Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 110

de sentir, tout fremissant de
volupte, qu'une harpe terrestre venait de faire vibrer des notes non
inconnues des anges. Aussi est-il indubitable que c'est dans l'union de
la Poesie et de la Musique, dans son sens populaire, que nous trouverons
le plus large champ pour le developpement des facultes poetiques. Les
anciens Bardes et Minnesingers avaient des avantages dont nous ne
jouissons plus--et Thomas Moore, chantant ses propres poesies, achevait
ainsi fort legitimement de leur donner leur veritable caractere de

Pour recapituler, je definirais donc en peu de mots la poesie du
langage: _une Creation rythmique de la Beaute_. Son seul arbitre est le
Gout. Le Gout n'a avec l'Intellect ou la Conscience que des relations
collaterales. Il ne peut qu'accidentellement avoir quelque chose de
commun soit avec le Devoir soit avec la Verite.

Quelques mots d'explication, cependant. Ce plaisir, qui est a la fois le
plus pur, le plus eleve et le plus intense des plaisirs, vient, je
le soutiens, de la contemplation du Beau. Ce n'est que dans la
comtemplation de la Beaute qu'il nous est possible d'atteindre cette
elevation enivrante, cette emotion de l'ame, que nous reconnaissons
comme le sentiment poetique, et qui se distingue si facilement de la
Verite, qui est la satisfaction de la Raison, et de la Passion, qui est
l'emotion du coeur. C'est donc la Beaute--en comprenant dans ce mot le
sublime--qui est l'objet du poeme, en vertu de cette simple regle de
l'Art, que les effets doivent jaillir aussi directement que possible
de leurs causes:--personne du moins n'a ose nier que l'elevation
particuliere dont nous parlons soit un but plus facilement atteint dans
un poeme. Il ne s'ensuit nullement, toutefois, que les excitations de la
Passion, ou les preceptes du Devoir ou meme les lecons de la Verite ne
puissent trouver place dans un poeme et avec avantage; tout cela peut,
accidentellement, servir de differentes facons le dessein general de
l'ouvrage;--mais le veritable artiste trouvera toujours le moyen de les
subordonner a cette Beaute qui est l'atmosphere et l'essence reelle du

Je ne saurais mieux commencer la serie des quelques poemes sur lesquels
je veux appeler l'attention, qu'en citant le Poeme de _l'Epave_ de M.

Le jour est parti, et les tenebres
Tombent des ailes de la Nuit,
Comme une plume tombe emportee
De l'aile d'un Aigle dans son vol[73].

J'apercois tes lumieres du village
Luire a travers la pluie et la brume,
Et un sentiment de tristesse m'envahit,

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
Page 1
Its proprietor, Roderick Usher, had been one of my boon companions in boyhood; but many years had elapsed since our last meeting.
Page 2
Minute fungi overspread the whole exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves.
Page 3
He accosted me with trepidation and passed on.
Page 4
And now in the mere exaggeration of the prevailing character of these features, and of the expression they were wont to convey, lay so much of change that I doubted to whom I spoke.
Page 5
A sensation of stupor oppressed me, as my eyes followed her retreating steps.
Page 6
Among other things, I hold painfully in mind a certain singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber.
Page 7
I have just spoken of that morbid condition of the auditory nerve which rendered all music intolerable to the sufferer, with the exception of certain effects of stringed instruments.
Page 8
In the monarch Thought's dominion-- It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair.
Page 9
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.
Page 10
let us mourn, for never morrow 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.
Page 11
have previously hinted) with the gray stones of the home of his forefathers.
Page 12
It had been used, apparently, in remote feudal times, for the worst purposes of a donjon-keep, and, in later days, as a place of deposit for powder, or some other highly combustible substance, as a portion of its floor, and the whole interior of a long archway through which we reached it, were carefully sheathed with copper.
Page 13
I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet certain degrees, the wild influences of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions.
Page 14
Here is one of your favourite romances.
Page 15
Could I have judged, indeed, by the wild overstrained air of vivacity with which he hearkened, or apparently hearkened, to the words of the tale, I might well have congratulated myself upon the success of my design.
Page 16
His head had dropped upon his breast--yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the wide and rigid opening of the eye as I caught a glance of it in profile.
Page 17
the way before him, and approached valorously over the silver pavement of the castle to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth tarried not for his full coming, but fell down at his feet upon the silver floor, with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound.
Page 18
Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued; for the vast house and its shadows were alone behind me.