Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 25

n'avait pas un poil
blanc sur tout le corps; celui-ci portait une éclaboussure large et
blanche, mais d'une forme indécise, qui couvrait presque toute la région
de la poitrine.

À peine l'eus-je touché qu'il se leva subitement, ronronna fortement, se
frotta contre ma main, et parut enchanté de mon attention. C'était donc
là la vraie créature dont j'étais en quête. J'offris tout de suite au
propriétaire de le lui acheter; mais cet homme ne le revendiqua pas,--ne
le connaissait pas--, ne l'avait jamais vu auparavant.

Je continuai mes caresses, et, quand je me préparai à retourner chez
moi, l'animal se montra disposé à m'accompagner. Je lui permis de le
faire; me baissant de temps à autre, et le caressant en marchant. Quand
il fut arrivé à la maison, il s'y trouva comme chez lui, et devint tout
de suite le grand ami de ma femme.

Pour ma part, je sentis bientôt s'élever en moi une antipathie contre
lui. C'était justement le contraire de ce que j'avais espéré; mais,--je
ne sais ni comment ni pourquoi cela eut lieu,--son évidente tendresse
pour moi me dégoûtait presque et me fatiguait. Par de lents degrés, ces
sentiments de dégoût et d'ennui s'élevèrent jusqu'à l'amertume de la
haine. J'évitais la créature; une certaine sensation de honte et le
souvenir de mon premier acte de cruauté m'empêchèrent de la maltraiter.
Pendant quelques semaines, je m'abstins de battre le chat ou de le
malmener violemment, mais graduellement,--insensiblement,--j'en vins à
le considérer avec une indicible horreur, et à fuir silencieusement son
odieuse présence, comme le souffle d'une peste.

Ce qui ajouta sans doute à ma haine contre l'animal fut la découverte
que je fis le matin, après l'avoir amené à la maison, que, comme Pluton,
lui aussi avait été privé d'un de ses yeux. Cette circonstance,
toutefois, ne fit que le rendre plus cher à ma femme, qui, comme je l'ai
déjà dit, possédait à un haut degré cette tendresse de sentiment qui
jadis avait été mon trait caractéristique et la source fréquente de mes
plaisirs les plus simples et les plus purs.

Néanmoins, l'affection du chat pour moi paraissait s'accroître en raison
de mon aversion contre lui. Il suivait mes pas avec une opiniâtreté
qu'il serait difficile de faire comprendre au lecteur. Chaque fois que
je m'asseyais, il se blottissait sous ma chaise, ou il sautait sur mes
genoux, me couvrant de ses affreuses caresses. Si je me levais pour
marcher, il se fourrait dans mes jambes, et me jetait presque par terre,
ou bien, enfonçant ses griffes longues et aiguës dans mes habits,
grimpait de cette manière jusqu'à ma poitrine. Dans ces moments-là,
quoique je désirasse

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 3
Is a groan.
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 10
] I saw thee once--once only--years ago: I must not say _how_ many--but _not_ many.
Page 13
An opiate vapour, dewy, dim, Exhales from out her golden rim, And, softly dripping, drop by drop, Upon the quiet mountain top, Steals drowsily and musically Into the universal valley.
Page 14
length of tress, And this all solemn silentness! The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep, Which is enduring, so be deep! Heaven have her in its sacred keep! This chamber changed for one more holy, This bed for one more melancholy, I pray to God that she may lie For ever with unopened eye, While the pale sheeted ghosts go by! My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep As it is lasting, so be deep! Soft may the worms about her creep! Far in the forest, dim and old, For her may some tall vault unfold-- Some vault that oft has flung its black And wingèd panels fluttering back, Triumphant, o'er the crested palls, Of her grand family funerals-- Some sepulchre, remote, alone, Against whose portal she hath thrown, In childhood, many an idle stone-- Some tomb from out whose sounding door She ne'er shall force an echo more, Thrilling to think, poor child of sin! It was the dead who groaned within.
Page 15
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.
Page 16
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise, Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies, Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me The summer dream beneath.
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.
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The Sephalica, budding with young bees, Upreared its purple stem around her knees:-- And gemmy flower, of Trebizond misnam'd-- Inmate of highest stars, where.
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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 21
their own-- Thy will is done, O God! The star hath ridden high Thro' many a tempest, but she rode Beneath thy burning eye; And here, in thought, to thee-- In thought that can alone Ascend thy empire and so be A partner of thy throne-- By wingèd Fantasy, My embassy is given, Till secrecy shall knowledge be In the environs of Heaven.
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 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
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.
Page 27
But he spoke to re-assure me, And he kissed my pallid brow, While a reverie came o'er me, And to the church-yard bore me, And I sighed to him before me, Thinking him dead D'Elormie, "Oh, I am happy now!" And thus the words were spoken, And this the plighted vow, And, though my faith be broken, And, though my heart be broken, Here is a ring, as token That I am happy now! Would God I could awaken! For I dream I know not how! And my soul is sorely shaken Lest an evil step be taken,-- Lest the dead who is forsaken May not be happy now.
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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 33
" _DREAMLAND_ By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule-- From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE--out of TIME.
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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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Know thou the secret of a spirit Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
Page 38
I spoke to her of power and pride, But mystically--in such guise That she might deem it nought beside The moment's converse; in her eyes I read, perhaps too carelessly-- A mingled feeling with my own-- The flush on her bright cheek, to me Seem'd to become a queenly throne Too well that I should let it be Light in the wilderness alone.