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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 122

Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Though gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings--
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away--forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.


1829.





* * * * *





FAIRYLAND.


Dim vales--and shadowy floods--
And cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can't discover
For the tears that drip all over
Huge moons there wax and wane--
Again--again--again--
Every moment of the night--
Forever changing places--
And they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial
One more filmy than the rest
(A kind which, upon trial,
They have found to be the best)
Comes down--still down--and down
With its centre on the crown
Of a mountain's eminence,
While its wide circumference
In easy drapery falls
Over hamlets, over halls,
Wherever they may be--
O'er the strange woods--o'er the sea--
Over spirits on the wing--
Over every drowsy thing--
And buries them up quite
In a labyrinth of light--
And then, how deep!--O, deep!
Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise,
And their moony covering
Is soaring in the skies,
With the tempests as they toss,
Like--almost any thing--
Or a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more
For the same end as before--
Videlicet a tent--
Which I think extravagant:
Its atomies, however,
Into a shower dissever,
Of which those butterflies,
Of Earth, who seek the skies,
And so come down again
(Never-contented thing!)
Have brought a specimen
Upon their quivering wings.


1831





* * * * *





THE LAKE.


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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.
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Most writers—poets in especial—prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine phrenzy—an ecstatic intuition—and would positively shudder at letting the public take a.
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Let us dismiss, as irrelevant to the poem, per se, the circumstance—or say the necessity—which, in, the first place, gave rise to the intention of composing a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste.
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A few words, however, in elucidation of my real meaning, which some of my friends have evinced a disposition to misrepresent.
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Now the object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
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Having made up my mind to a refrain, the division of the poem into stanzas was, of course, a corollary, the refrain forming the close of each stanza.
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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.
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the utmost conceivable amount of sorrow and despair.
Page 9
The idea of making the lover suppose, in the first instance, that the flapping of the wings of the bird against the shutter is a “tapping” at the door, originated in a wish to increase, by prolonging, the reader’s curiosity, and in a desire to admit the incidental effect arising from the lover’s throwing open the door, finding all dark, and thence adopting the half-fancy that it was the spirit of his mistress that knocked.
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From this epoch the lover no longer jests—no longer sees anything even of the fantastic in the Raven’s demeanour.
Page 11
The casement being thrown open at the fluttering of the bird’s wings, the bird itself perches on the most convenient seat out of the immediate reach of the student, who, amused by the incident and the oddity of the visitor’s demeanour, demands of it, in jest and without looking for a reply, its name.
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” [Illustration] Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;— Darkness.
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there and nothing more.
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as my hopes have flown before.
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3.