The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe Including Essays on Poetry

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 119

burning measures suit--
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute--
Well may the stars be mute!

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely--flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.


1836.



[Footnote 1:

And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the
sweetest voice of all God's creatures.

'Koran'.]





* * * * *





TO----


I heed not that my earthly lot
Hath--little of Earth in it--
That years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute:--
I mourn not that the desolate
Are happier, sweet, than I,
But that _you_ sorrow for _my_ fate
Who am a passer-by.


1829.





* * * * *





TO----


The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,

Are lips--and all thy melody
Of lip-begotten words--

Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined
Then desolately fall,
O God! on my funereal mind
Like starlight on a pall--

Thy heart--_thy_ heart!--I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy--
Of the baubles that it may.


1829.





* * * * *





TO THE

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

Page 0
Perrett The Decorations by Will Jenkins [Illustration] Paul Elder and Company San Francisco and New York Contents Foreword .
Page 1
[Illustration] [Illustration] The Philosophy of Composition Charles Dickens, in a note now lying before me, alluding to an examination I once made of the mechanism of “Barnaby Rudge,” says—“By the way, are you aware that Godwin wrote his ‘Caleb Williams’ backwards? He first involved his hero in a web of difficulties, forming the second volume, and then, for the.
Page 2
first, cast about him for some mode of accounting for what had been done.
Page 3
If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression—for, if two sittings be required, the affairs of the world interfere, and everything like totality is at once destroyed.
Page 4
I should be carried too far out of my immediate topic were I to demonstrate a point upon which I have repeatedly insisted, and which, with the poetical, stands not in the slightest need of demonstration—the point, I mean, that Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
Page 5
The pleasure is deduced solely from the sense of identity—of repetition.
Page 6
The question now arose as to the character of the word.
Page 7
I saw that I could make the first query propounded by the lover—the first query to which the Raven should reply “Nevermore”—that I could make this first query a commonplace one—the second less so—the third still less, and so on, until at length the lover—startled from his original nonchalance by the melancholy character of the word itself, by its frequent repetition, and by a consideration of the ominous reputation of the fowl that uttered it—is at length excited to superstition, and wildly propounds queries of a far different character—queries whose solution he has passionately at heart—propounds them half in superstition and half in that species of despair which delights in self-torture—propounds them not altogether because he believes in the prophetic or demoniac character of the bird (which, reason assures him, is merely repeating a lesson learned by rote) but because he experiences a phrenzied pleasure in so modeling his questions as to receive from the expected “Nevermore,” the most delicious because the most intolerable of sorrow.
Page 8
The extent to which this has been neglected, in versification, is one of the most unaccountable things in the world.
Page 9
Now, each of these lines, taken individually, has been employed before, and what originality “The Raven” has, is in their combination into stanza: nothing even remotely approaching this combination has ever been attempted.
Page 10
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.
Page 11
The under-current of meaning is rendered first apparent in the lines: “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.
Page 12
[Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
Page 13
_] [Illustration] Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door— Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as “Nevermore.
Page 14
’” [Illustration] But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore— What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking “Nevermore.
Page 15
, “!” instead of “?” or “.