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Beyond a mortal man impassion'd far At these voluptuous accents, he arose, Ethereal, flush'd, and like a throbbing star Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose; Into her dream he melted, as the rose Blendeth its odour with the violet,— Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath set.
T is dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet;
"My Madeline ! sweet dreamer! lovely bride! Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest? Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil dyed I Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest After so many hours of toil and quest, A famish'd pilgrim,—saved by miracle. Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think'st well To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel."
"Hark! 't is an elfin-storm from faery land, Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise—arise ! the morning is at hand;
The bloated wassailers will never heed :— Let us away, my love, with happy speed; There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,— Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead: Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be, For o'er the southern moors I have a home for thee."
She hurried at his words, beset with fears, For there were sleeping dragons all around, At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears— Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found, In all the house was heard no human sound. A chain-droop'd lamp was flickering by each door; The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound, Flutter'd in the besieging wind's uproar; And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.
They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall! Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide, Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl, With a huge empty flagon by his side: The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide, But his sagacious eye an inmate owns: By one, and one, the bolts full easy slide :— The chains lie silent on the footworn stones; The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.
And they are gone: ay, ages long ago