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The Eve of St. Agnes, Page 7
by John Keats (February, 1819).

                   XIX.
    Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
    Even to Madeline's chamber, and there hide
    Him in a closet, of such privacy
    That he might see her beauty unespy'd,
    And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
    While legion'd faeries pac'd the coverlet,
    And pale enchantment held her sleepy-ey'd.
    Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

                   XX.
    "It shall be as thou wishest," said the dame:
    "All cates and dainties shall be stored there
    "Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
    "Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
    "For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
    "On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
    "Wait here, my child, with patience: kneel in prayer
    "The while: Ah! thou must needs the lady wed,
"Or may I never leave my grave among the dead."

                   XXI.
    So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
    The lover's endless minutes slowly pass'd;
    The dame return'd, and whisper'd in his ear
    To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
    From fright of dim espial. Safe at last,
    Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
    The maiden's chamber, silken, hush'd, and chaste;
    Where Porphyro took covert, pleas'd amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.


PAGE 7 OF 14.

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