The Full Text of “Kubla Khan”
Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.
1 In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
2 A stately pleasure-dome decree:
3 Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
4 Through caverns measureless to man
5 Down to a sunless sea.
6 So twice five miles of fertile ground
7 With walls and towers were girdled round;
8 And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
9 Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
10 And here were forests ancient as the hills,
11 Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
12 But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
13 Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
14 A savage place! as holy and enchanted
15 As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
16 By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
17 And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
18 As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
19 A mighty fountain momently was forced:
20 Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
21 Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
22 Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
23 And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
24 It flung up momently the sacred river.
25 Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
26 Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
27 Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
28 And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
29 And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
30 Ancestral voices prophesying war!
31 The shadow of the dome of pleasure
32 Floated midway on the waves;
33 Where was heard the mingled measure
34 From the fountain and the caves.
35 It was a miracle of rare device,
36 A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
37 A damsel with a dulcimer
38 In a vision once I saw:
39 It was an Abyssinian maid
40 And on her dulcimer she played,
41 Singing of Mount Abora.
42 Could I revive within me
43 Her symphony and song,
44 To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
45 That with music loud and long,
46 I would build that dome in air,
47 That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
48 And all who heard should see them there,
49 And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
50 His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
51 Weave a circle round him thrice,
52 And close your eyes with holy dread
53 For he on honey-dew hath fed,
54 And drunk the milk of Paradise.