Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 10

de fumee, et
d'un fracas que je ne puis comparer qu'au tonnerre. Lorsque la fumee se
fut dissipee, nous vimes un de ces singuliers animaux-hommes debout pres
de la tete de l'enorme bete, une trompette a la main; il la porta a sa
bouche et en emit a notre adresse des accents retentissants, durs et
desagreables que nous aurions pu prendre pour un langage articule, s'ils
n'etaient pas entierement sortis du nez.

"Comme c'etait evidemment a moi qu'il s'adressait, je fus fort
embarrasse pour repondre, n'ayant pu comprendre un traitre mot de ce qui
avait ete dit. Dans cet embarras, je me tournai du cote du crocheteur,
qui s'evanouissait de peur pres de moi, et je lui demandai son opinion
sur l'espece de monstre a qui nous avions affaire, sur ce qu'il voulait,
et sur ces creatures qui fourmillaient sur son dos. A quoi le crocheteur
repondit, aussi bien que le lui permettait sa frayeur, qu'il avait en
effet entendu parler de ce monstre marin; que c'etait un cruel demon,
aux entrailles de soufre, et au sang de feu, cree par de mauvais genies
pour faire du mal a l'humanite; que ces creatures qui fourmillaient sur
son dos etaient une vermine, semblable a celle qui quelquefois tourmente
les chats et les chiens, mais un peu plus grosse et plus sauvage; que
cette vermine avait son utilite, toute pernicieuse, il est vrai: la
torture que causaient a la bete ses piqures et ses morsures l'excitait a
ce degre de fureur qui lui etait necessaire pour rugir et commettre le
mal, et accomplir ainsi les desseins vindicatifs et cruels des mauvais

"Ces explications me determinerent a prendre mes jambes a mon cou, et
sans meme regarder une fois derriere moi, je me mis a courir de toutes
mes forces a travers les collines, tandis que le crocheteur se sauvait
aussi vite dans une direction opposee, emportant avec lui mes ballots,
dont il eut, sans doute, le plus grand soin: cependant je ne saurais
rien assurer a ce sujet, car je ne me souviens pas de l'avoir jamais
revu depuis.

"Quant a moi, je fus si chaudement poursuivi par un essaim des
hommes-vermine (ils avaient gagne le rivage sur des barques) que je fus
bientot pris, et conduit pieds et poings lies, sur la bete, qui se remit
immediatement a nager au large.

"Je me repentis alors amerement d'avoir fait la folie de quitter mon
confortable logis pour exposer ma vie dans de pareilles aventures; mais
le regret etant inutile, je m'arrangeai de mon mieux de la situation, et
travaillai a m'assurer les bonnes graces de l'animal a la trompette,

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 3
Is a groan.
Page 4
I was a child and _she_ was a child, In this kingdom.
Page 6
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.
Page 8
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 lamplight 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 Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Page 10
] I saw thee once--once only--years ago: I must not say _how_ many--but _not_ many.
Page 12
I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand-- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep--while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save _One_ from the pitiless wave? Is _all_ that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? _THE CITY IN THE SEA_ Lo! Death has reared himself a throne In a strange city lying alone Far down within the dim West, Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best Have gone to their eternal rest.
Page 14
Here once, through an alley Titanic, Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul-- Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
Page 16
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-- 'Tis 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.
Page 17
_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.
Page 19
Away--away--'mid seas of rays that roll Empyrean splendour o'er th' unchained soul-- The soul that scarce (the billows are so dense) Can struggle to its destin'd eminence,-- To distant spheres, from time to time, she rode And late to ours, the favour'd one of God-- But, now, the ruler of an anchor'd realm, She throws aside the sceptre--leaves the helm, And, amid incense and high spiritual hymns, Laves in quadruple light her angel limbs.
Page 20
And fell on gardens of the unforgiven In Trebizond--and on a sunny flower So like its own above that, to this hour, It still remaineth, torturing the bee With madness, and unwonted reverie: In Heaven, and all its environs, the leaf And blossom of the fairy plant in grief Disconsolate linger--grief that hangs her head, Repenting follies that full long have fled, Heaving her white breast to the balmy air, Like guilty beauty, chasten'd and more fair: Nyctanthes too, as sacred as the light She fears to perfume, perfuming the night: And Clytia, pondering between many a sun, While pettish tears adown her petals run: And that aspiring flower that sprang on Earth, And died, ere scarce exalted into birth, Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing Its way to Heaven, from garden of a king: And Valisnerian lotus, thither flown From struggling with the waters of the Rhone: And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante! Isola d'oro!--Fior di Levante! And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever With Indian Cupid down the holy river-- Fair flowers, and fairy! to whose care is given To bear the Goddess' song, in odours, up to Heaven "Spirit! thou dwellest where, In the deep sky, The terrible and fair, In beauty vie! Beyond the line of blue-- The boundary of the star Which turneth at the view Of thy barrier and thy bar-- Of the barrier overgone By the comets who were cast From their pride and from their throne To be drudges till the last-- To be carriers of fire (The red fire of their heart) With speed that may not tire And with pain that shall not part-- Who livest--_that_ we know-- In Eternity--we feel-- But the shadow of whose brow What spirit shall reveal? Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace, Thy messenger hath known Have dream'd for thy Infinity A model of.
Page 23
[Illustration: Al Aaraaf] Ligeia! Ligeia! My beautiful one! Whose harshest idea Will to melody run, O! is it thy will On the breezes to toss? Or, capriciously still, Like the lone Albatross, Incumbent on night (As she on the air) To keep watch with delight .
Page 24
Thou hast bound many eyes In a dreamy sleep-- But the strains still arise Which _thy_ vigilance keep-- The sound of the rain, Which leaps down to the flower-- And dances again In the rhythm of the shower-- The murmur that springs From the growing of grass Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then, my dearest, Oh! hie thee away To the springs that lie clearest Beneath the moon-ray-- To lone lake that smiles, In its dream of deep rest, At the many star-isles That enjewel its breast-- Where wild flowers, creeping, Have mingled their shade, On its margin is sleeping Full many a maid-- Some have left the cool glade, and Have slept with the bee-- Arouse them, my maiden, On moorland and lea-- Go! breathe on their slumber, All softly in ear, Thy musical number They slumbered to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon, Whose sleep hath been taken Beneath the cold moon, As the spell which no slumber Of witchery may test, The rhythmical number Which lull'd him to rest?" Spirits in wing, and angels to the view, A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro' Young dreams still hovering on their drowsy flight-- Seraphs in all but "Knowledge," the keen.
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.
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O----D_ [Mrs.
Page 28
[Illustration: The Valley of Unrest] _THE LAKE--TO----_ In spring of youth it was my lot To haunt of the wide world 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 towered around.
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_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.
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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 loved _I_ loved alone.
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Know thou the secret of a spirit Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
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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.