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Names, deeds, grey legends, dire events, rebellions,
Majesties, sovran voices, agonies,
Creations and destroyings, all at once
Pour into the wide hollows of my brain,
And deify me, as if some blithe wine
Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk,
And so become immortal.”—Thus the God,
While his enkindled eyes, with level glance
Beneath his white soft temples, steadfast kept,
Trembling with light, upon Mnemosyne.
Soon wild commotions shook him, and made flush
All the immortal fairness of his limbs :
Most like the struggle at the gate of death;
Or liker still to one who should take leave
Of pale immortal death, and with a pang
As hot as death's is chill, with fierce convulse
Die into life: so young Apollo anguish'd;
His very hair, his golden tresses famed,
Kept undulation round his eager neck.
During the pain Mnemosyne upheld
Her arms as one who prophesied. At length
Apollo shriek'd ;- and lo! from all his limbs





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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;
Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees :
The sculptured dead, on each side seem to freeze,
Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,

He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.


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.



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,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain new-stuff'd, in youth, with triumphs gay
Of old romance.

These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one Lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,

On love, and wing'd St. Agnes' saintly care,
As she had heard old dames full many times declare.

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They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey'd middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;

Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

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):—“In ation in the seventh stanza reading over the proof of St. very much for the worse. Agnes' Eve' since I left Fleet The passage I mean stands Street, I was struck with thus:

her maiden eyes incline
Still on the floor, while many a sweeping train

Pass by.
'Twas originally written —

her maiden eyes divine
Fix'd on the floor, saw many a sweeping train

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.

X. He ventures in: let no buzz'd whisper tell, All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords Will storm his heart, Love's feverous citadel : For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes, Hyena foeman, and hot-blooded lords, Whose very dogs would execration howl Against his lineage: not one breast affords

Him any mercy in that mansion foul, Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

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