Beneath the lamp the lady bowed, And slowly rolled her eyes around; Then drawing in her breath aloud, Like one that shuddered, she unbound The cincture from beneath her breast: Her silken robe, and inner vest, Dropt to her feet, and full in view, Behold! her bosom, and half her side— A sight to dream of, not to tell! O shield her! shield sweet Christabel! Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs; Ah! what a stricken look was hers! Deep from within she seems half-way To lift some weight with sick assay, And eyes the maid and seeks delay; Then suddenly as one defied Collects herself in scorn and pride, And lay down by the Maiden's side!— And in her arms the maid she took, Ah wel-a-day! And with low voice and doleful look These words did say: 'In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell, Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel!
This poem is in the public domain.