Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre.

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Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Poems, 1849)

Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) Published by planksip

Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Poems of Edgar Allan Poe Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Poems, 1849) 0. Dedication 5 1. PREFACE 5 2. THE RAVEN 5 3. Notes: The Raven 5 4. THE BELLS 5 5. Notes: The Bells 5 6. ULALUME 5 7. Notes: Ulalume 5 8. TO HELEN 5 9. Notes: To Helen 5 10. ANNABEL LEE 5 11. Notes: Annabel Lee 5 12. A VALENTIN...



0. Dedication 5

1. PREFACE 5

2. THE RAVEN 5

3. Notes: The Raven 5

4. THE BELLS 5

5. Notes: The Bells 5

6. ULALUME 5

7. Notes: Ulalume 5

8. TO HELEN 5

9. Notes: To Helen 5

10. ANNABEL LEE 5

11. Notes: Annabel Lee 5

12. A VALENTINE 5

13. Notes: A Valentine 5

14. AN ENIGMA 6

15. Notes: An Enigma 6

16. TO MY MOTHER 6

17. Notes: To My Mother 6

18. FOR ANNIE 6

19. Notes: For Annie 6

20. TO F----. 6

21. Notes: To F---- 6

22. TO FRANCES S. OSGOOD 6

23. Notes: To Frances S. Osgood 6

24. ELDORADO. 6

25. Notes: Eldorado 6

26. EULALIE 6

27. TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW) 6

28. TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW) 7

29. THE CITY IN THE SEA 7

30. THE SLEEPER 7

31. BRIDAL BALLAD 7

32. LENORE 7

33. TO ONE IN PARADISE 7

34. THE COLISEUM 7

35. THE HAUNTED PALACE 7

36. THE CONQUEROR WORM 7

37. SILENCE 7

38. DREAM-LAND 7

39. HYMN 7

40. TO ZANTE 7

41. SONNET -- TO SCIENCE 7

42. TAMERLANE 8

43. Notes: Tamerlane 8

44. TO HELEN (1831) 8

45. THE VALLEY OF UNREST 8

46. ISRAFEL 8

47. TO - - 8

48. TO --- 8

49. TO THE RIVER ---- 8

50. SONG 8

51. SPIRITS OF THE DEAD 8

52. A DREAM 8

53. ROMANCE 8

54. FAIRY-LAND 8

55. THE LAKE -- TO ---- 8

56. EVENING STAR 9

57. "THE HAPPIEST DAY" 9

58. IMITATION 9

59. HYMN TO ARISTOGETON AND HARMODIUS 9

60. DREAMS 9

61. "IN YOUTH I HAVE KNOWN ONE" 9

62. A PAEAN 9

63. ALONE 9

64. Notes: Alone 9

65. TO ISADORE 9

66. Notes: To Isadore 9

67. THE VILLAGE STREET 9

68. THE FOREST REVERIE 9

0. Dedication

TO

THE NOBLEST OF HER SEX

THE AUTHOR OF

"THE DRAMA OF EXILE"--

TO

MISS ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

OF ENGLAND

I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME

WITH THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC ADMIRATION AND WITH

THE MOST SINCERE ESTEEM

1845 E.A.P.

1. PREFACE

THESE trifles are collected and republished chiefly with a view to their redemption from the many improvements to which they have been subjected while going at random the "rounds of the press." I am naturally anxious that what I have written should circulate as I wrote it, if it circulate at all. In defence of my own taste, nevertheless, it is incumbent upon me to say that I think nothing in this volume of much value to the public, or very creditable to myself. Events not to be controlled have prevented me from making, at any time, any serious effort in what, under happier circumstances, would have been the field of my choice. With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not-they can not at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of man-kind.

E. A. P.

1845

2. THE RAVEN

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door --

Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Lenore --

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore --

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me -- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

"'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door --

Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; --

This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you " -- here I opened wide the door; ----

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" --

Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.

"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore --

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;--

'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door --

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door --

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore --

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the raven "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning -- little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door --

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered -- not a feather then he fluttered --

Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before --

On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore --

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of "Never -- nevermore."

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplght gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite -- respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! -- prophet still, if bird or devil! --

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted --

On this home by Horror haunted -- tell me truly, I implore --

Is there -- is there balm in Gilead? -- tell me -- tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil -- prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us -- by that God we both adore --

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore --

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--

"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted -- nevermore!

1845


3. Notes: The Raven

"The Raven" was first published on the 29th January, 1845, in the New York "Evening Mirror"-a paper its author was then assistant editor of. It was prefaced by the following words, understood to have been written by N. P. Willis:"We are permitted to copy (in advance of publication) from the second number of the "American Review," the following remarkable poem by Edgar Poe. In our opinion, it is the most effective single example of 'fugitive poetry' ever published in this country, and unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification, and consistent sustaining of imaginative lift and 'pokerishness.' It is one of those 'dainties bred in a book' which we feed on. It will stick to the memory of everybody who reads it." In the February number of the "American Review" the poem was published as by "Quarles," and it was introduced by the following note, evidently suggested if not written by Poe himself.

"The following lines from a correspondent-besides the deep, quaint strain of the sentiment, and the curious introduction of some ludicrous touches amidst the serious and impressive, as was doubtless intended by the author-appears to us one of the most felicitous specimens of unique rhyming which has for some time met our eye. The resources of English rhythm for varieties of melody, measure, and sound, producing corresponding diversities of effect, having been thoroughly studied, much more perceived, by very few poets in the language. While the classic tongues, especially the Greek, possess, by power of accent, several advantages for versification over our own, chiefly through greater abundance of spondaic: feet, we have other and very great advantages of sound by the modern usage of rhyme. Alliteration is nearly the only effect of that kind which the ancients had in common with us. It will be seen that much of the melody of 'The Raven' arises from alliteration, and the studious use of similar sounds in unusual places. In regard to its measure, it may be noted that if all the verses were like the second, they might properly be placed merely in short lines, producing a not uncommon form; but the presence in all the others of one line-mostly the second in the verse" (stanza?) --"which flows continuously, with only an aspirate pause in the middle, like that before the short line in the Sapphic Adonic, while the fifth has at the middle pause no similarity of sound with any part besides, gives the versification an entirely different effect. We could wish the capacities of our noble language in prosody were better understood." --ED. "Am. Rev.”

4. THE BELLS

HEAR the sledges with the bells -

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!

While the stars that oversprinkle

All the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II.

Hear the mellow wedding-bells

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight! -

From the molten-golden notes,

And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats

On the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells,

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

How it swells!

How it dwells

On the Future! - how it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing

Of the bells, bells, bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III.

Hear the loud alarum bells -

Brazen bells!

What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!

In the startled ear of night

How they scream out their affright!

Too much horrified to speak,

They can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,

In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,

Leaping higher, higher, higher,

With a desperate desire,

And a resolute endeavor

Now - now to sit, or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

Oh, the bells, bells, bells!

What a tale their terror tells

Of Despair!

How they clang, and clash, and roar!

What a horror they outpour

On the bosom of the palpitating air!

Yet the ear, it fully knows,

By the twanging

And the clanging,

How the danger ebbs and flows;

Yet, the ear distinctly tells,

In the jangling

And the wrangling,

How the danger sinks and swells,

By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -

Of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

In the clamour and the clangour of the bells!

Hear the tolling of the bells -

Iron bells!

What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

In the silence of the night,

How we shiver with affright

At the melancholy meaning of their tone!

For every sound that floats

From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.

And the people - ah, the people -

They that dwell up in the steeple,

All alone,

And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,

In that muffled monotone,

Feel a glory in so rolling

On the human heart a stone -

They are neither man nor woman -

They are neither brute nor human -

They are Ghouls: -

And their king it is who tolls: -

And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls,

Rolls

A pæan from the bells!

And his merry bosom swells

With the pæan of the bells!

