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The Eve of St. Agnes, Page 6
by John Keats (February, 1819).

                   XVI.
    Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose,
    Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart
    Made purple riot: then doth he propose
    A stratagem, that makes the beldame start:
    "A cruel man and impious thou art:
    "Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream
    "Alone with her good angels, far apart
    "From wicked men like thee. Go, go!—I deem
"Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem."

                   XVII.
    "I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,"
    Quoth Porphyro: "O may I ne'er find grace
    "When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer,
    "If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
    "Or look with ruffian passion in her face:
    "Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
    "Or I will, even in a moment's space,
    "Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen's cars,
"And beard them, though they be more fang'd than wolves and bears."

                   XVIII.
    "Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul?
    "A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
    "Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll;
    "Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening,
    "Were never miss'd."—Thus plaining, doth she bring
    A gentler speech from burning Porphyro;
    So woful, and of such deep sorrowing,
    That Angela gives promise she will do
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.


PAGE 6 OF 14.

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