Study Guide

Christabel Stanzas 51-53

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Stanzas 51-53

Part II, Stanzas 51-53

The touch, the sight, had passed away,
And in its stead that vision blest,
Which comforted her after-rest
While in the lady's arms she lay,
Had put a rapture in her breast,
And on her lips and o'er her eyes
Spread smiles like light!
With new surprise,
"What ails then my belovèd child?"
The Baron said—His daughter mild
Made answer, "All will yet be well!"
I ween, she had no power to tell
Aught else: so mighty was the spell.

Yet he, who saw this Geraldine,
Had deemed her sure a thing divine:
Such sorrow with such grace she blended,
As if she feared she had offended
Sweet Christabel, that gentle maid!
And with such lowly tones she prayed
She might be sent without delay
Home to her father's mansion.
"Nay!
Nay, by my soul!" said Leoline.
"Ho! Bracy the bard, the charge be thine!
Go thou, with sweet music and loud,
And take two steeds with trappings proud,
And take the youth whom thou lov'st best
To bear thy harp, and learn thy song,
And clothe you both in solemn vest,
And over the mountains haste along,
Lest wandering folk, that are abroad,
Detain you on the valley road.

"And when he has crossed the Irthing flood,
My merry bard! he hastes, he hastes
Up Knorren Moor, through Halegarth Wood,
And reaches soon that castle good
Which stands and threatens Scotland's wastes.

  • Now Sir Leoline appears to have fallen under Geraldine's spell. He finds her graceful but full of sorrow, which is apparently some kind of Middle Ages aphrodisiac.
  • Christabel then asks if Geraldine can go home now, but Sir Leoline won't allow it.
  • He sees Geraldine's presence as a divine message to mend the relationship between him and his old buddy. Instead of letting her go home, he sends his bard (whom we met at the beginning of Part II).
  • Bard Bracy is to pick his best horses and his best apprentice and deck them all out like a circus parade. Leoline wants them to look their best and move as swiftly as possible to Roland's castle, composing a song along the way.
  • Stanza 49 is where Sir Leoline gives bard Bracy directions to Roland's lands. Again, most of these are real places, and most of them are near where Coleridge (and Wordsworth) was living at the time.
  • It might be worth noting that Roland's lands are on the border of Scotland, which means that Sir Leoline's lands aren't much further south.
  • Being this far north also helps to explain why it's still so cold in spring.
  • Sir Leoline expects the bard to race to Lord Roland's castle and sing loudly and jubilantly that Geraldine is safe and sound with Sir Leoline. He also wants Bracy to pass along Leoline's wishes to make this situation into a happy reunion of the two men.
  • Sir Leoline is being as sappy as a noble knight can be, with all of his regrets about his past actions and saying that he's never found a friend like Roland again. This is gearing up to be the bromance of the century.

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