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Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river ran
Through caverns measurless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers was girdled round,
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And there were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! That deep romantic chasm that slanted
Down a green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! As holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced,
Amidst whose swift half-intermitted burst,
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the threasher’s flail,
Amd ‘midst this tumult, at once and ever,
It flung up momently the sacred river;
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion,
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ‘midst this tumult Kubla heard from afar,
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves,
Where was heard the mingled measure,
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device;
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw;
It was an Abasynnian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me,
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that pleasure-dome.
That sunny dome! Those caves of ice!
And all who heard would see them there
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread;
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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