Christabel's lover is far away, and her father Sir Leoline is asleep. The phantom of Christabel's mother appears to Geraldine, but not to Christabel. Of the maiden Christabel we are told nothing, save that she is ' lovely ', and that her soul is troubled for others, for her absent lover, for her father, "who seldom sleepeth well," for the forlorn and weary outcast whom she finds in the wood at midnight, and shelters " in love and in charity ". She has no characterisics but beauty, kindnes, gentleness, and, so we divine, the white innocence of maidenhood. Of Geraldine we are told a great deal. She is of lofty stature. She is richly clad in a robe of white silk. Her hair glitters with gems. She has fair large eyes, a stately neck, and "Hue-veined feet. Christabel is the image of the maid "we~woo ', the ' inexpressive she ', but we possess the counterfeit presentment of Geraldine, a likeness to swear by. There is, indeed, nothing in her aspect or behaviour to put Christabel, who knows no guile, on her guard, but, without being told in so many words that she is a witch or possessed of a devil, we who are not guileless are made to feel that she comes in a questionable shape, that she is uncanny.


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Christabel - Samuel Taylor Coleridge