Web Writing That Works!

           A Project of
           The Communication Circle

Guidelines Rants Patterns Poems Services Classes Press Blog Resources About Us Site Map

HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > Samuel Purchas > 4. Damsels in Paradise                         

 

 

1. Kubla Khan building a house of pleasure

2. Ancestral voices

3. Garden in a valley

4. Damsels in Paradise

5. Hill of Amara

Samuel Purchas

4. Damsels in Paradise

The finale of the poem seems to have taken some inspiration from Purchas's description of the way the Old Man of the Mountains set up a sensual paradise, then drugged young men with a drink, making them think they had really been to paradise, with women singing, playing instruments, and giving pleasure for four or five days.

Then the men were drugged again, and returned to their regular life.

The old man told them that they could have this paradise, with its milk and honey, and its singing damsels, if they followed his orders. The men were willing to give up their lives to return to this fools' paradise. Named for the drug hashish, they became assassins.

Coleridge envisions a damsel with a dulcimer, playing and singing, winning him to deep delight, but when others hear, they would cry, Beware, Beware…because this man has fed on honeydew and drunk the milk of Paradise. The paradise that is delightful and frightening, charming and potentially deadly, needs to be surrounded with a magic circle, to contain its power.

Text

There by divers Pipes answering divers parts of those Palaces were seene to runne Wine, Milke, Honey, and cleere Water. In them hee had placed goodly Damosels skilfull in Songs and Instruments of Musicke and Dancing, and to make Sports and Delights unto men whatsoever they could imagine. They were also fairely attired in Gold and Silke, and were seene to goe continually sporting in the Garden and Palaces. He made this Palace, because Mahomet had promised such a sensuall Paradise to his devout followers…

Aloadine had certaine Youthes from twelve to twentie yeares of age, such as seemed of a bold and undoubted disposition, whom hee instructed daily touching Mahomets Paradise, and how hee could bring men thither. And when he thought good, he caused a certaine Drinke to bee given unto ten or twelve of them, which cast them in a dead sleepe: and then hee caused them to be carried into divers Chambers of the said Palaces, where they saw the things aforesaid as soone as they awaked: each of them having those Damosels to minister Meates and excellent Drinkes, and all varieties of pleasures to them; insomuch that the Fooles thought themselves in Paradise indeed. When they had enjoyed those pleasures foure or five dayes, they were againe cast in a sleepe, and carried forth againe. After which, he…questioned where they had beene, which answered, by your Grace, in paradise….Then the old man answered, This is the commandement of our Prophet, that whosoever defends is Lord, he make him enter Paradise: and if thou wilt bee obedient to mee, thou shalt have this grace. And having thus animated them, hee was thought happie whom the old man would command, though it cost him his life: so that other Lords and his Enemies were slaine by these his Assasines, which exposed themselves to all dangers, and contemned their lives.

--Purchas his Pilgrimes, Book XI, pp. 208-209.

Other sources

William Bartram
William Beckford
F. Bernier
James Bruce
Thomas Burnet
William Collins
Herodotus
Athanasius Kircher
Jerome Lobo
Thomas Maurice
John Milton
Pausanias
Major James Rennell
Seneca
Strabo
Virgil

Mary Wollstonecraft

 

 
Word Line # Line Sources for word
Damsel

37

A damsel with a dulcimer

 Purchas 4

Dancing

23

And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

 Milton 4
 Purchas 4
Delight 44 To such deep delight 'twould win me  Bartram 2
 Milton 2
 Milton 6
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 4
Drunk

54

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 Purchas 4
Five

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Bartram 5
 Bruce 4
 Purchas 4

Gardens

8

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills

 Bartram 2
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Milton 4
 Milton 6
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4
 Rennell

Honey

53

For he on honey-dew hath fed

 Purchas 4

Man

4

Through caverns measureless to man

 Bruce 9
 Milton 3
 Purchas 2
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4

 Seneca 2
  27 Then reached the caverns measureless to man  Bruce 9
 Milton 3
 Purchas 2
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4

 Seneca 2
Milk

54

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 Bartram 3
 Purchas 2

 Purchas 4

Music

45

That with music loud and long

 Purchas 4

Paradise

54

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 Beckford
 Bruce 1
 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Milton 1
 Milton 2
 Milton 4
 Milton 5
 Milton 6

 Purchas 4

Pleasure

2

A stately pleasure-dome decree

 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Maurice 3
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4

 

31

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Maurice 3
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4

 

36

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Maurice 3
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4

Ran 3 Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Bernier 5
Bruce 2
Purchas 4
Ran 26 Through wood and dale the sacred river ran Bernier 5
Bruce 2
Purchas 4
Saw 38 In a vision once I saw  Bartram 8
 Bernier 3
 Purchas 4
See 48 And all who heard should see them there  Bruce 9
 
Maurice 3
 Purchas 4
 Seneca 2
Song 43 Her symphony and song  Purchas 4

 

 

Home | Guidelines | Rants | Patterns | Poems | Services | Classes | Press | Blog |
Resources | About Us | Site Map

Web Writing that Works!
http://www.WebWritingThatWorks.com
 © 2004 Jonathan Price
The Communication Circle
Discuss at HotText@yahoogroups.com
Email us directly at ThePrices@ThePrices.com