The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 10 - Summary

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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.


      Porphyro takes courage and enters. The poet wishes that even a whisper should not disclose his entrance. Let all eyes be blindfolded, otherwise, the hundred swords of the ‘barbarian hordes’ will assault his warm heart which is like a citadel (fortress) of love.

      The castle was full of enemies. In the halls of that castle were gathered men who would have flown into fits of rage and fury at the very mention of Porphyro’s name. There were savage men, cruel and treacherous enemies who would have attacked Porphyro at the very sight of him. There were easily excitable lords whose very dogs would have barked at him fiercely as if to curse him and the family from which he was descended. In other words, there was a hereditary enmity between Porphyro and the family of Madeline.

      There was nobody to sympathize with or to help Porphyro in that castle which was full of his wicked enemies. One person was no doubt friendly towards him, an old woman; but she was too aged and feeble; too weak physically as well as mentally.

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