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He play'd an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call'd “ La belle dame sans mercy:o”
Close to her ear touching the melody;
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter'd a soft moan:
He ceased — she panted quick — and suddenly 295

Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone: Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

XXXIV Her eyes were open, but she still beheld, Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep: There was a painful change, that nigh expellid 300 The blisses of her dream so pure and deep At which fair Madeline began to weep, And moan forth witless words with many a sigh; While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;

Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye, Fearing to move or speak, she look'd so dreamingly.

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XXXV

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Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear, Made tuneable with every sweetest vow; And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear: How changed thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear! Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!

Oh leave me not in this eternal woe, For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.” 315

XXXVI

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

320 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.

XXXVII 'Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet: 325 “ 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."

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XXXVIII

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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.

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XXXIX

“ Hark! 'tis an elfin storm from faery land, Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:

Arise arise! the morning is at hand:

345 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.”

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XL 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. - 355 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. 360

XLI

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, 365
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;

XLII

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And they are gone: aye, 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. Angelao 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.

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ALFRED TENNYSON

DORA

5

WITH farmer Allan at the farm abode William and Dora. William was his son, And she his niece. He often looked at them, And often thought, “ I'll make them man and wife." Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all, And yearn'd towards William; but the youth, because He had been always with her in the house, Thought not of Dora.

Then there came a day When Allan call’d his son, and said, My son: I married late, but I would wish to see

10 My grandchild on my knees before I die: And I have set my heart upon a match. Now therefore look to Dora; she is well To look to; thrifty too beyond her age. She is my brother's daughter: he and I Had once hard words, and parted, and he died In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred His daughter Dora: take her for your wife; For I have wish'd this marriage, night and day, For many years.” But William answer'd short: 20 “I cannot marry Dora; by my life, I will not marry Dora.' Then the old man Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said: "You will not, boy! you dare to answer thus ! But in my time a father's word was law,

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