And he dances, and he yells;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the pæan of the bells -

Of the bells: -

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the throbbing of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells -

To the sobbing of the bells: -

Keeping time, time, time,

As he knells, knells, knells,

In a happy Runic rhyme,

To the rolling of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells: -

To the tolling of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

1849

5. Notes: The Bells

The bibliographical history of "The Bells" is curious. The subject, and some lines of the original version, having been suggested by the poet's friend, Mrs. Shew, Poe, when he wrote out the first draft of the poem, headed it, "The Bells, By Mrs. M. A. Shew." This draft, now the editor's property, consists of only seventeen lines, and read thus:

I.

The bells!-ah, the bells!

The little silver bells!

How fairy-like a melody there floats

From their throats--

From their merry little throats--

From the silver, tinkling throats

Of the bells, bells, bells--

Of the bells!

II.

The bells!-ah, the bells !

The heavy iron bells!

How horrible a monody there floats

From their throats--

From their deep-toned throats--

From their melancholy throats!

How I shudder at the notes Of the bells, bells, bells--

Of the bells !

In the autumn of 1848 Poe added another line to this poem, and sent it to the editor of the "Union Magazine." It was not published. So, in the following February, the poet forwarded to the same periodical a much enlarged and altered transcript. Three months having elapsed without publication, another revision of the poem, similar to the current version, was sent, and in the following October was published in the "Union Magazine."

6. ULALUME

The skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crisped and sere --

The leaves they were withering and sere;

It was night in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year:

It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid region of Weir: --

It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul --

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

There were days when my heart was volcanic

As the scoriac rivers that roll --

As the lavas that restlessly roll

Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek,

In the ultimate climes of the Pole --

That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek

In the realms of the Boreal Pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere --

Our memories were treacherous and sere;

For we knew not the month was October,

And we marked not the night of the year --

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)

We noted not the dim lake of Auber,

(Though once we had journeyed down here)

We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent,

And star-dials pointed to morn --

As the star-dials hinted of morn --

At the end of our path a liquescent

And nebulous lustre was born,

Out of which a miraculous crescent

Arose with a duplicate horn --

Astarte's bediamonded crescent,

Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said -- "She is warmer than Dian:

She rolls through an ether of sighs --

She revels in a region of sighs.

She has seen that the tears are not dry on

These cheeks, where the worm never dies,

And has come past the stars of the Lion,

To point us the path to the skies --

To the Lethean peace of the skies --

Come up, in despite of the Lion,

To shine on us with her bright eyes --

Come up, through the lair of the Lion,

With love in her luminous eyes."

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,

Said -- "Sadly this star I mistrust --

Her pallor I strangely mistrust --

Ah, hasten! -- ah, let us not linger!

Ah, fly! -- let us fly! -- for we must."

In terror she spoke; letting sink her

Wings till they trailed in the dust --

In agony sobbed, letting sink her

Plumes till they trailed in the dust --

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied -- "This is nothing but dreaming.

Let us on, by this tremulous light!

Let us bathe in this crystalline light!

Its Sybillic splendor is beaming

With Hope and in Beauty to-night --

See! -- it flickers up the sky through the night!

Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,

And be sure it will lead us aright --

We safely may trust to a gleaming

That cannot but guide us aright,

Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,

And tempted her out of her gloom --

And conquered her scruples and gloom;

And we passed to the end of the vista --

But were stopped by the door of a tomb --

By the door of a legended tomb: --

And I said -- "What is written, sweet sister,

On the door of this legended tomb?"

She replied -- "Ulalume -- Ulalume --

'T is the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober

As the leaves that were crisped and sere --

As the leaves that were withering and sere --

And I cried -- "It was surely October

On this very night of last year,

That I journeyed -- I journeyed down here! --

That I brought a dread burden down here --

On this night, of all nights in the year,

Ah, what demon has tempted me here?

Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber --

This misty mid region of Weir: --

Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber --

This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."

1847

7. Notes: Ulalume

This poem was first published in Colton's "American Review" for December, 1847, as "To - Ulalume: a Ballad." Being reprinted immediately in the "Home Journal," it was copied into various publications with the name of the editor, N. P. Willis, appended, and was ascribed to him. When first published, it contained the following additional stanza which Poe subsequently, at the suggestion of Mrs. Whitman, wisely suppressed:

Said we then-we two, then-"Ah, can it

Have been that the woodlandish ghouls--

The pitiful, the merciful ghouls--

To bar up our path and to ban it

From the secret that lies in these wolds--

Had drawn up the spectre of a planet

From the limbo of lunary souls--

This sinfully scintillant planet

From the Hell of the planetary souls?"

8. TO HELEN

I saw thee once-- once only -- years ago:

I must not say how many -- but not many.

It was a July midnight; and from out

A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,

Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,

There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,

With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,

Upon the upturned faces of a thousand

Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,

Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe --

Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses

That gave out, in return for the love-light,

Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death --

Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses

That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted

By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.

Clad all in white, upon a violet bank

I saw thee half reclining; while the moon

Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,

And on thine own, upturn'd- alas, in sorrow!

Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight-

Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,)

That bade me pause before that garden-gate,

To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?

No footstep stirred: the hated world an slept,

Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!

How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)

Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked-

And in an instant all things disappeared.

(Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)

The pearly lustre of the moon went out:

The mossy banks and the meandering paths,

The happy flowers and the repining trees,

Were seen no more: the very roses' odors

Died in the arms of the adoring airs.

All- all expired save thee- save less than thou:

Save only the divine light in thine eyes-

Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.

I saw but them- they were the world to me!

I saw but them- saw only them for hours,

Saw only them until the moon went down.

What wild heart-histories seemed to he enwritten

Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!

How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!

How silently serene a sea of pride!

How daring an ambition; yet how deep-

How fathomless a capacity for love!

But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,

Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;

And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees

Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained;

They would not go- they never yet have gone;

Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,

They have not left me (as my hopes have) since;

They follow me- they lead me through the years.

They are my ministers -- yet I their slave.

Their office is to illumine and enkindle --

My duty, to be saved by their bright light,

And purified in their electric fire,

And sanctified in their elysian fire.

They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),

And are far up in Heaven -- the stars I kneel to

In the sad, silent watches of my night;

While even in the meridian glare of day

I see them still -- two sweetly scintillant

Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!


1848

9. Notes: To Helen

"To Helen!" (Mrs. S. Helen Whitman) was not published until November, 1848, although written several months earlier. It first appeared in the "Union Magazine," and with the omission, contrary to the knowledge or desire of Poe, of the line, "Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!- how my heart beats in coupling those two words."

10. ANNABEL LEE

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden lived whom you may know

By the name of ANNABEL LEE; -

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and She was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love that was more than love -

I and my ANNABEL LEE -

With a love that the wingéd seraphs of Heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud by night

Chilling my ANNABEL LEE;

So that her high-born kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up, in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,

Went envying her and me;

Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling

And killing my ANNABEL LEE.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we -

Of many far wiser than we -

And neither the angels in Heaven above

Nor the demons down under the sea

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE: -

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride

In her sepulchre there by the sea -

In her tomb by the side of the sea.

1849

11. Notes: Annabel Lee

"Annabel Lee" was written early in 1849, and is evidently an expression of the poet's undying love for his deceased bride, although at least one of his lady admirers deemed it a response to her admiration. Poe sent a copy of the ballad to the "Union Magazine," in which publication it appeared in January, 1850, three months after the author's death. While suffering from "hope deferred" as to its fate, Poe presented a copy of "Annabel Lee" to the editor of the "Southern Literary Messenger," who published it in the November number of his periodical, a month after Poe's death. In the meantime the poet's own copy, left among his papers, passed into the hands of the person engaged to edit his works, and he quoted the poem in an obituary of Poe, in the New York "Tribune," before any one else had an opportunity of publishing it.

12. A VALENTINE

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,

Brightly expressive as the twins of Loeda,

Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies

Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.

Search narrowly the lines! -- they hold a treasure

Divine -- a talisman -- an amulet

That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure --

The words -- the syllables! Do not forget

The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor!

And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

Which one might not undo without a sabre,

If one could merely comprehend the plot.

Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering

Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus

Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing

Of poets, by poets -- as the name is a poet's, too.

Its letters, although naturally lying

Like the knight Pinto -- Mendez Ferdinando --

Still form a synonym for Truth -- Cease trying!

