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The Eve of St. Agnes, Page 4
by John Keats (February, 1819).

    He ventures in: let no buzz'd whisper tell:
    All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
    Will storm his heart, Love's fev'rous citadel:
    For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,
    Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
    Whose very dogs would execrations 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.

    Ah, happy chance! the aged creature came,
    Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand,
    To where he stood, hid from the torch's flame,
    Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
    The sound of merriment and chorus bland:
    He startled her; but soon she knew his face,
    And grasp'd his fingers in her palsied hand,
    Saying, "Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee from this place;
"They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race!

    "Get hence! get hence! there's dwarfish Hildebrand;
    "He had a fever late, and in the fit
    "He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
    "Then there's that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
    "More tame for his gray hairs—Alas me! flit!
    "Flit like a ghost away."—"Ah, Gossip dear,
    "We're safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit,
    "And tell me how"—"Good Saints! not here, not here;
"Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier."

PAGE 4 OF 14.

• • • • •Dearest Romantic, to read the fifth page of The Eve of St. Agnes,
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AUTHOR: John Keats (February, 1819).
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