By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 10

appelle axiomes n'ont jamais
existé et ne peuvent pas exister._ Il faut qu'ils aient été bien
aveugles pour ne pas voir cela, ou du moins pour ne pas le soupçonner;
car, même de leur temps, plusieurs de leurs axiomes de vieille date
avaient été abandonnés: _Ex nihilo nihil fit,_ par exemple, et: _Un
être ne peut pas agir là où il n'est pas,_ et: _Il ne peut pas exister
d'antipodes,_ et: _Les ténèbres ne peuvent pas venir de la lumière._
Ces propositions et autres semblables, primitivement acceptées comme
axiomes, ou vérités incontestables, étaient, même à l'époque dont je
parle, considérées comme absolument insoutenables; combien ces gens
étaient donc absurdes de vouloir toujours s'appuyer sur une base, dite
immuable, dont l'instabilité s'était si fréquemment manifestée!

«Mais, même par le témoignage qu'ils apportent contre eux-mêmes, il est
aisé de convaincre ces raisonneurs _à priori_ de l'énorme déraison,--il
est aisé de leur montrer la futilité, l'impalpabilité générale de leurs
axiomes. J'ai maintenant sous les yeux», observez que c'est toujours la
lettre qui parle, «j'ai maintenant sous les yeux un livre imprimé il y
a environ mille ans. Pundit m'assure que c'est positivement le meilleur
des ouvrages anciens traitant de la matière, qui est la Logique.
L'auteur, qui fut très-estimé dans son temps, était un certain Miller
ou Mill; et l'histoire nous apprend, comme chose digne de mémoire,
qu'il montait habituellement un cheval de manège auquel il donnait le
nom de Jérémie Bentham;--mais jetons un coup d'œil sur le livre.

«Ah! voilà: _La faculté de comprendre ou l'impossibilité de
comprendre,_ dit fort judicieusement M. Mill, _ne peut, dans aucun cas,
être considérée comme un critérium de Vérité axiomatique._ Or, que
ceci soit une vérité banale, aucun homme, jouissant de son bon sens,
ne sera tenté de le nier. Ne pas admettre la proposition équivaudrait
à porter une accusation d'inconstance contre la Vérité elle-même, dont
le nom seul est synonyme d'immutabilité. Si l'aptitude à comprendre
était prise pour critérium de la Vérité, ce qui est vérité pour
_David_ Hume serait très-rarement vérité pour _Joe;_ et sur la terre
il serait facile de démontrer la fausseté des quatre-vingt-dix-neuf
centièmes de ce qui est certitude dans le ciel. La proposition de M.
Mill est donc appuyée. Je n'accorde pas que ce soit un axiome, et
cela simplement parce que je suis en train de montrer qu'il n'existe
pas d'axiomes; mais, usant d'une distinction subtile qui ne pourrait
pas être contestée par M. Mill lui-même, je suis prêt à reconnaître
que, si jamais axiome exista, la proposition que je cite a tous les
droits d'être considérée comme telle,--qu'il n'y a pas d'axiome _plus
absolu,_--et, conséquemment, que toute proposition

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 3
Is a groan.
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[Illustration: Annabel Lee] _ANNABEL LEE_ It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
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The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me-- Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
Page 6
" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt.
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
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore-- Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.
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_TO F----_ [F---- is, presumably, Mrs.
Page 19
[Illustration: To the river] _A DREAM_ In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed-- But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted.
Page 23
gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away-- Bright beings! that ponder, With half closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like----eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true Love That lull'd ye to rest! Up!--shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O, leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.
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Thou hast bound many eyes In a dreamy sleep-- But the strains still arise Which _thy_ vigilance keep-- The sound of the rain, Which leaps down to the flower-- And dances again In the rhythm of the shower-- The murmur that springs From the growing of grass Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then, my dearest, Oh! hie thee away To the 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, Thy musical number They slumbered to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon, Whose sleep hath been taken Beneath the cold moon, As the spell which no slumber Of witchery may test, The rhythmical number Which lull'd him to rest?" Spirits in wing, and angels to the view, A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro' Young dreams still hovering on their drowsy flight-- Seraphs in all but "Knowledge," the keen.
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"Ianthe, dearest, see--how dim that ray! How lovely 'tis to look so far away! She seem'd not thus upon that autumn eve I left her gorgeous halls--nor mourn'd to leave.
Page 28
And, pride, what have I now with thee? Another brow may even inherit The venom thou hast pour'd on me-- Be still, my spirit! The happiest day--the happiest hour Mine eyes shall see--have ever seen, The brightest glance of pride and power, I feel--have been: But were that hope of pride and power Now offer'd, with the pain Even _then_ I felt--that brightest hour I would not live again: For on its wing was dark alloy, And, as it flutter'd--fell An essence--powerful to destroy A soul that knew it well.
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And I! my spells are broken.
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Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish, Now are visions ne'er to vanish; From thy spirit shall they pass No more, like dew-drop from the grass.
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_FAIRY-LAND_ Dim vales--and shadowy floods-- And cloudy-looking woods, Whose forms we can't discover For the tears that drip all over Huge moons there wax and wane-- Again--again--again-- Every moment of the night-- Forever changing places-- And they put out the star-light With the breath from their pale faces.
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By the lakes that thus outspread Their lone waters, lone and dead,-- Their sad waters, sad and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily-- By the mountains--near the river Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-- By the grey woods,--by the swamp Where the toad and the newt encamp,-- By the dismal tarns and pools Where dwell the Ghouls,-- By each spot the most unholy-- In each nook.
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And oh! of all torture _That_ torture the worst Has abated--the terrible Torture of thirst For the naphthaline river Of Passion accurst:-- I have drunk of a water That quenches all thirst:-- Of a water that flows, With a lullaby sound, From a spring but a very few Feet under ground-- From a cavern not very far Down under ground.
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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.
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Young Love's first lesson is--the heart: For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles, When, from our little cares apart, And laughing at her girlish wiles, I'd throw me on her throbbing breast, And pour my spirit out in tears-- There was no need to speak the rest-- No need to quiet any fears Of her--who ask'd no reason why, But turned on me her quiet eye! Yet _more_ than worthy of the love My spirit struggled with, and strove, When, on the mountain peak, alone, Ambition lent it a new tone-- I had no being--but in thee: The world, and all it did contain In the earth--the air--the sea-- Its joy--its little lot of pain That was new pleasure--the ideal, Dim vanities of dreams by night-- And dimmer nothings which were real-- (Shadows--and a more shadowy light!) Parted upon their misty wings, And, so, confusedly, became Thine image, and--a name--a name! Two separate--yet most intimate things.
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We walk'd together on the crown Of a high mountain which look'd down Afar from its proud natural towers Of rock and forest, on the hills-- The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers, And shouting with a thousand rills.