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'Tis dark quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet: "This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!" 'Tis dark the iced gusts still rave and beat : "No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine! Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine. Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring? I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine, Though thou forsakest a deceived thing; A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing."
My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride! Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest? Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil dyed?
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! 'tis 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
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
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 These lovers fled away into the storm. That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe, And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm, Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old Died palsy-twitch'd, with meagre face deform; The Beadsman, after thousand aves told, For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold.
EEP in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deaden'd more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.
Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went, No further than to where his feet had stray'd, And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead, Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed; While his bow'd head seem'd listening to the Earth, His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.
It seem'd no force could wake him from his place; But there came one, who with a kindred hand Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low With reverence, though to one who knew it not. She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta’en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestall'd haply in a palace-court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face :
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenour and deep organ tone :
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
"Saturn, look up! though wherefore, poor old
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on : O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes ?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep."
As when, upon a tranced summer-night, Those green-robed senators of mighty woods, Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, Dream, and so dream all night without a stir, Save from one gradual solitary gust Which comes upon the silence, and dies off, As if the ebbing air had but one wave:
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her falling hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow of the place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady :
"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,