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“Made tuneable with every sweetest vow; “And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear : “How chang'd thou art ! how pallid, chill, and drear ! "Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, “Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
“Oh leave me not in this eternal woe, “For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.”
Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet Against the window-panes ; St. Agnes' moon hath set.
cancelled in favour of in, and the manuscript reads by for with in line 3, thy kind eyes for those sad eyes in line 4, and a[r]t thou for thou art in line 5. Compare the first quatrain with A Midsummer-. Night's Dream (Act I, Scene 1, lines 183-4)
Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,... (XXXVI) Line i was originally written thus :
Impassion'd far beyond a mortal manbut the transposition is marked in the manuscript. In line 2 words for accents stands cancelled. Line 4 originally began with Was either, as if the magnificent third line was at first intended to refer to Porphyro's eyes--“like a throbbing star was either eye.” With her bright dream and In her bright dream are rejected readings for Into her dream. In line 6 the manuscript reads her odour, and originally read her perfume. For line 7 there is a false start, And are one, and for line 8 another, Darkness. Line 9 originally opened
XXXVII. '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 unpruned wing."
XXXVIII. “My Madeline ! sweet dreamer ! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest ? Thy beauty's shield, heart-shap'd and vermeil dy'd ? “Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
with Against the Casement gloom, successively altered to Window's gloom, Casement dark, and Windows dark : the line finally stands
Against the windows dark. St. Agnes moon had set. The reading of the text is not in the manuscript. Against the words Beyond a mortal man, Hunt makes the note “Madeline is half awake, and Porphyro reassures her with loving, kind looks, and an affectionate embrace." I cannot but think that in this one instance the commentator is very decidedly at fault, and that no embrace is referred to in the stanza.
(XXXVII) The manuscript reads still for quick in line 1. The word Ah stands cancelled at the beginning of line 6. Line 8 was originally written as in the text; but forsakest stands cancelled, in favour of shouldst leave forsaken, of which reading the words shouldst leave are also struck out. Line 9 has the word To cancelled at the beginning, and the rejected reading A silent mateless dove.
(XXXVIII) There is a rejected reading of line i in the manuscript
My Madeline ! Dark is this wintry night,
“ After so many hours of toil and quest,
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
and of line 4
Ah silver shrine by thee will I take rest. Line 6 originally began with the words with tearful ; and there are two completed versions
With features pale and mournful Pilgrim's weeds and
Pale featured and in weeds of Pilgrimagewhich stands uncancelled. Line 7 was first written thus :
I have found, but will not rob thy downy nest ! then
Though I have found I cannot rob thy nest ! and finally the last three lines are left standing thus :
Though I have found but cannot rob thy nest !
Soft Nightingale, I'll keep thee in a cage
To sing to me—but hark! the blinded tempest's rage !! The inverted commas are closed at the end of the stanza in Keats's edition. Hunt says, “With what a pretty wilful conceit the costume of the poem is kept up in the third line about the shield! The poet knew when to introduce apparent trifles forbidden to those who are void of real passion, and who, feeling nothing intensely, can intensify nothing."
(XXXIX) Line 2 originally ended with but, my love, to us, which was altered first to but a boon in truth and then to but a boon indeed. Line 3 has a cancelled reading, Arise my Love. For line 6 there is a false start, Over the moors. Line 7 originally ended with
“ Drown'd 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."
Flutter'd in the besieging wind's uproar ;
the drench of mead, altered to the drenching mead before the happier reading of the text was supplied. The last two lines stand thus in the manuscript
Put on warm cloathing, sweet, and fearless be
Over the dartmoor bl[e]ak I have a home for thee. There is a cancelled reading, Over the bleak Dartmoor ; but for which one might not have felt perfectly certain that dartmoor blak (with a small d) was an allusion to that moor wherein the river Dart takes its rise, and which Keats could see from Teignmouth in looking up the Estuary of the Teign.
(XL) In line 2, about stands cancelled for around in the manuscript ; and line 3 was first written thus :
Or perhaps at glaring watch with ready spearsbut the reading of the text is substituted. Well is struck out at the beginning of line 4; and in line 5 not a is struck out and heard no written instead. Then there is much fastidiousness in the matter of going on, as thus
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones ;-
The Lamps were flickering death shades on the walls
A drooping Lamp was flickering here and there. All these readings are rejected, and the stanza then proceeds to the end without further erasures except the word flutter'd after arras in line 7, and with cold after Flutter’d in line 8. Hunt observes upon the Alexandrine “This is a slip of the memory, for there were hardly carpets in those days. But the truth of the painting makes amends, as in the unchronological pictures of old masters.” Mr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in similar circumstances in his magnificent ballad of The King's Tragedy, has avoided the unchronological flaw thus :
And now the ladies fled with the Queen ;
And the rushes shook on the floor.
Like Spirits into the wide-paven hall
They glide,-and to the iron porch in haste; but the reading of the text is supplied in the manuscript. In line 3, slept is substituted for lay, and lay again for slept. The manuscript reads beaker for flaggon. For line 6 was originally written
And paced round Madeline all angerless,