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its service, and never to be out of temper in its cause.
Thus I and the Bottle made our way. Once we had a
break-down ; rather a bad break-down, on a steep high place
with the sea below us, on a tempestuous evening when it
blew great guns. We were driving four wild horses abreast,
Southern fashion, and there was some little difficulty in stop-
ping them. I was outside, and not thrown off; but no words
can describe my feelings when I saw the Bottle travelling
15



226 CHARLES DICKENS.

inside, as usual burst the door open, and roll obesely out
into the road. A blessed Bottle with a charmed existence,
he took no hurt, and we repaired damage, and went on
triumphant.

A thousand representations were made to me that the
Bottle must be left at this place, or that, and allied for
again. I never yielded to one of them, and never parted
from the Bottle, on any pretence, consideration, threat, or
entreaty. I had no faith in any official receipt for the Bot-
tle, and nothing would induce me to accept one. These
unmanageable politics at last brought me and the Bottle,
still triumphant, to Genoa. There I took a tender and
reluctant leave of him for a few weeks, and consigned him
to a trusty English captain, to be conveyed to the port of
London by sea.

While the Bottle was on his voyage to England, I read
the Shipping Intelligence, as anxiously as if I had been an
underwriter. There was some stormy weather after I my-
self had got to England by way of Switzerland and France,
and my mind greatly misgave me that the Bottle might be
wrecked. At last, to my great joy, I received notice of his
safe arrival, and immediately went down to Saint Kath-
arine's Docks, and found him in a state of honorable captiv-
ity in the custom-house.

The wine was mere vinegar when I set it down before the
gen3rous Englishman, probably it had been something
like vinegar when I took it up from Giovanni Carlavero,
but not a drop of it was spilled or gone. And the English-
man told me, with much emotion in his face and voice, that
he had never tasted wine that seemed to him so sweet and
sound. And long afterward, the Bottle graced his table.
And the last time I saw him in this world that misses 'him,
he took me aside in a crowd, to say, with his amiable smile :
" We were talking of you only to-day at dinner, and I
wished you had been there, for I had some claret up in Car-
lavero's Bottle."



WHEN I AWAKE, I AM STILL WITH THEE.

BY MRS. H. B. STOWE.

S" TILL, still with thee, when purple morning breaketh.
When the bird waketh and the shadows flee ;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, lam with thee!

Alone with thee, amid the mystic shadows,

The solemn hush of nature newly bora ;
Alone with thee in breathless adoration,

In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

As in the dawning o'er the waveless ocean
The image of the morning star doth rest,

So in this stillness thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.

Still, still with thee ! as to each new-born morning
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,

So doth this blessed consciousness, awaking,

Breathe, each day, nearness unto thee and heaven.

When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eye looks up to thee in prayer,

Sweet the repose beneath thy wings o'ershading,
But sweeter still to wake and find thee there.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning
When the soul waketh and life's shadows flee ;

O, in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought, / am with thee r



THE EVE OP ST. AGNES,

BY JOHN KEATS.

ST. AGNES' EVE, ah, bitter chill it was !
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold ;
The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold :
Nuinb were the beadsman's fingers while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seemed taking flight for heaven without a death,
Past the sweet virgin's picture, while his prayer he saith,

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man ;

Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,

And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,

Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees ;

The sculptured dead on each side seem to freeze,

Einprisoned in black, purgatorial rails ;

Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat'ries,

He passeth by ; and his weak spirit fails

To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps, ere music's golden tongue
Flattered to tears this aged man and poor ;
But no, already had his death-bell rung ;



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 229

The joys of all his life were said and sung :

His was harsh penance on St. Agues' Eve :

Another way he went, and soon among

Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reprieve,

And all night kept awake, for sinners' sake to grieve.

That ancient beadsman heard the prelude soft :
And so it chanced, 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-eyed,
Stared, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put crosswise on their
breasts.

At length burst in the argent revelry,

With plume, tiara, and all rich array,

Numerous as shadows haunting fairily

The brain, new-stuffed, in youth, with triumphs gay

Of old romance. These let us wish away ;

And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,

Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,

On love, and winged St. Agnes' saiotly 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 adorings from their loves receive

Upon the honeyed middle of the night,

If ceremonies due they did aright ;

As, supperless to bed they must retire,

And couch supine their beauties, lily white ;

Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require

Of heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.



230 JOHN KEATS.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline ;

The music, yearning like a god in pain,

She scarcely heard ; her maiden eyes divine,

Fixed on the floor, saw many a sweeping train

Pass by, she heeded not at all ; in vain

Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier,

And back retired, not cooled by high disdain.

