The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 25 - Summary

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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 her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.


      In this stanza, the poet has painted an exquisitely beautiful picture of Madeline as she kneels down before retiring to bed. She prays for God’s grace and His gift of the desired vision (of her future husband). The rays of the wintry moon come directly through the many-colored panes of the arched windows, and cast patches of light-red light on Madeline’s lovely breast. Similarly, rose-colored moonlight fell on her folded hands; and a soft violet color fell on her silver cross. Then round her hair, a halo (a round patch of light) was cast, as if she were a saint. She looks like a splendid wingless angel, just prepare to ascend to heaven Porphyro feels dizzy, as she looks so pure while kneeling, and so free from all sorts of mortal corruption. Here again, as in various other places, the purity of Madeline’s maidenhood is indicated.

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