Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 134

poeme est adresse a Augusta Leigh, la soeur de Byron.

[78] Nous extrayons des _Marginalia_ de Poe un passage qui completera
l'idee qu'il ne fait qu'indiquer ici, et ou la poetique amoureuse de
Byron jeune est admirablement caracterisee:

"Les anges," dit madame Dudevant, une femme qui seme une foule
d'admirables sentiments a travers un chaos des plus dehontees et des
plus attaquables fictions, "les anges ne sont pas plus purs que le coeur
d'un jeune homme qui aime en verite." Cette hyperbole n'est pas tres
loin de la verite. Ce serait la verite meme, si elle s'appliquait a
l'amour fervent d'un jeune homme qui serait en meme temps un poete.
L'amour juvenile d'un poete est sans contredit un des sentiments humains
qui realise de plus pres nos reves de chastes voluptes celestes.

"Dans toutes les allusions de l'auteur de Childe-Harold a sa passion
pour Mary Chaworth, circule un souffle de tendresse et de purete presque
spirituelle, qui contraste violemment avec la grossierete terrestre qui
penetre et defigure ses poemes d'amour ordinaires. Le _Reve_, ou se
trouvent retraces ou au moins figures les incidents de sa separation
d'avec elle au moment de son depart pour ses voyages, n'a jamais ete
surpasse (jamais du moins par lui-meme) en ferveur, en delicatesse, en
sincerite, melees a quelque chose d'ethere qui l'eleve et l'ennoblit.
C'est ce qui permet de douter qu'il ait jamais rien ecrit d'aussi moins
universellement populaire. Nous avons quelque raison de croire que
son attachement pour cette Mary (nom qui semble avoir eu pour lui un
enchantement particulier) fut serieux et durable. Il y a de ce fait cent
preuves evidentes disseminees dans ses poemes et ses lettres, ainsi que
dans les memoires de ses amis et de ses contemporains. Mais le serieux
et la duree de cet amour ne vont pas du tout a l'encontre de cette
opinion que cette passion (si on peut lui donner proprement ce nom)
offrit un caractere eminemment romantique, vague et imaginatif. Nee
du moment, de ce besoin d'aimer que ressent la jeunesse, elle fut
entretenue et nourrie par les eaux, les collines, les fleurs et les
etoiles. Elle n'a aucun rapport direct avec la personne, le caractere
ou le retour d'affection de Mary Chaworth. Toute jeune fille, pour peu
qu'elle ne fut pas denuee d'attraction, eut ete aimee de lui dans les
memes circonstances de vie commune et de libres relations, que nous
representent les gravures. Ils se voyaient sans obstacle et sans
reserve. Ils jouaient ensemble comme de vrais enfants qu'ils etaient.
Ils lisaient ensemble les memes livres, chantaient les memes chansons,
erraient ensemble la main dans la main a travers

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Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

Page 0
Perrett The Decorations by Will Jenkins [Illustration] Paul Elder and Company San Francisco and New York Contents Foreword .
Page 1
” If any justification were necessary, it is to be found both in the unique literary interest of the essay, and in the fact that it is (or purports to be) a frank exposition of the modus operandi by which “The Raven” was written.
Page 2
I prefer commencing with the consideration of an effect.
Page 3
I am aware, on the other hand, that the case is by no means common, in which an author is at all in condition to retrace the steps by which his conclusions have been attained.
Page 4
I should be carried too far out of my immediate topic were I to demonstrate a point upon which I have repeatedly insisted, and which, with the poetical, stands not in the slightest need of demonstration—the point, I mean, that Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
Page 5
The universality of its employment sufficed to assure me of its intrinsic value, and spared me the necessity of submitting it to analysis.
Page 6
I resolved to diversify, and so heighten, the effect, by adhering, in general, to the monotone of sound, while I continually varied that of thought: that is to say, I determined to produce continuously novel effects, by the variation of the application of the refrain—the refrain itself remaining, for the most part, unvaried.
Page 7
And here it was that I saw at once the opportunity afforded for the effect on which I had been depending—that is to say, the effect of the variation of application.
Page 8
” The former is trochaic—the latter is octameter acatalectic, alternating with heptameter catalectic repeated in the refrain of the fifth verse, and terminating with tetrameter catalectic.
Page 9
It has an indisputable moral power in keeping concentrated the attention, and, of course, must not be confounded with mere unity of place.
Page 10
From this epoch the lover no longer jests—no longer sees anything even of the fantastic in the Raven’s demeanour.
Page 11
” The student now guesses the state of the case, but is impelled, as I have before explained, by the human thirst for self-torture, and in part by superstition, to propound such queries to the bird as will bring him, the lover, the most of the luxury of sorrow, through the anticipated answer, “Nevermore.
Page 12
” [Illustration] 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.
Page 13
” [Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
Page 14
_] [Illustration] 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.
Page 15
Of this first Quarto Photogravure Edition one thousand copies have been issued, printed on Arches handmade paper.