Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 56

de lui ni de
ses actions. Le pire coeur du monde est un livre plus rebutant que le
_Hortulus animae_[2], et peut-être est-ce une des grandes
miséricordes de Dieu que es loesst sich nicht lesen_,--qu'il ne se
laisse pas lire.


Vrai!--je suis très-nerveux, épouvantablement nerveux,--je l'ai toujours
été; mais pourquoi prétendez-vous que je suis fou? La maladie a aiguisé
mes sens,--elle ne les a pas détruits,--elle ne les a pas émoussés. Plus
que tous les autres, j'avais le sens de l'ouïe très-fin. J'ai entendu
toutes choses du ciel et de la terre. J'ai entendu bien des choses de
l'enfer. Comment donc suis-je fou? Attention! Et observez avec quelle
santé,--avec quel calme je puis vous raconter toute l'histoire.

Il est impossible de dire comment l'idée entra primitivement dans ma
cervelle; mais, une fois conçue, elle me hanta nuit et jour. D'objet, il
n'y en avait pas. La passion n'y était pour rien. J'aimais le vieux
bonhomme. Il ne m'avait jamais fait de mal. Il ne m'avait jamais
insulté. De son or je n'avais aucune envie. Je crois que c'était son
oeil! oui, c'était cela! Un de ses yeux ressemblait à celui d'un
vautour,--un oeil bleu pâle, avec une taie dessus. Chaque fois que cet
oeil tombait sur moi, mon sang se glaçait; et ainsi, lentement,--par
degrés,--je me mis en tête d'arracher la vie du vieillard, et par ce
moyen de me délivrer de l'oeil à tout jamais.

Maintenant, voici le hic! Vous me croyez fou. Les fous ne savent rien de
rien. Mais si vous m'aviez vu! Si vous aviez vu avec quelle sagesse je
procédai!--avec quelle précaution--avec quelle prévoyance,--avec quelle
dissimulation je me mis à l'oeuvre! Je ne fus jamais plus aimable pour
le vieux que pendant la semaine entière qui précéda le meurtre. Et,
chaque nuit, vers minuit, je tournais le loquet de sa porte, et je
l'ouvrais,--oh! si doucement! Et alors, quand je l'avais sûrement
entrebâillée pour ma tête, j'introduisais une lanterne sourde, bien
fermée, bien fermée, ne laissant filtrer aucune lumière; puis je passais
la tête. Oh! vous auriez ri de voir avec quelle adresse je passais ma
tête! Je la mouvais lentement,--très, très-lentement,--de manière à ne
pas troubler le sommeil du vieillard. Il me fallait bien une heure pour
introduire toute ma tête à travers l'ouverture, assez avant pour le voir
couché sur son lit. Ah! un fou aurait-il été aussi prudent?--Et alors,
quand ma tête était bien dans la chambre, j'ouvrais la lanterne avec
précaution,--oh! avec quelle précaution, avec quelle précaution!--car la
charnière criait.--Je l'ouvrais juste pour qu'un filet imperceptible de
lumière tombât sur l'oeil de vautour. Et cela, je l'ai fait

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Trust, The Internet Archive and Comic Book Stories.
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
Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows: Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells-- Of the bells-- Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-- In the clamour and the clangour of the bells! IV.
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 8
I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er, _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore! Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Page 9
Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: The Raven] _TO ONE IN PARADISE_ Thou wast all that to me, love, For which my soul did pine-- A green isle in the sea, love, A fountain and a shrine, All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, And all the flowers were mine.
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
[Illustration: The Haunted Palace] But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch's high estate.
Page 14
These were days when my heart was volcanic As the scoriac rivers that roll-- As the lavas that restlessly roll Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek In the ultimate climes of the pole-- That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek In the realms of the boreal pole.
Page 15
" In terror she spoke, letting sink her Wings until they trailed in the dust-- In agony sobbed, letting sink her Plumes till they trailed in the dust-- Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.
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 21
" She ceas'd--and buried then her burning cheek Abash'd, amid the lilies there, too seek A shelter from the fervour of His eye; For the stars trembled at the Deity.
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.
Page 25
light That fell, refracted, thro' thy bounds, afar, O Death! from eye of God upon that star: Sweet was that error--sweeter still that death-- Sweet was that error--even with _us_ the breath Of Science dims the mirror of our joy-- To them 'twere the Simoom, and would destroy-- For what (to them) availeth it to know That Truth is Falsehood--or that Bliss is Woe? Sweet was their death--with them to die was rife With the last ecstasy of satiate life-- Beyond that death no immortality-- But sleep that pondereth and is not "to be"-- And there!--oh! may my weary spirit dwell-- Apart from Heaven's Eternity--and yet how far from Hell! What guilty spirit, in what shrubbery dim, Heard not the stirring summons of that hymn? But two: they fell: for Heaven no grace imparts To those who hear not for their beating hearts.
Page 26
And the wreath is on my brow; Satin and jewels grand Are all at my command, And I am happy now.
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.
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.
Page 33
Bottomless vales and boundless floods, And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods, With forms that no man can discover For the tears that drip all over; Mountains toppling evermore Into seas without a shore; Seas that restlessly aspire, Surging, unto skies of fire; Lakes that endlessly outspread Their lone waters--lone and dead,-- Their still waters--still and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily.
Page 35
She tenderly kissed me, She fondly caressed, And then I fell gently To sleep on her breast Deeply to sleep From the heaven of her breast.
Page 37
I was ambitious--have you known The passion, father? You have not: A cottager, I mark'd a throne Of half the world as all my own, And murmur'd at such lowly lot-- But, just like any other dream, Upon the vapour of the dew My own had past, did not the beam Of beauty which did.