro! — St. Agnes' Eve! Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond God's help! my lady fair the conjurer The sound of merriment and chorus

plays bland:

This very night; good angels her deHe startled her; but soon she knew his

ceive! face,

But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle And grasp'd his fingers in her palsied time to grieve.”

hand, Saying, "Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee

hie thee Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon, from this place;

While Porphyro upon her face doth look, They are all here to-night, the whole Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone blood-thirsty race!

Who keepeth clos'd a wond'rous riddle

book, “Get hence! get hence! there's dwarfish As spectacled she sits in chimney nook. Hildebrand :

But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when He had a fever late, and in the fit

she told He cursed thee and thine, both house His lady's purpose; and he scarce could and land:

brook Then there's that old Lord Maurice, not Tears, at the thought of those enchanta whit

ments cold, More tame for his gray hairs Alas me! And Madeline asleep in lap of legends flit!

old. Flit like a ghost away.” — “Ah, Gossip dear,

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown We're safe enough; here in this arm

rose, chair sit,

Flushing his brow, and in his pained And tell me how”. “Good Saints! not

heart here, not here;

Made purple riot: then doth he propose “Follow me, child, or else these stones A stratagem, that makes the beldame will be thy bier."


“A cruel man and impious thou art : He follow'd through a lowly arched way, Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty

dream plume;

Alone with her good angels, far apart And as she mutter'd “Well-a - well a- From wicked men like thee. Go, go! day!"

I deem He found him in a little moonlight room, Thou canst not surely be the same that Pale, lattic'd, chill, and silent as a tomb.

thou didst seem.



“I will not harm her, by all saints I For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare swear,”

On such a catering trust my dizzy head. Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne'er find Wait here, my child, with patience; grace

kneel in prayer When my weak voice shall whisper its The while: Ah! thou must needs the


lady wed, If one of her soft ringlets I displace, Or may I never leave my grave among Or look with ruffian passion in her face:

the dead." Good Angela, believe me by these tears; Or I will, even in a moment's space, So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear. Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen's The lover's endless minutes slowly pass'd; ears,

The dame return'd, and whisper'd in his And beard them, though they be more fang'd than wolves and bears." To follow her; with aged eyes aghast

From fright of dim espial. Safe at last, “Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul? Through many a dusky gallery, they A poor, weak, palsy-stricken church

gain yard thing,

The maiden's chamber, silken, hush'd, Whose passing bell may ere the mid

and chaste; night toll;

Where Porphyro took covert, pleas'd Whose prayers for thee, each morn and

amain. evening,

His poor guide hurried back with agues Were never miss'd.” Thus plaining, doth

in her brain. she bring A gentler speech from burning Por- Her falt'ring hand upon the balustrade phyro;

Old Angela was feeling for the stair, So woful, and of such deep sorrowing, When Madeline, St Agnes' charmed maid, That Angela gives promise she will do Rose, like a mission'd spirit, unaware : Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal With silver taper's light, and pious care,

She turn'd, and down the aged gossip led

To a safe level matting. Now prepare, Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy, Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed; Even to Madeline's chamber, and there She comes, she comes again, like ringhide

dove fray'd and fled. Him in a closet, of such privacy That he might see her beauty unespied, Out went the taper as she hurried in; And win perhaps that night a peerless Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died : bride,

She clos'd the door, she panted, all akin While legion'd fairies pac'd the coverlet, To spirits of the air, and visions wide : And pale enchantment held her sleepy- No uttered syllable, or, woe betide! eyed.

But to her heart, her heart was voluble, Never on such a night have lovers met, Paining with eloquence her balmy side; Since Merlin paid his Demon all the As though a tongueless nightingale should monstrous debt.


Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stified, "It shall be as thou wishest," said the

in her dell. Dame: "All cates and dainties shall be stored there A casement high and triple arch'd there Quickly on this feast-night: by the tam

was, bour frame

All garlanded with carven imag'ries Her own lute thou wilt see:

no time to Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of spare,


or woe.

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