Ligeia und andere Novellen; Sieben Gedichte

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 2

Joseph Glanvill

Bei meiner Seele! ich kann mich nicht erinnern, wie, wann und wo ich die
erste Bekanntschaft machte -- der Lady Ligeia. Lange Jahre sind seitdem
verflossen, und mein Gedächtnis ist schwach geworden durch vieles
Leiden. Vielleicht auch kann ich mich dieser Einzelheiten nur darum
nicht mehr erinnern, weil der Charakter meiner Geliebten, ihr
umfassendes Wissen, ihre eigenartige und doch milde Schönheit und die
überwältigende Beredsamkeit ihrer sanft tönenden Stimme -- weil dies
alles zusammen nur ganz allmählich und verstohlen den Weg in mein Herz
nahm, zu allmählich, als daß ich daran gedacht hätte, mir jene äußeren
Umstände einzuprägen.

Ich habe jedoch das Empfinden, als sei ich ihr zum ersten Mal und
hierauf wiederholt in einer altertümlichen Stadt am Rhein begegnet. Und
eins weiß ich bestimmt: sie erzählte mir von ihrer Familie, die sehr
alten Ursprungs war. -- Ligeia! Ligeia! -- Trotzdem ich in Studien
vergraben bin, deren Art mehr noch als alles andre dazu angetan ist,
mich von Welt und Menschen abzusondern, genügt dies eine süße Wort
»Ligeia«, um vor meinen Augen ihr Bild erstehen zu lassen -- das Bild
von ihr, die nicht mehr ist. Und jetzt, während ich schreibe, überfällt
mich urplötzlich das Bewußtsein, daß ich von ihr, meiner Freundin und
Verlobten, der Gefährtin meiner Studien und dem Weib meines Herzens, den
Namen ihrer Familie nie erfahren habe. War es ein schalkhafter Streich,
den Ligeia mir gespielt hatte? War es ein Beweis meiner bedingungslosen
Hingabe, daß ich nie eine Frage danach tat? Oder war es meinerseits eine
Laune, ein romantisches Opfer, das ich auf den Altar meiner
leidenschaftlichen Ergebenheit niedergelegt hatte? Der bloßen Tatsache
sogar kann ich mich nur unklar erinnern -- was Wunder, daß ich die
Gründe dafür vollständig vergessen habe! Und wirklich, wenn jemals der
romantische Geist der bleichen und nebelbeschwingten Aschtophet des
götzengläubigen Ägyptens, wie die Sage meldet, über unglückliche Ehen
geherrscht hat, so ist es gewiß, daß er meine Ehe stiftete und
beherrschte.

Immerhin hat mich wenigstens in einem Punkt meine Erinnerung nicht
verlassen: die Persönlichkeit Ligeias steht mir heute noch klar vor
Augen. Sie war von hoher, schlanker Gestalt, in ihren letzten Tagen
sogar sehr hager. Vergebliches Bemühen wäre es, wenn ich eine
Beschreibung der Erhabenheit, der würdevollen Gelassenheit ihres Wesens
oder der unvergleichlichen Leichtigkeit und Elastizität ihres Schreitens
versuchen wollte. Sie kam und ging wie ein Schatten. War sie in mein
Arbeitszimmer gekommen, so bemerkte ich ihre Anwesenheit nicht eher, als
bis ich den lieben Wohlklang ihrer sanften, süßen Stimme vernahm oder
ihre marmorweiße Hand auf meiner Schulter fühlte. Kein Weib auf Erden
trug solche Schönheit im Antlitz wie sie! Strahlend schön war sie, wie
die Erscheinung eines

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 1
Hear the loud alarum bells-- Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavour.
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 4
[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.
Page 6
" Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you,"--here I opened wide the door;-- Darkness there, and nothing more.
Page 9
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride.
Page 10
Whitman.
Page 11
What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! [Illustration: To Helen] How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition; yet how deep-- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away.
Page 12
_A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM_ Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow-- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less _gone?_ _All_ that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.
Page 14
And.
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 21
PART II.
Page 23
[Illustration: Al Aaraaf] Ligeia! Ligeia! My beautiful one! Whose harshest idea Will to melody run, O! is it thy will On the breezes to toss? Or, capriciously still, Like the lone Albatross, Incumbent on night (As she on the air) To keep watch with delight .
Page 24
On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
Page 25
" He was a goodly spirit--he who fell: A wanderer by moss-y-mantled well-- A gazer on the lights that shine above-- A dreamer in the moonbeam by his love: What wonder? for each star is eye-like there, And looks so sweetly down on Beauty's hair-- And they, and ev'ry mossy spring were holy To his love-haunted heart and melancholy.
Page 28
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees That palpitate like the chill seas Around the misty Hebrides! Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven That rustle through the unquiet Heaven Uneasily, from morn till even, Over the violets there that lie In myriad types of the human eye-- Over the lilies there that wave And weep above a nameless grave! They wave:--from out their fragrant tops Eternal dews come down in drops.
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.
Page 33
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.
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 36
So late from Heaven--that dew--it fell ('Mid dreams of an unholy night) Upon me with the touch of Hell, While the red flashing of the light From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er, Appeared to my half-closing eye The pageantry of monarchy, And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar Came hurriedly upon me, telling Of human battle, where my voice, My own voice, silly child!--was swelling (O! how my spirit would rejoice, And leap within me at the cry) The battle-cry of Victory! The rain came down upon my head Unshelter'd--and the heavy wind Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
Page 39
death.