You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

1846

13. Notes: A Valentine

[To discover the names in this poem read the first letter of the first line in connection with the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line, the fourth of the fourth and so on to the end.]

"A Valentine," one of three poems addressed to Mrs. Osgood, appears to have been written early in 1846.

14. AN ENIGMA

"Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce,

"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.

Through all the flimsy things we see at once

As easily as through a Naples bonnet -

Trash of all trash! - how can a lady don it?

Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff-

Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff

Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it."

And, veritably, Sol is right enough.

The general tuckermanities are arrant

Bubbles - ephemeral and so transparent -

But this is, now, - you may depend upon it -

Stable, opaque, immortal - all by dint

Of the dear names that lie concealed within 't.

1847

15. Notes: An Enigma

[To discover the names in this poem read the first letter of the first line in connection with the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line, the fourth of the fourth and so on to the end.]

"An Enigma," addressed to Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis ("Stella"), was sent to that lady in a letter, in November, 1847, and the following March appeared in Sartain's "Union Magazine."

16. TO MY MOTHER

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,

The angels, whispering to one another,

Can find, among their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of "Mother,"

Therefore by that dear name I long have called you --

You who are more than mother unto me,

And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you

In setting my Virginia's spirit free.

My mother -- my own mother, who died early,

Was but the mother of myself; but you

Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,

And thus are dearer than the mother I knew

By that infinity with which my wife

Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

1849

17. Notes: To My Mother

[The above was addressed to the poet's mother-in-law, Mrs. Clemm --Ed.]

The sonnet, "To My Mother" (Maria Clemm), was sent for publication to the short-lived "Flag of our Union," early in 1849, but does not appear to have been issued until after its author's death, when it appeared in the "Leaflets of Memory" for 1850.

18. FOR ANNIE

Thank Heaven! the crisis --

The danger is past,

And the lingering illness

Is over at last --

And the fever called "Living"

Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know

I am shorn of my strength,

And no muscle I move

As I lie at full length --

But no matter! -- I feel

I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly,

Now, in my bed,

That any beholder

Might fancy me dead --

Might start at beholding me,

Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,

The sighing and sobbing,

Are quieted now,

With that horrible throbbing

At heart: -- ah, that horrible,

Horrible throbbing!

The sickness -- the nausea --

The pitiless pain --

Have ceased, with the fever

That maddened my brain --

With the fever called "Living"

That burned in my brain.

And oh! of all tortures

That torture the worst

Has abated -- the terrible

Torture of thirst

For the naphthaline river

Of Passion accurst: --

I have drank of a water

That quenches all thirst: --

Of a water that flows,

With a lullaby sound,

From a spring but a very few

Feet under ground --

From a cavern not very far

Down under ground.

And ah! let it never

Be foolishly said

That my room it is gloomy

And narrow my bed;

For man never slept

In a different bed --

And, to sleep, you must slumber

In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit

Here blandly reposes,

Forgetting, or never

Regretting its roses --

Its old agitations

Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly

Lying, it fancies

A holier odor

About it, of pansies --

A rosemary odor,

Commingled with pansies --

With rue and the beautiful

Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,

Bathing in many

A dream of the truth

And the beauty of Annie --

Drowned in a bath

Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me,

She fondly caressed,

And then I fell gently

To sleep on her breast --

Deeply to sleep

From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,

She covered me warm,

And she prayed to the angels

To keep me from harm --

To the queen of the angels

To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly,

Now in my bed,

(Knowing her love)

That you fancy me dead --

And I rest so contentedly,

Now in my bed,

(With her love at my breast)

That you fancy me dead --

That you shudder to look at me,

Thinking me dead: --

But my heart it is brighter

Than all of the many

Stars in the sky,

For it sparkles with Annie --

It glows with the light

Of the love of my Annie --

With the thought of the light

Of the eyes of my Annie.

1849

19. Notes: For Annie

"For Annie" was first published in the "Flag of our Union," in the spring of 1849. Poe, annoyed at some misprints in this issue, shortly afterwards caused a corrected copy to be inserted in the "Home Journal."

20. TO F----.

BELOVED ! amid the earnest woes

That crowd around my earthly path --

(Drear path, alas! where grows

Not even one lonely rose) --

My soul at least a solace hath

In dreams of thee, and therein knows

An Eden of bland repose.

And thus thy memory is to me

Like some enchanted far-off isle

In some tumultuos sea --

Some ocean throbbing far and free

With storms -- but where meanwhile

Serenest skies continually

Just o're that one bright island smile.

1845

21. Notes: To F----

"To F-- --" (Frances Sargeant Osgood) appeared in the "Broadway journal" for April, 1845. These lines are but slightly varied from those inscribed "To Mary," in the "Southern Literary Messenger" for July, 1835, and subsequently republished, with the two stanzas transposed, in "Graham's Magazine" for March, 1842, as "To One Departed."

22. TO FRANCES S. OSGOOD

THOU wouldst be loved? - then let thy heart

From its present pathway part not!

Being everything which now thou art,

Be nothing which thou art not.

So with the world thy gentle ways,

Thy grace, thy more than beauty,

Shall be an endless theme of praise,

And love - a simple duty.

1845

23. Notes: To Frances S. Osgood

"To F-- --s S. O--d," a portion of the poet's triune tribute to Mrs. Osgood, was published in the "Broadway Journal" for September, 1845. The earliest version of these lines appeared in the "Southern Literary Messenger" for September, 1835, as "Lines written in an Album," and was addressed to Eliza White, the proprietor's daughter. Slightly revised, the poem reappeared in Burton's "Gentleman's Magazine" for August, 1839, as "To--."

24. ELDORADO.

Gaily bedight,

A gallant knight,

In sunshine and in shadow,

Had journeyed long,

Singing a song,

In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old -

This knight so bold -

And o'er his heart a shadow

Fell, as he found

No spot of ground

That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength

Failed him at length,

He met a pilgrim shadow -

'Shadow,' said he,

'Where can it be -

This land of Eldorado?'

'Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow,

Ride, boldly ride,'

The shade replied, -

'If you seek for Eldorado!'

1849

25. Notes: Eldorado

Although "Eldorado" was published during Poe's lifetime, in 1849, in the "Flag of our Union," it does not appear to have ever received the author's finishing touches.

26. EULALIE

I DWELT alone

In a world of moan,

And my soul was a stagnant tide,

Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride -

Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.

Ah, less - less bright

The stars of the night

Than the eyes of the radiant girl!

And never a flake

That the vapour can make

With the moon-tints of purple and pearl,

Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl -

Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie's most humble and careless curl.

Now Doubt - now Pain

Come never again,

For her soul gives me sigh for sigh,

And all day long

Shines, bright and strong,

Astarté within the sky,

While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye -

While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.

1845

27. TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW)

Of all who hail thy presence as the morning --

Of all to whom thine absence is the night --

The blotting utterly from out high heaven

The sacred sun -- of all who, weeping, bless thee

Hourly for hope- for life -- ah! above all,

For the resurrection of deep-buried faith

In Truth -- in Virtue -- in Humanity --

Of all who, on Despair's unhallowed bed

Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen

At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!"

At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled

In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes --

Of all who owe thee most -- whose gratitude

Nearest resembles worship -- oh, remember

The truest -- the most fervently devoted,

And think that these weak lines are written by him --

By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think

His spirit is communing with an angel's.


1847

28. TO MARIE LOUISE (SHEW)

NOT long ago, the writer of these lines,

In the mad pride of intellectuality,

Maintained "the power of words"--denied that ever

A thought arose within the human brain

Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:

And now, as if in mockery of that boast,

Two words-two foreign soft dissyllables--

Italian tones, made only to be murmured

By angels dreaming in the moonlit "dew

That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,"--

Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,

Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,

Richer, far wider, far diviner visions

Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,

(Who has "the sweetest voice of all God's creatures")

Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.

The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.

With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,

I can not write-I can not speak or think--

Alas, I can not feel; for 'tis not feeling,

This standing motionless upon the golden

Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams,

Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,

And thrilling as I see, upon the right,

Upon the left, and all the way along,

Amid empurpled vapors, far away

To where the prospect terminates-thee only!


