Madeline hopes she will dream of her future beloved. She is devout, and she follows the superstitious ritual carefully. When she awakens, she finds a man, Porphyro, in her room. He professes affection, and ultimately she leaves with him since the discovery of his presence in her room would end badly for all parties.
Porphyro is aware that Madeline's father would not be pleased to find him in pursuit of Madeline. He enlists the aid of an old female servant, Angela, to lead him to Madeline's room, where he watches her disrobe and sleep. He wakes her, professes his affections, and ultimately steals away with her into the freezing night.