The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 21 - Summary

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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.


      Saying this, Angela went away, walking in a hopping manner. To the impatient lover Porphyro, minutes appear like years. The old woman returns and whispers in his ear asking him to follow her. Her eyes look terrified lest someone should see them. At last through many a dark gallery, they arrive at Madeline’s chamber, which the poet picturesquely described as silken (i e. having silk furnishing all around), hushed, (absolutely noiseless) and chaste (everything indicative of her maiden purity). Porphyro being greatly pleased, hides himself and his poor guide Angela hurries out, suffering from pains in her head due to chilliness.

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