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The Eve of St. Agnes, Page 2
by John Keats (February, 1819).

    That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
    And so it chanc'd, 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-ey'd,
    Star'd, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.

    At length burst in the argent revelry,
    With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
    Numerous as shadows haunting faerily
    The brain, new stuff'd, in youth, with triumphs gay
    Of old romance. These let us wish away,
    And turn, soul-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.

    They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve,
    Young virgins might have visions of delight,
    And soft adornings 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, lilly white;
    Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

PAGE 2 OF 14.

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AUTHOR: John Keats (February, 1819).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: PoeticSpace:Keats:Poems:TheEveOfStAgnes:Page2
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