1848

29. THE CITY IN THE SEA

Lo ! Death has reared himself a throne

In a strange city lying alone

Far down within the dim West,

Wherethe good and the bad and the worst and the best

Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines and palaces and towers

(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)

Resemble nothing that is ours.

Around, by lifting winds forgot,

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down

On the long night-time of that town;

But light from out the lurid sea

Streams up the turrets silently -

Gleams up the pinnacles far and free -

Up domes - up spires - up kingly halls -

Up fanes - up Babylon-like walls -

Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers

Of scultured ivy and stone flowers -

Up many and many a marvellous shrine

Whose wreathed friezes intertwine

The viol, the violet, and the vine.

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

So blend the turrets and shadows there

That all seem pendulous in air,

While from a proud tower in the town

Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves

Yawn level with the luminous waves ;

But not the riches there that lie

In each idol's diamond eye -

Not the gaily-jewelled dead

Tempt the waters from their bed ;

For no ripples curl, alas!

Along that wilderness of glass -

No swellings tell that winds may be

Upon some far-off happier sea -

No heavings hint that winds have been

On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!

The wave - there is a movement there!

As if the towers had thrown aside,

In slightly sinking, the dull tide -

As if their tops had feebly given

A void within the filmy Heaven.

The waves have now a redder glow -

The hours are breathing faint and low -

And when, amid no earthly moans,

Down, down that town shall settle hence,

Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,

Shall do it reverence.


1845

30. THE SLEEPER

At midnight in the month of June,

I stand beneath the mystic moon.

An opiate vapour, dewy, dim,

Exhales from out her golden rim,

And, softly dripping, drop by drop,

Upon the quiet mountain top.

Steals drowsily and musically

Into the univeral valley.

The rosemary nods upon the grave;

The lily lolls upon the wave;

Wrapping the fog about its breast,

The ruin moulders into rest;

Looking like Lethe, see! the lake

A conscious slumber seems to take,

And would not, for the world, awake.

All Beauty sleeps! -- and lo! where lies

(Her easement open to the skies)

Irene, with her Destinies!

Oh, lady bright! can it be right --

This window open to the night?

The wanton airs, from the tree-top,

Laughingly through the lattice drop --

The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,

Flit through thy chamber in and out,

And wave the curtain canopy

So fitfully -- so fearfully --

Above the closed and fringed lid

'Neath which thy slumb'ring sould lies hid,

That o'er the floor and down the wall,

Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!

Oh, lady dear, hast thous no fear?

Why and what art thou dreaming here?

Sure thou art come p'er far-off seas,

A wonder to these garden trees!

Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress!

Strange, above all, thy length of tress,

And this all solemn silentness!

The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,

Which is enduring, so be deep!

Heaven have her in its sacred keep!

This chamber changed for one more holy,

This bed for one more melancholy,

I pray to God that she may lie

Forever with unopened eye,

While the dim sheeted ghosts go by!

My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,

As it is lasting, so be deep!

Soft may the worms about her creep!

Far in the forest, dim and old,

For her may some tall vault unfold --

Some vault that oft hath flung its black

And winged pannels fluttering back,

Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,

Of her grand family funerals --

Some sepulchre, remote, alone,

Against whose portal she hath thrown,

In childhood, many an idle stone --

Some tomb fromout whose sounding door

She ne'er shall force an echo more,

Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!

It was the dead who groaned within.


1845

31. BRIDAL BALLAD

THE ring is on my hand,

And the wreath is on my brow;

Satins and jewels grand

Are all at my command,

And I am happy now.

And my lord he loves me well;

But, when first he breathed his vow,

I felt my bosom swell -

For the words rang as a knell,

And the voice seemed his who fell

In the battle down the dell,

And who is happy now.

But he spoke to re-asure me,

And he kissed my pallid brow,

While a reverie came o're me,

And to the church-yard bore me,

And I sighed to him before me,

Thinking him dead D'Elormie,

"Oh, I am happy now!"

And thus the words were spoken,

And this the plighted vow,

And, though my faith be broken,

And, though my heart be broken,

Behold the golden token

That proves me happy now!

Would God I could awaken!

For I dream I know not how,

And my soul is sorely shaken

Lest an evil step be taken, -

Lest the dead who is forsaken

May not be happy now.

1845.

32. LENORE

AH broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!

Let the bell toll! - a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;

And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear? - weep now or never more!

See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!

Come! let the burial rite be read - the funeral song be sung! -

An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young -

A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,

"And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her - that she died!

"How shall the ritual, then, be read? - the requiem how be sung

"By you - by yours, the evil eye, - by yours, the slanderous tongue

"That did to death the innocent that died, and died so young?"

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song

Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel so wrong!

The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside

Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride -

For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,

The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes -

The life still there, upon her hair - the death upon her eyes.

"Avaunt! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise,

"But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!

"Let no bell toll! - lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth,

"Should catch the note, as it doth float - up from the damned Earth.

"To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven -

"From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven -

"From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven."

33. TO ONE IN PARADISE

THOU wast all that to me, love,

For which my soul did pine --

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrime,

All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!

Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise

But to be overcast!

A voice from out the Future cries,

"On! on!" -- but o'er the Past

(Dim guld!) my spirit hovering lies

Mute, mothionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! with me

The light of Life is o'er!

No more -- no more -- no more --

(Such language holds the solemn sea

To the sands upon the shore)

Shall bloom the thunder0blasted tree,

Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy dark eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams --

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.

1835

34. THE COLISEUM

TYPE of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary

Of lofty contemplation left to Time

By buried centuries of pomp and power!

At length - at length - after so many days

Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,

(Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)

I kneel, an altered and an humble man,

Amid thy shadows, and so drink within

My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!

Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!

Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!

I feel ye now - I feel ye in your strength -

O spells more sure than e'er Judæan king

Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!

O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee

Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!

Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,

A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!

Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair

Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!

Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,

Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,

Lit by the wanlight The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

But stay! these walls - these ivy-clad arcades -

These mouldering plinths - these sad and blackened shafts -

These vague entablatures - this crumbling frieze -

These shattered cornices - this wreck - this ruin -

These stones - alas! these gray stones - are they all -

All of the famed, and the colossal left

By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

"Not all" - the Echoes answer me - "not all!

"Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever

"From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,

"As melody from Memnon to the Sun.

"We rule the hearts of mightiest men - we rule

"With a despotic sway all giant minds.

"We are not impotent - we pallid stones.

"Not all our power is gone - not all our fame -

"Not all the magic of our high renown -

"Not all the wonder that encircles us -

"Not all the mysteries that in us lie -

"Not all the memories that hang upon

"And cling around about us as a garment,

"Clothing us in a robe of more than glory."


1833

35. THE HAUNTED PALACE

IN the greenest of our valleys

By good angels tenanted,

Once a fair and stately palace --

Radiant palace -- reared its head.

In the monarch Thought's dominion --

It stood there!

Never seraph spread a pinion

Over fabric half so fair.

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,

On its roof did float and flow,

(This -- all this -- was in the olden

Time long ago,)

And every gentle air that dallied,

In that sweet day,

Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,

A winged odour went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,

Through two luminous windows, saw

Spirits moving musically,

To a lute's well-tuned law,

Round about a throne where, sitting

(Porphyrogene)

In state his glory well befitting,

The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing

Was the fair palace door,

Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,

And sparkling evermore,

A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty

Was but to sing,

In voices of surpassing beauty,

The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,

Assailed the monarch's high estate.

(Ah, let us mourn! -- for never sorrow

Shall dawn upon him desolate!)

And round about his home the glory

That blushed and bloomed,

Is but a dim-remembered story

Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,

Through the red-litten windows see

Vast forms, that move fantastically

To a discordant melody,

While, lie a ghastly rapid river,

Through the pale door

A hideous throng rush out forever

And laugh -- but smile no more.

1838

36. THE CONQUEROR WORM

LO ! 'tis a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!

An angel throng, bewinged, bedight

In veils, and drowned in tears,

Sit in a theatre, to see

A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,

Mutter and mumble low,

And hither and thither fly -

Mere puppets they, who come and go

At bidding of vast formless things

That shift the scenery to and fro,

Flapping from out their Condor wings

Invisible Wo !

