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Names, deeds, grey legends, dire events, rebellions,
Q T, Agnes' Eve-ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold; The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass, And silent was the flock in woolly fold : Numb were the Beadsman's fingers while he told His rosary, and while his frosted breath, Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem'd taking flight for heaven without a death, Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his prayer he
His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
III. Northward he turneth through a little door, And scarce three steps, ere Music's golden tongue Flatter'd to tears this aged man and poor. But no- already had his death-bell rung; The joys of all his life were said and sung: His was harsh penance on St. Agnes' Eve: Another way he went, and soon among
Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reprieve, And all night kept awake, for sinner's sake to grieve.
IV. That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft; And so it chanced, for many a door was wide, From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft, The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to chide : The level chambers, ready with their pride, Were glowing to receive a thousand guests: The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Stared, where upon their heads the cornice rests, With hair blown back, and wings put crosswise
on their breasts.
At length burst in the argent revelry,
On love, and wing'd St. Agnes' saintly care,
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
VII. Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline : The music, yearning like a God in pain, She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine, Fix'd on the floor, saw many a sweeping train Pass by-she heeded not at all : in vain Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier, And back retired; not cool'd by high disdain,
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere; She sigh'd for Agnes' dreams, the sweetest of the year.'
Keats writes to Mr. Tay. what appears to me an alterlor (June 11, 1820):-"Ín ation in the seventh stanza reading over the proof of St. very much for the worse. Agnes' Eve since I left Fleet Thé passage I mean stands Street, I was struck with thus:
her maiden eyes incline
her maiden eyes divine
Pass by. My meaning is quite de- of passers by, but for skirts stroyed in the alteration. I sweeping along the floor. do not use train for concourse In the first stanza my copy reads, second line
bitter chill it was, to avoid the echo cold in the second line."
VIII. She danced along with vague, regardless eyes, Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short: The hallow'd hour was near at hand, she sighs: Amid the timbrels, and the throng'd resort Of whisperers in anger or in sport; 'Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn, Hoodwink'd with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St. Agnes and her lambs unshorn, And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.
IX. So, purposing each moment to retire, She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors, Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire For Madeline. Beside the portal doors, Buttress'd from moonlight, stands he, and im
plores All saints to give him sight of Madeline, But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen; Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss—in sooth such
things have been.
He ventures in: let no buzz'd whisper tell,
Him any mercy in that mansion foul,