The poem is the beginning of a tale about a demon or vampire. At the opening, it is midnight. Everyone is asleep except for Christabel, who is roaming the woods longing for her lover. She encounters a beautiful lady who had been kidnapped by five warriors, tied to a white horse, and brought to the oak tree. The woman tells Christabel that her name is Geraldine and asks Christabel for her help. Christabel agrees and takes Geraldine back to her home. This is the point in the poem where things get interesting.
How could Christabel have not known that she was dealing with a non-human entity? As they approach the gate to the castle, Geraldine faints and must be carried inside where she instantly recovers. This is the first hint that Geraldine is an evil spirit. Evil beings cannot enter through a doorway that has been blessed without being invited. Also, when Christabel says a prayer of thanks to “the Virgin”, Geraldine does not / cannot join her in doing so. However, the main indication, I believe, is when Christabel turns on the “light” and Geraldine falls to the floor as if in severe pain. As we all know, “vampires” cannot be encompassed in the light.
As for the sexual nature of the last of the first part, I feel I do not need to comment. It is very evident that the two women are sexually attracted to each other and act upon their feelings in a small way.
I did not think that part two of this poem was very interesting. It mainly dealt with the relationship between a father and his daughter. It is clear that Christabel is jealous of her father’s infatuation with Geraldine. At the end of the poem, Coleridge discusses the irrational anger of a parent toward a child.