The Bells, and Other Poems

By Edgar Allan Poe

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.
A maiden-angel and her seraph-lover--
O! where (and ye may seek the wide skies over)
Was Love, the blind, near sober Duty known?
Unguided Love hath fallen--'mid "tears of perfect moan."

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.
The night had found (to him a night of woe)
Upon a mountain crag, young Angelo--
Beetling it bends athwart the solemn sky,
And scowls on starry worlds that down beneath it
Here sat he with his love--his dark eye bent
With eagle gaze along the firmament:
Now turn'd it upon her--but ever then
It trembled to the orb of EARTH again.

"Ianthe, dearest, see--how dim that ray!
How lovely 'tis to look so far away!
She seem'd not thus upon that autumn eve
I left her gorgeous halls--nor mourn'd to leave.
That eve--that eve--I should remember well--
The sun-ray dropp'd in Lemnos, with a spell
On th' arabesque carving of a gilded hall
Wherein I sate, and on the draperied wall--
And on my eyelids--O the heavy light!
How drowsily it weigh'd them into night!
On flowers, before, and mist, and love they ran
With Persian Saadi in his Gulistan:
But O that light!--I slumber'd--Death, the while,
Stole o'er my senses in that lovely isle
So softly that no single silken hair
Awoke that slept--or knew that he was there.

"The last spot of Earth's orb I trod upon
Was a proud temple called the Parthenon;
More beauty clung around her column'd wall
Than ev'n thy glowing bosom beats withal,
And when old Time my wing did disenthral
Thence sprang I--as the eagle from his tower,
And years

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore-- For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Nameless here for evermore.
Page 1
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he, But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Page 2
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 3
Meant in croaking "Nevermore.
Page 4
"Nevermore.