Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 87

vous demande mille
pardons.--Un jour il me rencontra a Athenes dans le Parthenon, et me dit
qu'il etait fort en peine de trouver une idee. Je l'engageai a emettre
celle-ci: "o nous estin aulos." Il me dit qu'il le ferait, et rentra
chez lui, pendant que je me dirigeais du cote des pyramides. Mais ma
conscience me gourmanda d'avoir articule une verite, meme pour venir
en aide a un ami, et retournant en toute hate a Athenes, je me trouvai
derriere la chaire du philosophe au moment meme ou il ecrivait le mot
"aulos." Donnant au [lambda] une chiquenaude du bout du doigt, je le
retournai sens dessus dessous. C'est ainsi qu'on lit aujourd'hui ce
passage: "o nous estin augos, et c'est la, vous le savez, la doctrine
fondamentale de sa metaphysique[60]."

"Avez-vous ete a Rome? demanda le _restaurateur_, en achevant sa seconde
bouteille de Mousseux, et tirant du buffet une plus ample provision de
Chambertin."

"Une fois seulement, monsieur Bon-Bon, rien qu'une fois. C'etait
l'epoque", dit le diable,--comme s'il recitait quelque passage d'un
livre,--"c'etait l'epoque ou regna une anarchie de cinq ans, pendant
laquelle la republique, privee de tous ses mandataires, n'eut d'autre
magistrature que celle des tribuns du peuple, qui n'etaient legalement
revetus d'aucune prerogative du pouvoir executif--c'est uniquement a
cette epoque, monsieur Bon-Bon, que j'ai ete a Rome, et, comme je n'ai
aucune accointance mondaine, je ne connais rien de sa philosophie.[61]"

"Que pensez-vous de... (_Un hoquet_) que pensez-vous d'Epicure?"

"Ce que je pense de celui-la!" dit le diable, etonne, vous n'allez pas,
je pense, trouver quelque chose a redire dans Epicure! Ce que je pense
d'Epicure! Est-ce de moi que vous voulez parler, monsieur?--C'est _moi_
qui suis Epicure! Je suis le philosophe qui a ecrit, du premier au
dernier, les trois cents traites dont parle Diogene Laerce.

"C'est un mensonge!" s'ecria le metaphysicien; car le vin lui etait un
peu monte a la tete.

"Tres bien!--Tres bien, monsieur!

--Fort bien, en verite, monsieur!" dit Sa Majeste, evidemment peu
flattee.

"C'est un mensonge!" repeta le _restaurateur_, d'un ton dogmatique;
"c'est un .... (_Un hoquet_) mensonge!" |

"Bien, bien, vous avez votre idee!" dit le diable pacifiquement; et
Bon-Bon, apres avoir ainsi battu le diable sur ce sujet, crut qu'il
etait de son devoir d'achever une seconde bouteille de Chambertin.

"Comme je vous le disais," reprit le visiteur, "comme je vous
l'observais tout a l'heure, il y a quelques opinions outrees dans votre
livre, monsieur Bon-Bon. Par exemple, qu'entendez-vous avec tout ce
radotage sur l'ame? Dites-moi, je vous prie, monsieur, qu'est-ce que
l'ame?"

"L'....(_Un hoquet_)--l'ame," repondit le metaphysicien, en se
reportant a son manuscrit, "c'est indubitablement..."

"Non, monsieur!"

"Sans aucun doute..."

"Non, monsieur!"

"Incontestablement...."

"Non, monsieur!"

"Evidemment...."

"Non, monsieur!"

"Sans contredit...."

"Non,

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 2
Hear the tolling of the bells-- Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats .
Page 6
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-- Merely this, and nothing more.
Page 8
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-- On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore-- Is there--_is_ there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, 'Twere better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth, A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
Page 12
(Ah, 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 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 17
Not that the grass--O! may it thrive! On my grave is growing or grown-- But that, while I am dead yet alive I cannot be, lady, alone.
Page 18
] Of all who hail thy presence as the morning-- Of all to whom thine absence is the night-- The blotting utterly from out high heaven The sacred sun--of all who, weeping, bless thee Hourly for hope--for life--ah! above all, For the resurrection of deep-buried faith In Truth--in Virtue--in Humanity-- Of all who, on Despair's unhallowed bed Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!" At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes-- Of all who owe thee most--whose gratitude Nearest resembles worship--oh, remember The truest--the most fervently devoted, And think that these weak lines are written by him-- By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think His spirit is communing with an angel's.
Page 20
erst it sham'd All other loveliness:--its honied dew (The fabled nectar that the heathen knew) Deliriously sweet, was dropp'd from Heaven.
Page 22
A dome, by linked light from Heaven let down, Sat gently on these columns as a crown-- A window of one circular diamond, there, Look'd out above into the purple air, And rays from God shot down that meteor chain And hallow'd all the beauty twice again, Save when, between th' Empyrean and that ring, Some eager spirit flapp'd his dusky wing.
Page 25
That eve--that eve--I should remember well-- The sun-ray dropp'd in Lemnos, with a spell On th' arabesque carving of a gilded hall Wherein I sate, and on the draperied wall-- And on my eyelids--O the heavy light! How drowsily it weigh'd them into night! On flowers, before, and mist, and love they ran With Persian Saadi in his Gulistan: But O that light!--I slumber'd--Death, the while, Stole o'er my senses in that lovely isle So softly that no single silken hair Awoke that slept--or knew that he was there.
Page 30
The night, though clear, shall frown, And the stars shall not look down From their high thrones in the Heaven With light like hope to mortals given, But their red orbs, without beam, To thy weariness shall seem As a burning and a fever Which would cling to thee for ever.
Page 31
--_Koran.
Page 32
They use that moon no more For the same end as before-- Videlicet a tent-- Which I think extravagant: Its atomies, however, Into a shower dissever, Of which those butterflies, Of Earth, who seek the skies, And so come down again (Never-contented things!) Have brought a specimen Upon their quivering wings.
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
From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved _I_ loved alone.
Page 36
On mountain soil I first drew life: The mists of the Taglay have shed Nightly their dews upon my head, And, I believe, the wingèd strife And tumult of the headlong air Have nestled in my very hair.
Page 38
while it thro' The minute--the hour--the day--oppress My mind with double loveliness.
Page 39
death.