But she saw not ; her heart was otherwhere ;

She sighed for Agnes' dreams, the sweetest of the year.

She danced along with vague, regardless eyes,
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short ;
The hallowed hour was near at hand ; she sighs
Amid the timbrels, and the thronged resort
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport ;
Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn,
Hoodwinked with fairy fancy ; all amort
Save to St. Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.

So, purposing each moment to retire,
She lingered still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors,
Buttressed from moonlight, stands he, and implores
All saints to give him sight of Madeline ;
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen ;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss, in sooth such thing:-
have been.

He ventures in : let no buzzed whisper tell :
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
Will storm his heart, love's feverous citadel ;
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 231

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 grasped 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 Hildebraud ;

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."

He followed through a lowly arched way,
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume ;
And as she muttered, " Well-a well-a-day ! "
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, latticed, chill, and silent as a tomb.
" Now tell me where is Madeline," said he,
" O, tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
When they St. Agnes' wool are weaving piously."



232 JOHN KEATS.

" St. Agnes ! Ah ! it is St. Agnes' Eve,

Yet men will murder upon holy days ;

Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve,

And be liege-lord of all the elves and fays,

To venture so. It fills me wi'h amaze

To see thee, Porphyro ! St. Agnes' Eve !

God's help ! my lady fair the conjurer plays

This very night ; good angels her deceive !

But let me laugh awhile, I 've mickle time to grieve."

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon,

While Porphyro upon her face doth look,

Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone

Who keepeth closed a wondrous riddle-book,

As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.

But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told

His lady's purpose ; and he scarce could brook

Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold,

And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.

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."

" I will not harm her, by all saints 1 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,



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 233

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 ears,
And beard them, though they be more fanged than wolves
and bears."

" 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 missed." 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.

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 unespied,

And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,

While legioned fairies paced the coverlet,

And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.

Never on such a night have lovers met,

Since Merlin paid his demon all the monstrous debt.

" 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."



234 JOHN KEATS.

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.

The lover's endless minutes slowly passed :

The dame returned, and whispered 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, hushed and chaste ;

Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain.

His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her faltering hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid,
Rose, like a missioned spirit, unaware ;
With silver taper's light, and pious care,
She turned, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed !
She comes, she comes again, like ring-dove frayed and
fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in ;

Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died ;

She closed the door, she panted, all akin

To spirits of the air, and visions wide ;

No uttered syllable, or, woe betide !

But to her heart, her heart was voluble,

Paining with eloquence her balmy side ;

As though a tongueless nightingale should swell

Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arched there was,
All garlanded with carven imageries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 235

Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth's deep-damasked wings;
And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blushed with blood of queens and
kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon ;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on IILT silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint ;
She seemed a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven. Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Anon his heart revives ; her vespers done,

Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees ; ,

Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one ;

Loosens her fragrant bodice ; by degrees

Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees ;

Half hidden, like a mermaid in sea- weed,

Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,

In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,

But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplexed she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppressed
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away ;
Flown like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully havened both from joy and pain ;
Clasped like a inissal where swart Payiiims pray ;



236 JOHN KEATS.

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,

As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stolen to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listened to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumbrous tenderness ;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breathed himself ; then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hushed carpet, silent, stept,
And 'tween the curtains peeped, where, lo ! how fast
she slept.

Then by the bedside, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguished, threw thereon
A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and jet :
*O for some drowsy Morphean amulet !
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarionet,
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone :
The hall-door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and laveudered ;
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd ;
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon ;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferred
From Fez ; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcaud to cedared Lebanon.



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 237

These delicates he heaped with glowing hand

On golden dishes and in baskets bright

Of wreathed silver. Sumptuous they stand

In the retired quiet of the night,

Filling the chilly room with perfume light.

" And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake !

Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite ;

Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes' sake,

Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache."

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains ; 't was a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream :
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam ;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies ;
It seemed he never, never could redeem
From such a steadfast spell his lady's eyes ;
So mused awhile, entoiled in woofed phantasies-
Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,
Tumultuous, and, in chords that tenderest be,
He played an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence called " La belle dame sans merci ; "
Close to her ear touching the melody ;
Wherewith disturbed, she uttered a soft moan :
He ceased ; she panted quick, and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone :
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep.
There was a painful change, that nigh expelled
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep ;



238 JOHN KEATS.

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 looked so dreamingly.

