Study Guide

Christabel Stanzas 43-47

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Stanzas 43-47

Part II, Stanzas 43-47

So quickly she rose, and quickly arrayed
Her maiden limbs, and having prayed
That He, who on the cross did groan,
Might wash away her sins unknown,
She forthwith led fair Geraldine
To meet her sire, Sir Leoline.

The lovely maid and the lady tall
Are pacing both into the hall,
And pacing on through page and groom,
Enter the Baron's presence-room.

The Baron rose, and while he prest
His gentle daughter to his breast,
With cheerful wonder in his eyes
The lady Geraldine espies,
And gave such welcome to the same,
As might beseem so bright a dame!

But when he heard the lady's tale,
And when she told her father's name,
Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale,
Murmuring o'er the name again,
Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine?
Alas! they had been friends in youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother:
They parted—ne'er to meet again!
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining—
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between;—
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.

Sir Leoline, a moment's space,
Stood gazing on the damsel's face:
And the youthful Lord of Tryermaine
Came back upon his heart again.

  • It's time for everyone to get to know one another. While he's hugging Christabel, Sir Leoline catches sight of Geraldine and gives her a warm welcome.
  • Christabel and Geraldine tell Sir Leoline about what happened.
  • It isn't so much the story of what happened that gets to Leoline, but the revelation that Geraldine is the daughter of Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine.
  • Leoline and Roland were the best of best buds when they were young, but something happened to ruin that friendship.
  • We don't get to know exactly what happened, but it involved some gossiping and some pretty deep misunderstandings. Maybe even some lies were kicked around. If history has taught us anything, it's that some pretty awful things can happen just by people whispering in the hallways of noble houses.
  • Leoline and Roland got into a pretty heated fight over whatever happened and never spoke to each other again.
  • Though too proud to mend the friendship between them, neither of the men ever found another bromance like the one they had.
  • Sir Leoline looks at Geraldine and ponders the situation.
  • Seeing in Geraldine's face the resemblance of her father in his youth, Leoline puts away his grudges and opens his heart (figuratively speaking) to his old friend once again. Aw, ain't that sweet?
  • To say Sir Leoline is angry about what happened to Geraldine would be an understatement.
  • Though Christabel tells us that Leoline is in poor healthy multiple times in the first part of the poem, he's raging like a young, bloodthirsty knight over this terrible injustice that's been inflicted upon his former friend's daughter.
  • He declares that he will send out official word that whoever committed this crime against Geraldine are terrible criminals and will be punished as such. If these criminals deny the charges, then Sir Leoline vows that he will joust them to the death. That's all pretty intense from a dude whom we were told is in such ill health. We're also starting to see signs of the temper that ended the friendship with Geraldine's father so long ago.

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