Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 72

etait vide pour moi, noir et
silencieux; un neant remplacait l'univers. C'etait dans toute la force
du terme un total aneantissement. Je me reveillais, toutefois, de ces
dernieres attaques peu a peu et avec une lenteur proportionnee a la
soudainete de l'acces. Aussi lentement que point l'aurore pour le
mendiant sans ami et sans asile, errant dans la rue pendant une longue
nuit desolee d'hiver, aussi tardive pour moi, aussi desiree, aussi
bienfaisante la lumiere revenait a mon ame.

A part cette disposition aux attaques, ma sante generale paraissait
bonne; et je ne pouvais m'apercevoir qu'elle etait affectee par ce
seul mal predominant, a moins de considerer comme son effect une
idiosyncrasie qui se manifestait ordinairement pendant mon sommeil. En
me reveillant, je ne parvenais jamais a reprendre tout de suite pleine
et entiere possession de mes sens, et je restais toujours un certain
nombre de minutes dans un grand egarement et une profonde perplexite;
mes facultes mentales en general, mais surtout ma memoire, etant
absolument en suspens.

Dans tout ce que j'endurais ainsi il n'y avait pas de souffrance
physique, mais une infinie detresse morale. Mon imagination devenait
un veritable charnier. Je ne parlais que "de vers, de tombes et
d'epitaphes." Je me perdais dans des songeries de mort, et l'idee d'etre
enterre vivant ne cessait d'occuper mon cerveau. Le spectre du danger
auquel j'etais expose me hantait jour et nuit. Le jour, cette pensee
etait pour moi une torture, et la nuit, une agonie. Quand l'affreuse
obscurite se repandait sur la terre, l'horreur de cette pensee me
secouait--me secouait comme le vent secoue les plumes d'un corbillard.
Quand la nature ne pouvait plus resister au sommeil, ce n'etait qu'avec
une violente repulsion que je consentais a dormir--car je frissonnais en
songeant qu'a mon reveil, je pouvais me trouver l'habitant d'une tombe.
Et lorsqu'enfin je succombais au sommeil, ce n'etait que pour etre
emporte dans un monde de fantomes, au dessus duquel, avec ses ailes
vastes et sombres, couvrant tout de leur ombre, planait seule mon idee
sepulcrale.

Parmi les innombrables et sombres cauchemars qui m'oppresserent ainsi en
reves, je ne rappellerai qu'une seule vision. Il me sembla que j'etais
plonge dans une crise cataleptique plus longue et plus profonde que
d'ordinaire. Tout a coup je sentis tomber sur mon front une main glacee,
et une voix impatiente et mal articulee murmura a mon oreille ce mot:
"Leve-toi!"

Je me dressai sur mon seant. L'obscurite etait complete. Je ne pouvais
voir la figure de celui qui m'avait reveille; je ne pouvais me rappeler
ni l'epoque a laquelle j'etais tombe dans cette crise, ni l'endroit ou
je me trouvais alors couche. Pendant

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 5

Page 8
" By the assistance of some rudely constructed machinery, the heavily laden basket was now carefully lowered down among the multitude; and, from the giddy pinnacle, the Romans were seen gathering confusedly round it; but owing to the vast height and the prevalence of a fog, no distinct view of their operations could be obtained.
Page 9
" "It is a fatted calf from the pastures of Bashan," said the Pharisee, "the heathen have dealt wonderfully with us----let us raise up our voices in a psalm--let us give thanks on the shawm and on the psaltery-on the harp and on the huggab-on the cythern and on the sackbut!" It was not until the basket had arrived within a few feet of the Gizbarim that a low grunt betrayed to their perception a hog of no common size.
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The dwarf seized his opportunity, and once more spoke: "I now see distinctly.
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My confusion, he said, betrayed me, and he would be willing to bet the Devil his head that she did not.
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It came at length, however,--a monstrously big box of it there was, too--and as the whole party were in excessively good humor, it was decided, nem.
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Page 111
Then consider the garden of "my own," so overgrown, entangled with roses and lilies, as to be "a little wilderness"--the fawn loving to be there, and there "only"--the maiden seeking it "where it _should _lie"--and not being able to distinguish it from the flowers until "itself would rise"--the lying among the lilies "like a bank of lilies"--the loving to "fill itself with roses," "And its pure virgin limbs to fold In whitest sheets of lilies cold," and these things being its "chief" delights-and then the pre-eminent beauty and naturalness of the concluding lines, whose very hyperbole only renders them more true to nature when we consider the innocence, the artlessness, the enthusiasm, the passionate girl, and more passionate admiration of the bereaved child-- "Had it lived long, it would have been Lilies without, roses within.
Page 116
" 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 lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! Published 1845.
Page 123
Here once, through an alley Titanic, Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul-- Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
Page 124
And I said--"She is warmer than Dian: She rolls through an ether of sighs-- She revels in a region of sighs.
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She tenderly kissed me, She fondly caressed, And then I fell gently To sleep on her breast-- Deeply to sleep From the heaven of her breast.
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(Ah, let us mourn!--for never sorrow 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.
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1838.
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) Monk.
Page 194
Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then my dearest, O! hie thee away To 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, The musical number They slumber'd to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon * The wild bee will not sleep in the shade if there be moonlight.
Page 202
drew life: The mists of the Taglay have shed Nightly their dews upon my head, And, I believe, the winged strife And tumult of the headlong air Have nestled in my very hair.