That motley drama - oh, be sure

It shall not be forgot !

With its Phantom chased for evermore,

By a crowd that seize it not,

Through a circle that ever returneth in

To the self-same spot,

And much of Madness, and more of Sin,

And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout

A crawling shape intrude !

A blood-red thing that writhes from out

The scenic solitude!

It writhes ! - it writhes ! - with mortal pangs

The mimes become its food,

And the angels sob at vermin fangs

In human gore imbued.

Out - out are the lights - out all !

And, over each quivering form,

The curtain, a funeral pall,

Comes down with the rush of a storm,

And the angels,all pallid and wan,

Uprising, unveiling, affirm

That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"

And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

1838

37. SILENCE

THERE are some qualities -- some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of that twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence -- sea and shore --

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o'ergrown; some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless: his name's "No More."

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!

1840

38. DREAM-LAND

BY a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have reached these lands but newly

From an ultimate dim Thule -

From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,

Out of SPACE - out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,

And chasms, and caves, and Titian woods,

With forms that no man can discover

For the dews that drip all over;

Mountains toppling evermore

Into seas without a shore;

Seas that restlessly aspire,

Surging, unto skies of fire;

Lakes that endlessly outspread

Their lone waters - lone and dead, -

Their still waters - still and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread

Their lone waters, lone and dead, -

Their sad waters, sad and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily, -

By the mountains - near the river

Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever, -

By the grey woods, - by the swamp

Where the toad and the newt encamp, -

By the dismal tarns and pools

Where dwell the Ghouls, -

By each spot the most unholy -

In each nook most melancholy, -

There the traveller meets aghast

Sheeted Memories of the Past -

Shrouded forms that start and sigh

As they pass the wanderer by -

White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth - and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion

'Tis a peaceful, soothing region -

For the spirit that walks in shadow

'Tis - oh 'tis an Eldorado!

But the traveller, travelling through it,

May not - dare not openly view it;

Never its mysteries are exposed

To the weak human eye unclosed;

So wills its King, who hath forbid

The uplifting of the fringed lid;

And thus the sad Soul that here passes

Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have wandered home but newly

From this ultimate dim Thule.

1844

39. HYMN

AT morn - at noon - at twilight dim -

Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!

In joy and wo - in good and ill -

Mother of God, be with me still!

When the Hours flew brightly by

And not a cloud obscured the sky,

My soul, lest it should truant be,

Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;

Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast

Darkly my Present and my Past,

Let my Future radiant shine

With sweet hopes of thee and thine!


1835

40. TO ZANTE

FAIR isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,

Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take

How many memories of what radiant hours

At sight of thee and thine at once awake!

How many scenes of what departed bliss!

How many thoughts of what entombed hopes!

How many visions of a maiden that is

No more - no more upon thy verdant slopes!

No more! alas, that magical sad sound

Transfomring all! Thy charms shall please no more -

Thy memory no more! Accursed ground

Henceforth I hold thy flower-enamelled shore,

O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante!

"Isoa d'oro! Fior di Levante!"

1837

41. SONNET -- TO SCIENCE

SCIENCE! true daughter of Old Time thou art!

Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.

Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,

Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?

How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,

Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering

To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies

Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?

Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?

And driven the Hamadryad from the wood

To seek a shelter in some happier star?

Hast thous not torn the Naiad from her flood,

The Elfin from the green grass, and from me

The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

42. TAMERLANE

KIND solace in a dying hour!

Such, father, is not (now) my theme -

I will not madly deem that power

Of Earth may shrive me of the sin

Unearthly pride hath revell'd in -

I have no time to dote or dream:

You call it hope - that fire of fire!

It is but agony of desire:

If I can hope - Oh God! I can -

Its fount is holier - more divine -

I would not call thee fool, old man,

But such is not a gift of thine.

Know thou the secret of a spirit

Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.

O! yearning heart! I did inherit

Thy withering portion with the fame,

The searing glory which hath shone

Amid the jewels of my throne,

Halo of Hell! and with a pain

Not Hell shall make me fear again -

O! craving heart, for the lost flowers

And sunshine of my summer hours!

Th' undying voice of that dead time,

With its interminable chime,

Rings, in the spirit of a spell,

Upon thy emptiness - a knell.

I have not always been as now:

The fever'd diadem on my brow

I claim'd and won usurpingly -

Hath not the same fierce heirdom given

Rome to the Caesar - this to me?

The heritage of a kingly mind,

And a proud spirit which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.

On mountain soil I first drew life:

The mists of the Taglay have shed

Nightly their dews upon my head,

And, I believe, the winged strife

And tumult of the headlong air

Have nestled in my very hair.

So late from Heaven - that dew - it fell

(Mid dreams of an unholy night)

Upon me - with the touch of Hell,

While the red flashing of the light

From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,

Appeared to my half-closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy,

And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar

Came hurriedly upon me, telling

Of human battle, where my voice,

My own voice, silly child! - was swelling

(O! how my spirit would rejoice,

And leap within me at the cry)

The battle-cry of Victory!

The rain came down upon my head

Unshelter'd - and the heavy wind

Was giantlike - so thou, my mind! -

It was but man, I thought, who shed

Laurels upon me: and the rush -

The torrent of the chilly air

Gurgled within my ear the crush

Of empires - with the captive's prayer -

The hum of suiters - and the tone

Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne.

My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurp'd a tyranny which men

Have deem'd, since I have reach'd to power;

My innate nature - be it so:

But, father, there liv'd one who, then,

Then - in my boyhood - when their fire

Burn'd with a still intenser glow,

(For passion must, with youth, expire)

E'en then who knew this iron heart

In woman's weakness had a part.

I have no words - alas! - to tell

The loveliness of loving well!

Nor would I now attempt to trace

The more than beauty of a face

Whose lineaments, upon my mind,

Are -- shadows on th' unstable wind:

Thus I remember having dwelt

Some page of early lore upon,

With loitering eye, till I have felt

The letters - with their meaning - melt

To fantasies - with none.

O, she was worthy of all love!

Love - as in infancy was mine -

'Twas such as angel minds above

Might envy; her young heart the shrine

On which my ev'ry hope and thought

Were incense - then a goodly gift,

For they were childish - and upright -

Pure -- as her young example taught:

Why did I leave it, and, adrift,

Trust to the fire within, for light?

We grew in age - and love - together,

Roaming the forest, and the wild;

My breast her shield in wintry weather -

And, when the friendly sunshine smil'd,

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven - but in her eyes.

Young Love's first lesson is -- the heart:

For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles,

When, from our little cares apart,

And laughing at her girlish wiles,

I'd throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears -

There was no need to speak the rest -

No need to quiet any fears

Of her - who ask'd no reason why,

But turn'd on me her quiet eye!

Yet more than worthy of the love

My spirit struggled with, and strove,

When, on the mountain peak, alone,

Ambition lent it a new tone -

I had no being - but in thee:

The world, and all it did contain

In the earth - the air - the sea -

Its joy - its little lot of pain

That was new pleasure -- the ideal,

Dim, vanities of dreams by night -

And dimmer nothings which were real -

(Shadows - and a more shadowy light!)

Parted upon their misty wings,

And, so, confusedly, became

Thine image, and - a name - a name!

Two separate - yet most intimate things.

I was ambitious - have you known

The passion, father? You have not:

A cottager, I mark'd a throne

Of half the world as all my own,

And murmur'd at such lowly lot -

But, just like any other dream,

Upon the vapour of the dew

My own had past, did not the beam

Of beauty which did while it thro'

The minute - the hour - the day - oppress

My mind with double loveliness.

We walk'd together on the crown

Of a high mountain which look'd down

Afar from its proud natural towers

Of rock and forest, on the hills -

The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers

And shouting with a thousand rills.

I spoke to her of power and pride,

But mystically - in such guise

That she might deem it nought beside

The moment's converse; in her eyes

I read, perhaps too carelessly -

A mingled feeling with my own -

The flush on her bright cheek, to me

Seem'd to become a queenly throne

Too well that I should let it be

Light in the wilderness alone.

