Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

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Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact. See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com


433. from the Eve of St Agnes by John Keats

February 21st, 2009

Episode 421 of 608 episodes

J Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud: Giving voice to the poetry of the past. www.classicpoetryaloud.com -------------------------------------------- fromThe Eve of St. Agnes by John Keats (1795 – 1821) XXXIII Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,— Tumultuous,—and, in chords that tenderest be, He play’d an ancient ditty, long since mute, In Provence call’d, “La belle dame sans mercy:” Close to her ear touching the melody;— Wherewith disturb’d, she utter’d a soft moan: He ceased—she panted quick—and suddenly Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone: Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone. XXXIV Her eyes were open, but she still beheld, Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep: There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d The blisses of her dream so pure and deep At which fair Madeline began to weep, And moan forth witless words with many a sigh; While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep; Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye, Fearing to move or speak, she look’d so dreamingly. XXXV “Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now “Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear, “Made tuneable with every sweetest vow; “And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear: “How chang’d thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear! “Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, “Those looks immortal, those complainings dear! “Oh leave me not in this eternal woe, “For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.” XXXVI Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far At these voluptuous accents, he arose, Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star Seen mid the sapphire heaven’s deep repose; Into her dream he melted, as the rose Blendeth its odour with the violet,— Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows Like Love’s alarum pattering the sharp sleet Against the window-panes; St. Agnes’ moon hath set. First aired: 20 February 2009 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

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