The Bells, and Other Poems

By Edgar Allan Poe

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."

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.
She stirr'd not--breath'd not--for a voice was there
How solemnly pervading the calm air!
A sound of silence on the startled ear
Which dreamy poets name "the music of the sphere."

Ours is a world of words: Quiet we call
"Silence"--which is the merest word of all.
All Nature speaks, and ev'n ideal things
Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings--
But ah! not so when, thus, in realms on high
The eternal voice of God is passing by,
And the red winds are withering in the sky:--

"What tho' in worlds which sightless cycles run
Linked to a little system, and one sun--
Where all my life is folly and the crowd
Still think my terrors but the thunder cloud,
The storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath--
(Ah! will they cross me in my angrier path?)
What tho' in world which hold a single sun
The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run,
Yet thine is my resplendency, so given
To bear my secrets thro' the upper Heaven
Leave tenantless thy crystal home, and fly,
With all thy train, athwart the moony sky--
Apart--like fire-flies in the Sicilian night,
And wing to other worlds another light!
Divulge the secrets of thy embassy
To the proud orbs that twinkle--and so be
To ev'ry heart a barrier and a ban
Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!"

Up rose the maiden in the yellow night,
The single-moonèd eve!--on Earth we plight
Our faith to one love--and one moon adore--
The birth-place of young Beauty had no more.
As sprang that yellow star from downy hours
Up rose the maiden from her shrine of flowers,
And bent o'er sheeny mountains and dim plain
Her way, but left not yet her Therasaean reign.


PART II.

High on a mountain of enamell'd

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