The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 30 - Summary

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And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd;
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.


      While Porphyro arranged a feast of dainties on the table, Madeline slept on white soft bed perfumed with lavender. The blueness of her eyes could be discerned through her transparent eyelids. Porphyro brought from the closet a variety of delicious fruits and foods including apple preserved in sugar, quince, plum, gourd, jellies softer than curd full of cream, transparent syrups flavored with cinnamon. He also placed on the table manna and dates which had been imported from Fez (in Morocco) and spiced foods imported from various foreign lands ranging from Samarcand which is famous for its silks to Lebanon known for its cedar trees. (The whole of this stanza is a rich feast—a feast to the eyes and a feast to the taste. There is an unsurpassed collection of dainties here, appetizing and delicious, with the rich associations of distant lands.

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