The Eve of St. Agnes: Stanza 19 - Summary

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Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline’s chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion’d fairies pac’d the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.


      Angela was moved by the speech of Porphyro. She was ready to help him whatever might happen to her.

      She went ahead in her plans to assist him. She took him near to the private room of Madeline with top secrecy. Then he was closed in a room from where she might look at his beloved. He could see her but she could not detect it. This process might enable him to win a matchless lady on the night of St. Anges. Madeline was hunted by innumerable fairies in her dreams. Her bed cover was being assailed by these fairies. Similarly the enchantment of St. Agnes Eve in that dim moonlight overpowered her and she remained sleepily and drowsy, although her love was so very near to her. It was only a rare meeting of the beloved and the lover on such a stormy night exposed to all dangers. The lovers have, never met earlier. The first meeting was Merlin and his beloved Vivian. When the beloved imprisoned him in a tree, he had to fall a prey to his own spell. In that manner, he paid back what he received from his father, a demon.

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