Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 21

opinion aussi absurde au fond a du contribuer a retarder
le progres de toute vraie science qui ne marche guere que par bonds
intuitifs. L'idee ancienne condamnait l'investigation a _ramper_, et
pendant des siecles les esprits furent si infatues de Hogg surtout, que
ce fut un temps d'arret pour la pensee proprement dite. Personne n'osa
emettre une verite dont il ne se sentit redevable qu'a son _ame_. Peu
importait que cette verite fut _demontrable_; les _savants_ entetes
du temps ne regardaient que la route au moyen de laquelle on l'avait
atteinte. Ils ne voulaient pas meme considerer la fin. "Les moyens,
criaient-ils, les moyens, montrez-nous les moyens!" Si, apres examen des
moyens, on trouvait qu'ils ne rentraient ni dans la categorie d'Aries
(c'est-a-dire de Belier) ni dans celle de Hogg, les _savants_ n'allaient
pas plus loin, ils prononcaient que le theoriste etait un fou, et ne
voulaient rien avoir a faire avec sa verite.

Or, on ne peut pas meme soutenir que par le systeme _rampant_ il eut ete
possible d'atteindre en une longue serie de siecles la plus grande somme
de verite; la suppression de l'_Imagination_ etait un mal qui ne pouvait
etre compense par aucune certitude superieure des anciennes methodes
d'investigation. L'erreur de ces Jurmains, de ces Vrinch, de ces
Inglitch, et de ces Amriccans (nos ancetres immediats, pour le dire en
passant) etait une erreur analogue a celle du pretendu connaisseur qui
s'imagine qu'il doit voir d'autant mieux un objet qu'il l'approche plus
pres de ses yeux. Ces gens etaient aveugles par les details. Quand ils
procedaient d'apres Hogg, leurs _faits_ n'etaient jamais en resume que
des faits, matiere de peu de consequence, a moins qu'on ne se crut tres
avance en concluant que _c'etaient_ des faits, et qu'ils devaient etre
des faits, parce qu'ils apparaissaient tels. S'ils suivaient la methode
de Belier, c'est a peine si leur procede etait aussi droit qu'une corne
de cet animal, car ils n'ont jamais emis un axiome qui fut un veritable
axiome dans toute la force du terme. Il fallait qu'ils fussent
veritablement aveugles pour ne pas s'en apercevoir, meme de leur temps;
car a leur epoque meme, beaucoup d'axiomes longtemps _recus comme tels_
avaient ete abandonnes. Par exemple: "_Ex nihilo nihil fit_"; "un
corps ne peut agir ou il n'est pas"; "il ne peut exister d'antipodes";
"l'obscurite ne peut pas sortir de la lumiere"--toutes ces propositions,
et une douzaine d'autres semblables, primitivement admises sans
hesitation comme des axiomes, furent regardees, a l'epoque meme dont je
parle, comme insoutenables. Quelle absurdite donc, de persister a croire
aux _axiomes_, comme a des bases infaillibles de verite! Mais d'apres
le temoignage

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Maris Louise Shew)_ _Israfel_ _Fairy-land_ _Dreamland_ _Alone_ _Tamerlane_ _Tamerlane_ _THE BELLS_ I.
Page 4
_EULALIE--A SONG_ 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.
Page 5
There is a two-fold _Silence_--sea and shore-- Body and soul.
Page 6
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.
Page 7
" 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 8
" 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 lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor .
Page 9
Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: The Raven] _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 shrine, All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, And all the flowers were mine.
Page 11
(Oh, Heaven!--oh, God How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me.
Page 13
But lo, a stir is in the air! The wave--there is a movement there! As if the towers had thrust aside, In slightly sinking, the dull tide-- As if their tops had feebly given A void within the filmy Heaven.
Page 15
I replied--"This is nothing but dreaming: Let us on by this tremulous light! Let us bathe in this crystalline light! Its Sybilic splendour 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.
Page 18
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 seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
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erst it sham'd All other loveliness:--its honied dew (The fabled nectar that the heathen knew) Deliriously sweet, was dropp'd from Heaven.
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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.
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Frances Sargent 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.
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_STANZAS_ 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! [BYRON, _The Island_.
Page 31
_ 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.
Page 32
[Illustration: Fairy-land] _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 Judaean 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 wan light of the horned moon, The swift and silent lizard of the stones! But stay! these walls--these ivy-clad arcades-- These mouldering plinths--these sad and blackened.
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Bottomless vales and boundless floods, And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods, With forms that no man can discover For the tears 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.
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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.
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Know thou the secret of a spirit Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.