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Kubla Khan

Written by: | Biography
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree : 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round : 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted 
Down the 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 : 
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail : 
And 'mid these dancing rocks 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 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far 
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 Abyssinian 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 dome in air, 
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice ! 
And all who heard should see them there, 
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware ! 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair ! 
Weave a circle round him thrice, 
And close your eyes with holy dread, 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise. 



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