" Ah, Porphyro ! " said she, " hut even now

Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,

Made tunable 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 !

O, leave me not in this eternal woe,

For if thou diest, my love, I know not where to go."

Beyond a mortal man impassioned far

At these voluptuous accents, he arose,

Ethereal, flushed, and like a throbbing star

Seen mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose ;

Into her dream he melted, as the rose

Blendeth its odor 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.

'Tis dark; quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
" 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, unpruncd wing."



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. 239

" My Madeline ! sweet dreamer ! lovely bride !

Say, may I be for aye tliy 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 famished pilgrim, saved by miracle.

Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest,

Saving of thy sweet self; it' thou thiuk'st well

To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

" Hark ! 't is an elfin storm from faery land,

Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:

Arise, arise! the morning is at hand ;

The bloated wassailers will never heed :

Let us away, my love, with happy speed ;

There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,

Drowned 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."

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,

In all the house was heard no human sound.

A chain-drooped lamp was flickering by each door ;

The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,

Fluttered in the besieging wind's uproar;

And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

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 :



240 JOHN KEATS.

The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,

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.

And they are gone ! ay, 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. Angela the old
Died palsy- twitched, with meagre face deform ;
The beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold.



LINKS ITH HEAVEN



BY ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.

OUR God in Heaven, from that holy place,
To each of us an Angel guide has given ;
But Mothers of dead children have more grace,
For they give Angels to their God and Heaven.

How can a Mother's heart feel cold or weary,
Knowing her dearer self safe, happy, warm ?

How can she feel her road too dark or dreary,

Who knows her treasure sheltered from the storm'

How can she sin ? Our hearts may be unheeding,
Our God forgot, our holy Saints defied;

But can a mother hear her dead child pleading,
And thrust those little angel hands aside ?

Those little hands stretched down to draw her ever
Nearer to God by mother love : we all

Are blind and weak, yet surely she can never,
With such a stake in Heaven, fail or fall.

She knows that when the mighty Angels raise
Chorus in Heaven, one little silver tone

Is hers forever, that one little praise,
One little happy voice, is all her own.
16



242 ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.

We may not sec her sacred crown of honor,
But all the Angels flitting to and fro

Pause smiling as they pass, they look upon her
As mother of an angel whom they know,

One whom they left nestled at Mary's feet,

The children's place in Heaven, who softly singa

A little chant to please them, slow and sweet,
Or smiling strokes their little folded wings ;

Or gives them Her white lilies or Her beads
To play with : yet, in spite of flower or song,

They often lift a wistful look that pleads

And asks Her why their mother stays so long.

Then our dear Queen makes answer she will call
Her very soon : .meanwhile they are beguiled

To wait and listen while She tells them all
A story of Her Jesus as a child.

All, Saints in Heaven may pray with earnest will
And pity for their weak and erring brothers :

Yet there is prayer in Heaven more tender still,
The little Children pleading for their Mothers.



WINTER ANIMAIS IN THE WOODS.



BY HENRY D. THOREAU.

FOR sounds in winter nights, and often in winter days,
I heard the forlorn but melodious note of a hooting
owl indefinitely far ; such a sound as the frozen earth would
yield if struck with a suitable plectrum, the very lingua
vernacida of "Waldcn "Wood, and quite familiar to me at
last, though I never saw the bird while it was making it
I seldom opened my door in a winter evening without hear-
ing it : Hoo hoo hoo, hoorer hoo, sounded sonorously, and
the first three syllables accented somewhat like how der do ;
or sometimes hoo hoo only. One night in the beginning of
winter, before the pond froze over, about nine o'clock, I was
startled by the loud honking of a goose, and, stepping to
the door, heard the sound of their wings like a tempest in
the woods as they flew low over my house. They passed
over the pond toward Fair Haven, seemingly deterred from
settling by my light, their commodore honking all the
wliile with a regular beat. Suddenly an unmistakable cat-
owl from very near me, with the most harsh and tremendous
voice I ever heard from any inhabitant of the woods, re-
sponded at regular intervals to the goose, as if determined
to expose and disgrace this intruder from Hudson's Bay by
exhibiting a greater compass and volume of voice in a
native, and boo-hoo him out of Concord horizon. What do
you mean by alarming the citadel at this time of night con-



244 HENRY D. THOREAU.

secrated to me ? Do you think I am ever caught napping
at such an hour, and that I have not got lungs and a larynx
as well as yourself? Boo-hoo, boo-hoo, boo-hoo! It was
one of the most thrilling discords I ever heard. And yet,



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