Kubla Khan "For He On Honey-dew Hath Fed And Drunk The Milk Of Paradise"
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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"For He On Honey-dew Hath Fed And Drunk The Milk Of Paradise"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Coleridge "frequently purposed" to finish his fragmentary "Kubla Khan," but the inspiration never returned. The concluding part of the poem is a statement of lost vision and inspiration. After a final image of Kubla's palace–"It was a miracle of rare device,/ A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!"–the poem describes the "vision once I saw" of an Abyssinian maid and her dulcimer. Could he recall the vision, he would become the poet inspired and possessed, whom other men would hold in awe. The rapturous closing lines both describe the possessed poet and mention the heavenly sources of his inspiration:

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.