The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 28 - Summary

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Stol’n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumberous tenderness;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath’d himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hush’d carpet, silent, stept,
And ’tween the curtains peep’d, where, lo!—how fast she slept.

Summary

      Porphyro took advantage of Madeline’s sleep. He arranged various fruits for the feast during her sleep. Things from Samarcand to Lebanon were there on the table.

      Porphyro collected all these fruits on the table with his own hands which shone brightly on the beautiful dishes. He put them in baskets which were made of silver threads skilfully interwoven. This mixture of white and gold colors must have presented a lovely sight. The fruits were all lying on the table in the peaceful atmosphere of the night. They filed the cold room with the sweet fragrance. The whole room was scented with their perfume. Then the hero asked his bright angel to wake up and oblige him with her conversation. She was a deity to him and he was her worshipper. She was asked to wake up at least for the sake of St. Agnes whose celebrations were being held that night. If she slept while she loved stood before her, it would be a great dishonor to St. Agnes who wanted the union of lover and the beloved that night. His heart has agonized with love and so if she continued sleeping, he would also sleep by her side and get mental peace.

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