Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 24

de la maison, et contre laquelle s'appuyait le chevet de mon lit.
La maçonnerie avait ici, en grande partie, résisté à l'action du
feu,--fait que j'attribuai à ce qu'elle avait été récemment remise à
neuf. Autour de ce mur, une foule épaisse était rassemblée, et plusieurs
personnes paraissaient en examiner une portion particulière avec une
minutieuse et vive attention. Les mots: Étrange! singulier! et autres
semblables expressions, excitèrent ma curiosité. Je m'approchai, et je
vis, semblable à un bas-relief sculpté sur la surface blanche, la figure
d'un gigantesque _chat_. L'image était rendue avec une exactitude
vraiment merveilleuse. Il y avait une corde autour du cou de l'animal.

Tout d'abord, en voyant cette apparition,--car je ne pouvais guère
considérer cela que comme une apparition,--mon étonnement et ma terreur
furent extrêmes. Mais, enfin, la réflexion vint à mon aide. Le chat, je
m'en souvenais, avait été pendu dans un jardin adjacent à la maison. Aux
cris d'alarme, ce jardin avait été immédiatement envahi par la foule, et
l'animal avait dû être détaché de l'arbre par quelqu'un, et jeté dans ma
chambre à travers une fenêtre ouverte. Cela avait été fait, sans doute,
dans le but de m'arracher au sommeil. La chute des autres murailles
avait comprimé la victime de ma cruauté dans la substance du plâtre
fraîchement étendu; la chaux de ce mur, combinée avec les flammes et
l'ammoniaque du cadavre, avait ainsi opéré l'image telle que je la
voyais.

Quoique je satisfisse ainsi lestement ma raison, sinon tout à fait ma
conscience, relativement au fait surprenant que je viens de raconter, il
n'en fit pas moins sur mon imagination une impression profonde. Pendant
plusieurs mois je ne pus me débarrasser du fantôme du chat; et durant
cette période un demi-sentiment revint dans mon âme, qui paraissait
être, mais qui n'était pas le remords. J'allai jusqu'à déplorer la perte
de l'animal, et à chercher autour de moi, dans les bouges méprisables
que maintenant je fréquentais habituellement, un autre favori de la même
espèce et d'une figure à peu près semblable pour le suppléer.

Une nuit, comme j'étais assis à moitié stupéfié, dans un repaire plus
qu'infâme, mon attention fut soudainement attirée vers un objet noir,
reposant sur le haut d'un des immenses tonneaux de gin ou de rhum qui
composaient le principal ameublement de la salle. Depuis quelques
minutes je regardais fixement le haut de ce tonneau, et ce qui me
surprenait maintenant c'était de n'avoir pas encore aperçu l'objet situé
dessus. Je m'en approchai, et je le touchai avec ma main. C'était un
chat noir,--un très-gros chat,--au moins aussi gros que Pluton, lui
ressemblant absolument, excepté en un point. Pluton

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Hear the sledges with the bells-- Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars, that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort if Runic rhyme, To the tintinabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells,-- From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Page 3
And the people--ah, the people-- They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- They are neither man nor woman-- They are neither brute nor human-- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells-- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To.
Page 4
Now doubt--now Pain Come never again, For her soul gives me sigh for sigh, And all day long Shines, bright and strong, Astarté within the sky, While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-- While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.
Page 6
" Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Page 7
Nothing further then he uttered--not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-- On the morrow _he_ will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.
Page 8
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 9
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her--that she died! How _shall_ the ritual, then, be read?--the requiem how be sung By you--by yours, the evil eye,--by yours, the slanderous tongue That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?" [Illustration: Lenore] _Peccavimus_; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside, Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride-- For her, the fair and _debonair_, that now so lowly lies, The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes-- The life still there, upon her hair--the death upon her eyes.
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It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturned faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe-- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death-- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.
Page 14
[Illustration: Ulalume] Our talk had been serious and sober, But our thoughts they were palsied and sere-- Our memories were treacherous and sere-- For we knew not the month was October, And we marked not the night of the year-- (Ah, night of all nights in the year!) We noted not the dim lake of Auber-- (Though once we had journeyed down here), Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber, Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
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And I said--"She is warmer than Dian: She rolls through an ether of sighs-- She revels in a region of sighs: She has seen that the tears are not dry on These cheeks, where the worm never dies, And has come past the stars of the Lion, To point us the path to the skies-- To the Lethean peace of the skies-- Come up, in despite of the Lion, To shine on us with her bright eyes-- Come up through the lair of the Lion, With love in her luminous eyes.
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_THE CONQUEROR WORM_ Lo! 'tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres.
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Marie Louise Shew.
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On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
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And the wreath is on my brow; Satin and jewels grand Are all at my command, And I am happy now.
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TO HELEN ["Helen" was Mrs.
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2 Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er, But I will half believe that wild light fraught With more of sovereignty than ancient lore Hath ever told--or is it of a thought The unembodied essence, and no more That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass As dew of the night-time o'er the summer grass? 3 Doth o'er us pass, when, as th' expanding eye To the loved object--so the tear to the lid Will start, which lately slept in apathy? And yet it need not be--(that object) hid From us in life--but common--which doth lie Each hour before us--but _then_ only, bid With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken, To awake us--'Tis a symbol and a token 4 Of what in other worlds shall be--and given In beauty by our God, to those alone Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone, That high tone of the spirit which hath striven Tho' not with Faith--with godliness--whose throne With desperate energy 't hath beaten down; Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.
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By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule.
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O, she was worthy of all love! Love--as in infancy was mine-- 'Twas such as angel minds above Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my every hope and thought Were incense--then a goodly gift, For they were childish and upright-- Pure--as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift, Trust to the fire within, for light? We grew in age--and love--together, Roaming the forest, and the wild; My breast her shield in wintry weather-- And, when the friendly sunshine smil'd And she would mark the opening skies, _I_ saw no Heaven--but in her eyes.
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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.
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And boyhood is a summer sun Whose waning is the dreariest one-- For all we live to know is known, And all we seek to keep hath flown-- Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall With the noon-day beauty--which is all.