I wrapp'd myself in grandeur then,

And donn'd a visionary crown --

Yet it was not that Fantasy

Had thrown her mantle over me -

But that, among the rabble - men,

Lion ambition is chain'd down -

And crouches to a keeper's hand -

Not so in deserts where the grand

The wild - the terrible conspire

With their own breath to fan his fire.

Look 'round thee now on Samarcand! -

Is not she queen of Earth? her pride

Above all cities? in her hand

Their destinies? in all beside

Of glory which the world hath known

Stands she not nobly and alone?

Falling - her veriest stepping-stone

Shall form the pedestal of a throne -

And who her sovereign? Timour - he

Whom the astonished people saw

Striding o'er empires haughtily

A diadem'd outlaw -

O! human love! thou spirit given,

On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!

Which fall'st into the soul like rain

Upon the Siroc wither'd plain,

And failing in thy power to bless

But leav'st the heart a wilderness!

Idea! which bindest life around

With music of so strange a sound

And beauty of so wild a birth -

Farewell! for I have won the Earth!

When Hope, the eagle that tower'd, could see

No cliff beyond him in the sky,

His pinions were bent droopingly -

And homeward turn'd his soften'd eye.

'Twas sunset: when the sun will part

There comes a sullenness of heart

To him who still would look upon

The glory of the summer sun.

That soul will hate the ev'ning mist,

So often lovely, and will list

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken) as one

Who, in a dream of night, would fly

But cannot from a danger nigh.

What tho' the moon - the white moon

Shed all the splendour of her noon,

Her smile is chilly - and her beam,

In that time of dreariness, will seem

(So like you gather in your breath)

A portrait taken after death.

And boyhood is a summer sun

Whose waning is the dreariest one --

For all we live to know is known,

And all we seek to keep hath flown -

Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall

With the noon-day beauty - which is all.

I reach'd my home - my home no more -

For all had flown who made it so -

I pass'd from out its mossy door,

And, tho' my tread was soft and low,

A voice came from the threshold stone

Of one whom I had earlier known -

O! I defy thee, Hell, to show

On beds of fire that burn below,

A humbler heart - a deeper wo -

Father, I firmly do believe -

I know - for Death, who comes for me

From regions of the blest afar,

Where there is nothing to deceive,

Hath left his iron gate ajar,

And rays of truth you cannot see

Are flashing thro' Eternity --

I do believe that Eblis hath

A snare in ev'ry human path -

Else how, when in the holy grove

I wandered of the idol, Love,

Who daily scents his snowy wings

With incense of burnt offerings

From the most unpolluted things,

Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven

Above with trelliced rays from Heaven

No mote may shun - no tiniest fly

The light'ning of his eagle eye -

How was it that Ambition crept,

Unseen, amid the revels there,

Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt

In the tangles of Love's very hair?

1829

43. Notes: Tamerlane

The earliest version of "Tamerlane" was included in the suppressed volume of 1827, but differs very considerably from the poem as now published. The present draft, besides innumerable verbal alterations and improvements upon the original, is more carefully punctuated, and, the lines being indented, presents a more pleasing appearance, to the eye at least.

44. TO HELEN (1831)

HELEN, thy beauty is to me

Like those Nicean barks of yore,

That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,

The weary way-worn wanderer bore

To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,

Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,

Thy Naiad airs have brought me home

To the glory that was Greece,

And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo ! in yon brilliant window-niche

How statue-like I me thee stand,

The agate lamp within thy hand!

Ah, Psyche, from the regions which

Are Holy-land !

1831

45. THE VALLEY OF UNREST

Once it smiled a silent dell

Where the people did not dwell;

They had gone unto the wars,

Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,

Nightly, from their azure towers,

To keep watch above the flowers,

In the midst of which all day

The red sun-light lazily lay.

Now each visiter shall confess

The sad valley's restlessness.

Nothing there is motionless -

Nothing save the airs that brood

Over the magic solitude.

Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees

That palpitate like the chill seas

Around the misty Hebrides!

Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven

That rustle through the unquiet Heaven

Uneasily, from morn till even,

Over the violets there that lie

In myriad types of the human eye -

Over the lilies there that wave

And weep above a nameless grave!

They wave: - from out their fragrant tops

Eternal dews come down in drops.

They weep: - from off their delicate stems

Perennial tears descend in gems.


1831

46. ISRAFEL

IN Heaven a spirit doth dwell

"Whose heart-strings are a lute;"

None sing so wildly well

As the angel Israfel,

And the giddy stars (so legends tell)

Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell

Of his voice, all mute.

Tottering above

In her highest noon

The enamoured moon

Blushes with love,

While, to listen, the red levin

(With the rapid Pleiads, even,

Which were seven,)

Pauses in Heaven

And they say (the starry choir

And all the listening things)

That Israfeli's fire

Is owing to that lyre

By which he sits and sings -

The trembling living wire

Of those unusual strings.

But the skies that angel trod,

Where deep thoughts are a duty -

Where Love's a grown up God -

Where the Houri glances are

Imbued with all the beauty

Which we worship in a star.

Therefore, thou art not wrong,

Israfeli, who despisest

An unimpassion'd song:

To thee the laurels belong

Best bard, because the wisest!

Merrily live, and long!

The extacies above

With thy burning measures suit -

Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,

With the fervor of thy lute -

Well may the stars be mute!

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this

Is a world of sweets and sours;

Our flowers are merely - flowers,

And the shadow of thy perfect bliss

Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell

Where Israfel

Hath dwelt, and he where I,

He might not sing so wildly well

A mortal melody,

While a bolder note than this might swell

From my lyre within the sky.

1836

47. TO - -

1

The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see

The wantonest singing birds

Are lips - and all thy melody

Of lip-begotten words -

2

Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrin'd

Then desolately fall,

O! God! on my funereal mind

Like starlight on a pall -

3

Thy heart - thy heart! - I wake and sigh,

And sleep to dream till day

Of truth that gold can never buy -

Of the trifles that it may.

1829

48. TO ---

I HEED not that my earthly lot

Hath-little of Earth in it--

That years of love have been forgot

In the hatred of a minute:--

I mourn not that the desolate

Are happier, sweet, than I,

But that you sorrow for my fate

Who am a passer-by.

1829

49. TO THE RIVER ----

FAIR river! in thy bright, clear flow

Of crystal, wandering water,

Thou art an emblem of the glow

Of beauty - the unhidden heart -

The playful maziness of art

In old Alberto's daughter;

But when within thy wave she looks -

Which glistens then, and trembles -

Why, then, the prettiest of brooks

Her worshipper resembles;

For in my heart, as in thy stream,

Her image deeply lies -

His heart which trembles at the beam

Of her soul-searching eyes.

1829

50. SONG

I SAW thee on thy bridal day -

When a burning blush came o'er thee,

Though happiness around thee lay,

The world all love before thee:

And in thine eye a kindling light

(Whatever it might be)

Was all on Earth my aching sight

Of Loveliness could see.

That blush, perhaps, was maiden shame -

As such it well may pass -

Though its glow hath raised a fiercer flame

In the breast of him, alas!

Who saw thee on that bridal day,

When that deep blush would come o'er thee,

Though happiness around thee lay,

The world all love before thee.

1827

51. SPIRITS OF THE DEAD

Thy soul shall find itself alone

'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone -

Not one, of all the crowd, to pry

Into thine hour of secrecy:

Be silent in that solitude

Which is not loneliness - for then

The spirits of the dead who stood

In life before thee are again

In death around thee - and their will

Shall then overshadow thee: be still.

For the night - tho' clear - shall frown -

And the stars shall look not down,

From their high thrones in the Heaven,

With light like Hope to mortals given -

But their red orbs, without beam,

To thy weariness shall seem

As a burning and a fever

Which would cling to thee for ever :

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish -

Now are visions ne'er to vanish -

From thy spirit shall they pass

No more - like dew-drop from the grass:

The breeze - the breath of God - is still -

And the mist upon the hill

Shadowy - shadowy - yet unbroken,

Is a symbol and a token -

How it hangs upon the trees,

A mystery of mysteries! -

1827

52. A DREAM

In visions of the dark night

I have dreamed of joy departed --

But a waking dreams of life and light

Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day

To him whose eyes are cast

On things around him with a ray

Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream -- that holy dream,

While all the world were chiding,

Hath cheered me as a lovely beam

A lonely spirit guiding.

