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  • The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake,

  • It tore the elm-tops down for spite, and did its worst to vex the lake:

  • I listened with heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria; straight

  • She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate

  • Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; Which done, she rose, and from her form

  • Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, And laid her soiled gloves by, untied

  • Her hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she sat down by my side

  • And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about her waist,

  • And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced,

  • And, stooping, made my cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,

  • Murmuring how she loved me--she Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor,

  • To set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever,

  • And give herself to me forever. But passion sometimes would prevail,

  • Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain. A sudden thought of one so pale

  • For love of her, and all in vain: So, she was come through wind and rain.

  • Be sure I looked up at her eyes Happy and proud; at last I knew

  • Porphyria worshiped me: surprise Made my heart swell, and still it grew

  • While I debated what to do. That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

  • Perfectly pure and good: I found A thing to do, and all her hair

  • In one long yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around,

  • And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain.

  • As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her lids: again

  • Laughed the blue eyes without a stain. And I untightened next the tress

  • About her neck; her cheek once more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:

  • I propped her head up as before Only, this time my shoulder bore

  • Her head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rosy little head,

  • So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled,

  • And I, its love, am gained instead! Porphyria's love: she guessed not how

  • Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now,

  • And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word!

The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake,

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