Study Guide

Christabel The Supernatural

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The Supernatural

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak
But moss and rarest misletoe:
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she. (31-36)

It may not seem like it at first glance, but this stanza is full of Druid hocus-pocus (what with the oak and the mistletoe).

But soon with altered voice, said she—
"Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine!
I have power to bid thee flee."
Alas! what ails poor Geraldine?
Why stares she with unsettled eye?
Can she the bodiless dead espy?
And why with hollow voice cries she,
"Off, woman, off! this hour is mine—
Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Off, woman, off! 'tis given to me." (204-213)

Christabel's mother tries to swoop in and protect her, but Geraldine swats her away like a spiritual fly with her witchy curses.

O Geraldine! one hour was thine—
Thou'st had thy will! By tairn and rill,
The night-birds all that hour were still. (305-307)

Geraldine took complete advantage of the witching hour. Then she just kept going, because Geraldine's witching party just doesn't stop…ever, apparently, since the poem was never finished.

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!" (265-268)

Geraldine flat-out tells Christabel, "I put a spell on you!"

A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy;
And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye
And with somewhat of malice, and more of dread,
At Christabel she looked askance!—
One moment—and the sight was fled! (583-588)

Is what Christabel seeing here real, or in her head? How can you tell?

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