Cuentos Clásicos del Norte, Primera Serie

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 125

manera alguna a la
inmensidad, la sublimidad y la inescrutabilidad de sus obras, _más
profundas aún que el manantial de Demócrito._


Habíamos llegado a la cima de la roca más elevada. Durante algunos
minutos pareció el viejo demasiado exhausto para hablar.

"No hace mucho," dijo al cabo, "que hubiera podido yo guiaros en esta
ruta tan bien como el más joven de mis hijos; pero hace cerca de tres
años que me ocurrió un incidente que jamás ha sucedido a mortal alguno,
o por lo menos, el hombre a quien le aconteciera no ha sobrevivido para
contarlo; y las seis horas de angustioso terror que sufrí entonces me
destrozaron de cuerpo y alma. Vos me creéis un anciano; mas no lo soy.
Menos de un día fué necesario para cambiar en blancos estos cabellos que
eran negros como el azabache, para debilitar mis miembros y aflojar mis
nervios hasta el punto de que tiemblo al menor esfuerzo y me asusto de
una sombra. ¿Imagináis que apenas puedo mirar desde este pequeño
acantilado sin sentirme desvanecido?"

El "pequeño acantilado" de que hablaba, y sobre cuyo ápice habíase
tendido negligentemente a descansar de manera que la parte más pesada de
su cuerpo colgaba fuera, protegiéndose únicamente contra la caída con
uno de sus codos que apoyaba en su escurridizo borde; este "pequeño
acantilado" era un peñasco que se elevaba sobre un escarpado precipicio
de rocas negras y pulidas, a mil quinientos o mil seiscientos pies sobre
el mundo de escollos que se divisaba abajo. Nada me habría decidido a
acercarme a media docena de yardas de su margen. En realidad, sentíame
tan profundamente emocionado por la peligrosa posición de mi compañero,
que me tiré al suelo de largo a largo, prendido de los arbustos que
tenía cerca, y sin atreverme a mirar ni tan siquiera el cielo, mientras
luchaba en vano conmigo mismo para persuadirme de que las propias bases
de la montaña no estaban en peligro con la furia del viento. Pasó largo
tiempo antes de que pudiera raciocinar lo suficiente para cobrar el
valor de sentarme y mirar a la distancia.

"Debéis desprenderos de esas fantasías," decía el guía, "porque os he
traído aquí para que podáis gozar del mejor punto de vista para apreciar
el suceso a que antes hice alusión, y referiros la historia completa
mientras contempláis el paraje a que se refiere.

"Nos encontramos," continuó, con aquella peculiar manera que le
distinguía, "nos encontramos muy cerca de la costa noruega, a los
sesenta y ocho grados de latitud,

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 1
Now--now to sit or never, .
Page 2
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Page 3
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 A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean 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.
Page 4
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.
Page 6
" Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Page 8
" "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.
Page 12
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 sculptured ivy and stone flowers-- Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathèd friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Page 13
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 universal valley.
Page 16
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.
Page 17
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 Woe! 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.
Page 19
All hurriedly she knelt upon a bed Of flowers: of lilies such as rear'd the head On the fair Capo Deucato, and sprang So eagerly around about to hang Upon the flying footsteps of----deep pride-- Of her who lov'd a mortal--and so died.
Page 21
All Nature speaks, and ev'n ideal things Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings-- But ah! not so when, thus, in realms on high The eternal voice of God is passing by, And the red winds are withering in the sky:-- "What tho' in worlds which sightless cycles run Linked to a little system, and one sun-- Where all my life is folly and the crowd Still think my terrors but the thunder cloud, The storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath-- (Ah! will they cross me in my angrier path?) What tho' in world which hold a single sun The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run, Yet thine is my resplendency, so given To bear my secrets thro' the upper Heaven Leave tenantless thy crystal home, and fly, With all thy train, athwart the moony sky-- Apart--like fire-flies in the Sicilian night, And wing to other worlds another light! Divulge the secrets of thy embassy To the proud orbs that twinkle--and so be To ev'ry heart a barrier and a ban Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!" Up rose the maiden in the yellow night, The single-moonèd eve!--on Earth we plight Our faith to one love--and one moon adore-- The birth-place of young Beauty had no more.
Page 22
But on the pillars Seraph eyes have seen The dimness of this world: that greyish green That Nature love's the best for Beauty's grave Lurk'd in each cornice, round each architrave-- And every sculptur'd cherub thereabout That from his marble dwelling peerèd out, Seem'd earthly in the shadow of his niche-- Achaian statues in a world so rich? Friezes from Tadmor and Persepolis-- From Balbec, and the stilly, clear abyss Of beautiful Gomorrah! O, the wave Is now upon thee--but too late to save! Sound loves to revel in a summer night: Witness the murmur of the grey twilight That stole upon the ear, in Eyraco, Of many a wild star-gazer long ago-- That stealeth ever on the ear of him Who, musing, gazeth on the distant dim, And sees the darkness coming as a cloud-- Is not its form--its voice--most palpable and loud? But what is this?--it cometh, and it brings A music with it--'tis the rush of wings-- A pause--and then a sweeping, falling strain And Nesace is in her halls again.
Page 24
On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
Page 25
That eve--that eve--I should remember well-- The sun-ray dropp'd in Lemnos, with a spell On th' arabesque carving of a gilded hall Wherein I sate, and on the draperied wall-- And on my eyelids--O the heavy light! How drowsily it weigh'd them into night! On flowers, before, and mist, and love they ran With Persian Saadi in his Gulistan: But O that light!--I slumber'd--Death, the while, Stole o'er my senses in that lovely isle So softly that no single silken hair Awoke that slept--or knew that he was there.
Page 26
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.
Page 27
] Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, wayworn wanderer bore To his own native shore.
Page 28
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.
Page 30
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 overshadow thee; be still.
Page 36
[Illustration: Tamerlane] 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 Cæsar--this to me? The heritage of a kingly mind, And a proud spirit which hath striven Triumphantly with human kind.