What though that light, thro' storm and night,

So trembled from afar-

What could there be more purely bright

In Truths day-star ?

1827

53. ROMANCE

ROMANCE, who loves to nod and sing,

With drowsy head and folded wing,

Among the green leaves as they shake

Far down within some shadowy lake,

To me a painted paroquet

Hath been - a most familiar bird -

Taught me my alphabet to say -

To lisp my very earliest word

While in the wild wood I did lie,

A child - with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years

So shake the very Heaven on high

With tumult as they thunder by,

I have no time for idle cares

Through gazing on the unquiet sky.

And when an hour with calmer wings

Its down upon thy spirit flings -

That little time with lyre and rhyme

To while away - forbidden things!

My heart would feel to be a crime

Unless it trembled with the strings.


1829

54. FAIRY-LAND

DIM vales - and shadowy floods -

And cloudy-looking woods,

Whose forms we can't discover

For the tears that drip all over

Huge moons there wax and wane -

Again - again - again -

Every moment of the night -

Forever changing places -

And they put out the star-light

With the breath from their pale faces.

About twelve by the moon-dial

One, more filmy than the rest

(A kind which, upon trial,

They have found to be the best)

Comes down - still down - and down

With its centre on the crown

Of a mountain's eminence,

While its wide circumference

In easy drapery falls

Over hamlets, over halls,

Wherever they may be -

O'er the strange woods - o'er the sea -

Over spirits on the wing -

Over every drowsy thing -

And buries them up quite

In a labyrinth of light -

And then, how deep! - O, deep!

Is the passion of their sleep.

In the morning they arise,

And their moony covering

Is soaring in the skies,

With the tempests as they toss,

Like -- almost any thing -

Or a yellow Albatross.

They use that moon no more

For the same end as before -

Videlicet a tent -

Which I think extravagant:

Its atomies, however,

Into a shower dissever,

Of which those butterflies,

Of Earth, who seek the skies,

And so come down again

(Never-contented things!)

Have brought a specimen

Upon their quivering wings.


1831

55. THE LAKE -- TO ----

IN spring of youth it was my lot

To haunt of the wide earth a spot

The which I could not love the less --

So lovely was the loneliness

Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,

And the tall pines that tower'd around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall

Upon that spot, as upon all,

And the mystic wind went by

Murmuring in melody --

Then -- ah then I would awake

To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,

But a tremulous delight --

A feeling not the jewelled mine

Could teach or bribe me to define --

Nor Love -- although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,

And in its gulf a fitting grave

For him who thence could solace bring

To his lone imagining --

Whose solitary soul could make

An Eden of that dim lake.


1827

56. EVENING STAR

'TWAS noontide of summer,

And midtime of night,

And stars, in their orbits,

Shone pale, through the light

Of the brighter, cold moon.

'Mid planets her slaves,

Herself in the Heavens,

Her beam on the waves.

I gazed awhile

On her cold smile;

Too cold-too cold for me--

There passed, as a shroud,

A fleecy cloud,

And I turned away to thee,

Proud Evening Star,

In thy glory afar

And dearer thy beam shall be;

For joy to my heart

Is the proud part

Thou bearest in Heaven at night.,

And more I admire

Thy distant fire,

Than that colder, lowly light.

1827

57. "THE HAPPIEST DAY"

THE happiest day-the happiest hour

My seared and blighted heart hath known,

The highest hope of pride and power,

I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? Yes! such I ween

But they have vanished long, alas!

The visions of my youth have been

But let them pass.

And pride, what have I now with thee?

Another brow may ev'n inherit

The venom thou hast poured on me

Be still my spirit!

The happiest day-the happiest hour

Mine eyes shall see-have ever seen

The brightest glance of pride and power

I feet have been:

But were that hope of pride and power

Now offered with the pain

Ev'n then I felt-that brightest hour

I would not live again:

For on its wing was dark alloy

And as it fluttered-fell

An essence-powerful to destroy

A soul that knew it well.


1827

58. IMITATION

A dark unfathom'd tide

Of interminable pride -

A mystery, and a dream,

Should my early life seem;

I say that dream was fraught

With a wild, and waking thought

Of beings that have been,

Which my spirit hath not seen,

Had I let them pass me by,

With a dreaming eye!

Let none of earth inherit

That vision on my spirit;

Those thoughts I would control

As a spell upon his soul:

For that bright hope at last

And that light time have past,

And my worldly rest hath gone

With a sigh as it pass'd on

I care not tho' it perish

With a thought I then did cherish.


1827

59. HYMN TO ARISTOGETON AND HARMODIUS

Translation from the Greek

WREATHED in myrtle, my sword I'll conceal

Like those champions devoted and brave,

When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,

And to Athens deliverance gave.

Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam

In the joy breathing isles of the blest;

Where the mighty of old have their home

Where Achilles and Diomed rest

In fresh myrtle my blade I'll entwine,

Like Harmodius, the gallant and good,

When he made at the tutelar shrine

A libation of Tyranny's blood.

Ye deliverers of Athens from shame!

Ye avengers of Liberty's wrongs!

Endless ages shall cherish your fame,

Embalmed in their echoing songs!

1827

60. DREAMS

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!

My spirit not awak'ning, till the beam

Of an Eternity should bring the morrow:

Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,

'Twere better than the dull reality

Of waking life to him whose heart shall be,

And hath been ever, on the chilly earth,

A chaos of deep passion from his birth !

But should it be - that dream eternally

Continuing - as dreams have been to me

In my young boyhood - should it thus be given,

'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven!

For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright

In the summer sky; in dreamy fields of light,

And left unheedingly my very heart

In climes of mine imagining - apart

From mine own home, with beings that have been

Of mine own thought - what more could I have seen?

'Twas once & only once & the wild hour

From my rememberance shall not pass - some power

Or spell had bound me - 'twas the chilly wind

Came o'er me in the night & left behind

Its image on my spirit, or the moon

Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon

Too coldly - or the stars - howe'er it was

That dream was as that night wind - let it pass.

I have been happy - tho' but in a dream

I have been happy - & I love the theme -

Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life -

As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife

Of semblance with reality which brings

To the delirious eye more lovely things

Of Paradise & Love - & all our own!

Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

61. "IN YOUTH I HAVE KNOWN ONE"

How often we forget all time, when lone

Admiring Nature's universal throne;

Her woods--her wilds--her mountains-the intense

Reply of Hers to Our intelligence!

IN youth I have known one with whom the Earth

In secret communing held-as he with it,

In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth:

Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit

From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth

A passionate light such for his spirit was fit

And yet that spirit knew-not in the hour

Of its own fervor-what had o'er it power.

Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought

To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er,

But I will half believe that wild light fraught

With more of sovereignty than ancient lore

Hath ever told-or is it of a thought

The unembodied essence, and no more

That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass

As dew of the night-time, o'er the summer grass?

Doth o'er us pass, when, as th' expanding eye

To the loved object-so the tear to the lid

Will start, which lately slept in apathy?

And yet it need not be---(that object) hid

From us in life-but common-which doth lie

Each hour before us--but then only bid

With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken

T' awake us--'Tis a symbol and a token

Of what in other worlds shall be--and given

In beauty by our God, to those alone

Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven

Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,

That high tone of the spirit which hath striven

Though not with Faith-with godliness--whose throne

With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;

Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.


62. A PAEAN

How shall the burial rite be read?

The solemn song be sung ?

The requiem for the loveliest dead,

That ever died so young?

Her friends are gazing on her,

And on her gaudy bier,

And weep ! - oh! to dishonor

Dead beauty with a tear!

They loved her for her wealth -

And they hated her for her pride -

But she grew in feeble health,

And they love her - that she died.

