Study Guide

The Eve of St. Agnes Stanza 32

By John Keats

Stanza 32

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains:--'twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight glam;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seem'd he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady's eyes;
So mus'd awhile, entoil'd in woofed phantasies.

  • Welp, it looks like he's going to have to go with Option Number Two, because Madeline isn't waking up.
  • Porphyro seems well on his way to dream-world—parts of him are already "unnerved," like Madeline.
  • Madeline's swoon, at this point, is being made out to be a kind of adamantium barrier between her and Porphyro, and even as he sinks into her bed, her "dream"—the thing that's protecting her from him—won't "melt."
  • So Porphyro hangs out for a while and muses, getting caught up in his own "phantasies," or waking dreams. 
  • "Woofed" refers to traditional weaving (the warp and the weft are the threads that make up a piece of cloth). This is the second time that Keats has used weaving language to describe the wakeful-dreaming state: when Madeline was going to sleep she was described as "perplex'd," which comes from the Latin word for "woven." Now, both kids are getting "woven" into their respective dream-states.