Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 77

terre m'etait venue de la cargaison elle-meme. Quant au
bandage de mes machoires, c'etait un foulard que je m'etais attache
autour de la tete a defaut de mon bonnet de nuit accoutume.

Toutefois, il est indubitable que les tortures que j'avais endurees
egalerent tout a fait, sauf pour la duree, celles d'un homme reellement
enterre vif. Elles avaient ete epouvantables--hideuses au dela de toute
conception. Mais le bien sortit du mal; leur exces meme produisit en
moi une revulsion inevitable. Mon ame reprit du ton, de l'equilibre.
Je voyageai a l'etranger. Je me livrai a de vigoureux exercices. Je
respirai l'air libre du ciel. Je songeai a autre chose qu'a la mort. Je
laissai de cote mes livres de medecine. Je brulai _Buchan_. Je ne lus
plus les _Pensees Nocturnes_--plus de galimatias sur les cimetieres,
plus de contes terribles _comme celui-ci_. En resume je devins un homme
nouveau, et vecus en homme. A partir de cette nuit memorable, je
dis adieu pour toujours a mes apprehensions funebres, et avec elles
s'evanouit la catalepsie, dont peut-etre elles etaient moins la
consequence que la cause.

Il y a certains moments ou, meme aux yeux reflechis de la raison,
le monde de notre triste humanite peut ressembler a un enfer; mais
l'imagination de l'homme n'est pas une Carathis pour explorer impunement
tous ses abimes. Helas! Il est impossible de regarder cette legion de
terreurs sepulcrales comme quelque chose de purement fantastique; mais,
semblable aux demons qui accompagnerent Afrasiab dans son voyage sur
l'Oxus, il faut qu'elle dorme ou bien qu'elle nous devore--il faut la
laisser reposer ou nous resigner a mourir.


Quand un bon vin meuble mon estomac,
Je suis plus savant que Balzac,
Plus sage que Pibrac;
Mon bras seul, faisant l'attaque
De la nation cosaque,
La mettrait au sac;
De Charon je passerais le lac
En dormant dans son bac;
J'irais au fier Esque,
Sans que mon coeur fit tic ni tac,
Presenter du tabac.

_Vaudeville francais._

Que Pierre Bon-Bon ait ete un _restaurateur_ de capacites peu communes,
personne de ceux qui, pendant le regne de .... frequentaient le petit
cafe dans le cul-de-sac Le Febvre a Rouen, ne voudrait, j'imagine, le
contester. Que Pierre Bon-Bon ait ete, a un egal degre, verse dans la
philosophie de cette epoque, c'est, je le presume, quelque chose encore
de plus difficile a nier. Ses _pates de foie_ etaient sans aucun doute
immacules; mais quelle plume pourrait rendre justice a ses _Essais
sur la nature_--a ses _Pensees sur l'ame_--a ses _Observations sur
l'esprit_? Si ses

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Page 6
" Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Page 9
"Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-- From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-- From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven! Let no bell toll, then,--lest her soul,.
Page 10
I _have been_ happy, tho' in a dream.
Page 12
And travellers, now, within that valley, Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically To a discordant melody, While, like a ghastly rapid river, Through the pale door A hideous throng rush out for ever And laugh--but smile no more.
Page 13
_THE SLEEPER_ At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon.
Page 14
Page 18
Out--out are the lights--out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
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 22
From the wild energy of wanton haste Her cheeks were flushing, and her lips apart; And zone that clung around her gentle waist Had burst beneath the heaving of her heart.
Page 28
They weep:--from off their delicate stems Perennial tears descend in gems.
Page 29
And I! my spells are broken.
Page 31
_TO ----_ The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see The wantonest singing.
Page 32
About twelve by the moon-dial, One more filmy than the rest (A kind which, upon trial, They have found to be the best) Comes down--still down--and down, With its centre on the crown Of a mountain's eminence, While its wide circumference In easy drapery falls Over hamlets, over halls, Wherever they may be-- O'er the strange woods--o'er the sea-- Over spirits on the wing-- Over every drowsy thing-- And buries them up quite In a labyrinth of light-- And then, how deep!--O, deep! Is the passion of their sleep.
Page 34
For the heart whose woes are legion 'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-- For the spirit that walks in shadow 'Tis--oh, 'tis an Eldorado! But the traveller, travelling through it, May not--dare not openly view it! Never its mysteries are exposed To the weak human eye unclosed; So wills its King, who hath forbid The uplifting of the fringèd lid; And thus the sad Soul that here passes Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
Page 35
Forgetting, or never Regretting its roses-- Its old agitations Of myrtles and roses; For now, while so quietly Lying, it fancies A holier odour About it, of pansies-- A rosemary odour, Commingled with pansies-- With rue and the beautiful Puritan pansies.
Page 36
[Illustration: Tamerlane] I have not always been as now: The fever'd diadem on my brow I claim'd and won usurpingly-- Hath not the same fierce heirdom given Rome to the Cæsar--this to me? The heritage of a kingly mind, And a proud spirit which hath striven Triumphantly with human kind.
Page 37
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.
Page 38
Look'round thee now on Samarcand! Is not she queen of Earth? her pride Above all cities? in her hand Their destinies? in all beside Of glory which the world hath known Stands she not nobly and alone? Falling--her veriest stepping-stone Shall form the pedestal of a throne-- And who her sovereign? Timour--he Whom the astonished people saw Striding o'er empires haughtily A diadem'd outlaw! O, human love! thou spirit given, On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven! Which fall'st into the soul like rain Upon the Siroc-wither'd plain, And, failing in thy power to bless, But leav'st the heart a wilderness! Idea! which bindest life around With music of so strange a sound, And beauty of so wild a birth-- Farewell! for I have won the Earth.
Page 39
I reach'd my home--my home no more-- For all had flown who made it so.