They tell me (while they speak

Of her "costly broider'd pall")

That my voice is growing weak -

That I should not sing at all -

Or that my tone should be

Tun'd to such solemn song

So mournfully - so mournfully,

That the dead may feel no wrong.

But she is gone above,

With young Hope at her side,

And I am drunk with love

Of the dead, who is my bride. -

Of the dead - dead who lies

All perfum'd there,

With the death upon her eyes,

And the life upon her hair.

Thus on the coffin loud and long

I strike - the murmur sent

Through the grey chambers to my song,

Shall be the accompaniment.

Thou died'st in thy life's June -

But thou did'st not die too fair:

Thou did'st not die too soon,

Nor with too calm an air.

From more than fiends on earth,

Thy life and love are riven,

To join the untainted mirth

Of more than thrones in heaven -

XII.

Therefore, to thee this night

I will no requiem raise,

But waft thee on thy flight,

With a Paean of old days.

63. ALONE

From childhood's hour I have not been

As others were - I have not seen

As others saw - I could not bring

My passions from a common spring -

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow - I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone -

And all I lov'd - I lov'd alone -

Then - in my childhood - in the dawn

Of a most stormy life - was drawn

From ev'ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still -

From the torrent, or the fountain -

From the red cliff of the mountain -

From the sun that 'round me roll'd

In its autumn tint of gold -

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass'd me flying by -

From the thunder, and the storm -

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view -

64. Notes: Alone

Of the many verses from time to time ascribed to the pen of Edgar Poe, and not included among his known writings, the lines entitled "Alone" have the chief claim to our notice. Fac-simile copies of this piece had been in possession of the present editor some time previous to its publication in "Scribner's Magazine" for September, 1875; but as proofs of the authorship claimed for it were not forthcoming, he refrained from publishing it as requested. The desired proofs have not yet been adduced, and there is, at present, nothing but internal evidence to guide us. "Alone" is stated to have been written by Poe in the album of a Baltimore lady (Mrs. Balderstone?), on March 17th, 1829, and the fac-simile given in "Scribner's"s alleged to be of his handwriting. If the caligraphy be Poe's, it is different in all essential respects from all the many specimens known to us, and strongly resembles that of the writer of the heading and dating of the manuscript, both of which the contributor of the poem acknowledges to have been recently added. The lines, however, if not by Poe, are the most successful imitation of his early mannerisms yet made public, and, in the opinion of one well qualified to speak, "are not unworthy on the whole of the parentage claimed for them."

{This poem is no longer considered doubtful as it was in 1903. Liberty has been taken to replace the book version with an earlier, perhaps more original manuscript version --Ed}

65. TO ISADORE

BENEATH the vine-clad eaves,

Whose shadows fall before

Thy lowly cottage door

Under the lilac's tremulous leaves--

Within thy snowy claspeèd hand

The purple flowers it bore..

Last eve in dreams, I saw thee stand,

Like queenly nymphs from Fairy-land--

Enchantress of the flowery wand,

Most beauteous Isadore!

And when I bade the dream

Upon thy spirit flee,

Thy violet eyes to me

Upturned, did overflowing seem

With the deep, untold delight

Of Love's serenity;

Thy classic brow, like lilies white

And pale as the Imperial Night

Upon her throne, with stars bedight,

Enthralled my soul to thee!

Ah I ever I behold

Thy dreamy, passionate eyes,

Blue as the languid skies

Hung with the sunset's fringe of gold;

Now strangely clear thine image grows,

And olden memories

Are startled from their long repose

Like shadows on the silent snows

When suddenly the night-wind blows

Where quiet moonlight ties.

Like music heard in dreams,

Like strains of harps unknown,

Of birds forever flown

Audible as the voice of streams

That murmur in some leafy dell,

I hear thy gentlest tone,

And Silence cometh with her spell

Like that which on my tongue doth dwell,

When tremulous in dreams I tell

My love to thee alone!

In every valley heard,

Floating from tree to tree,

Less beautiful to, me,

The music of the radiant bird,

Than artless accents such as thine

Whose echoes never flee!

Ah! how for thy sweet voice I pine:--

For uttered in thy tones benign

(Enchantress!) this rude name of mine

Doth seem a melody I

66. Notes: To Isadore

While Edgar Poe was editor of the "Broadway journal," some lines "To Isadore" appeared therein, and, like several of his known pieces, bore no signature. They were at once ascribed to Poe, and in order to satisfy questioners, an editorial paragraph subsequently appeared saying they were by "A. Ide, junior." Two previous poems had appeared in the "Broadway journal" over the signature of "A. M. Ide," and whoever wrote them was also the author of the lines "To Isadore." In order, doubtless, to give a show of variety, Poe was then publishing some of his known works in his journal over noms de plume, and as no other writings whatever can be traced to any person bearing the name of "A. M. Ide," it is not impossible that the poems now republished in this collection may be by the author of "The Raven." Having been published without his usual elaborate revision, Poe may have wished to hide his hasty work under an assumed name. The three pieces are included in the present collection, so the reader can judge for himself what pretensions they possess to be by the author of "The Raven."

67. THE VILLAGE STREET

IN these rapid, restless shadows,

Once I walked at eventide,

When a gentle, silent maiden,

Wal ked in beauty at my side

She alone there walked beside me

All in beauty, like a bride.

Pallidly the moon was shining

On the dewy meadows nigh;

On the silvery, silent rivers,

On the mountains far and high

On the ocean's star-lit waters,

Where the winds a-weary die.

Slowly, silently we wandered

From the open cottage door,

Underneath the elm's long branches

To the pavement bending o'er;

Underneath the mossy willow

And the dying sycamore.

With the myriad stars in beauty

All bedight, the heavens were seen,

Radiant hopes were bright around me,

Like the light of stars serene;

Like the mellow midnight splendor

Of the Night's irradiate queen.

Audibly the elm-leaves whispered

Peaceful, pleasant melodies,

Like the distant murmured music

Of unquiet, lovely seas:

While the winds were hushed in slumber

In the fragrant flowers and trees.

Wondrous and unwonted beauty

Still adorning all did seem,

While I told my love in fables

'Neath the willows by the stream;

Would the heart have kept unspoken

Love that was its rarest dream!

Instantly away we wandered

In the shadowy twilight tide,

She, the silent, scornful maiden,

Walking calmly at my side,

With a step serene and stately,

All in beauty, all in pride.

Vacantly I walked beside her.

On the earth mine eyes were cast;

Swift and keen there came unto me

Ritter memories of the past

On me, like the rain in Autumn

On the dead leaves, cold and fast.

Underneath the elms we parted,

By the lowly cottage door;

One brief word alone was uttered

Never on our lips before;

And away I walked forlornly,

Broken-hearted evermore.

Slowly, silently I loitered,

Homeward, in the night, alone;

Sudden anguish bound my spirit,

That my youth had never known;

Wild unrest, like that which cometh

When the Night's first dream hath flown.

Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper

Mad, discordant melodies,

And keen melodies like shadows

Haunt the moaning willow trees,

And the sycamores with laughter

Mock me in the nightly breeze.

Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight

Through the sighing foliage streams;

And each morning, midnight shadow,

Shadow of my sorrow seems;

Strive, 0 heart, forget thine idol!

And, 0 soul, forget thy dreams !

68. THE FOREST REVERIE

'Tis said that when

The hands of men

Tamed this primeval wood,

And hoary trees with groans of woe,

Like warriors by an unknown foe,

Were in their strength subdued,

The virgin Earth Gave instant birth

To springs that ne'er did flow

That in the sun Did rivulets run,

And all around rare flowers did blow

The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale

And the queenly lily adown the dale

(Whom the sun and the dew

And the winds did woo),

With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.

So when in tears

The love of years

Is wasted like the snow,

And the fine fibrils of its life

By the rude wrong of instant strife

Are broken at a blow

Within the heart

Do springs upstart

Of which it doth now know,

And strange, sweet dreams,

Like silent streams

That from new fountains overflow,

With the earlier tide

Of rivers glide

Deep in the heart whose hope has died--

Quenching the fires its ashes hide,--

Its ashes, whence will spring and grow

Sweet flowers, ere long,

The rare and radiant flowers of song!