On supposing Tara is evil (Coleridge's Christabel)

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by Erin Griggs

It was a lovely sight to see
The lady Willow when she
Was praying at the old oak tree.
Amid the jagged shadows
Of mossy leafless boughs,
Kneeling in the moonlight,
To make her gentle vows;
Her slender palms together prest,
Heaving sometimes on her breast;
Her face resigned to bliss or bale-
Her face, oh, call it fair not pale
And both green eyes more bright than clear
Each about to have a tear.
With open eyes (ah, woe is me!)
Asleep, and dreaming fearfully,
Fearfully dreaming, yet, I wis,
Dreaming that alone, which is-
O sorrow and shame! Can this be she,
Tara, who knelt at the old oak tree
And lo! the worker of these harms,
That holds the maiden in her arms,  
Seems to slumber still and mild,
As a mother with her child.
A star hath set, a star hath risen,
O Tara, since arms of thine
Have been the lovely lady's prison.
O Tara! one hour was thine-
Thou'st had thy will! By tarn and rill,
The night-birds all that hour were still.
But now they are jubilant anew,                        
From cliff and tower, tu-whoo! tu-whoo!
Tu-whoo! tu-whoo! from wood and fell.

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