whispered that, of this
infinity of matter, the _sole_ purpose is to afford infinite springs
at which the soul may allay the thirst _to know_ which is forever
unquenchable within it--since to quench it would be to extinguish the
soul's self. Question me then, my Oinos, freely and without fear.
Come! we will leave to the left the loud harmony of the Pleiades, and
swoop outward from the throne into the starry meadows beyond Orion,
where, for pansies and violets, and heart's-ease, are the beds of the
triplicate and triple-tinted suns.
And now, Agathos, as we proceed, instruct me!--speak to me in the
earth's familiar tones! I understand not what you hinted to me just
now of the modes or of the methods of what during mortality, we were
accustomed to call Creation. Do you mean to say that the Creator is
I mean to say that the Deity does not create.
In the beginning only, he created. The seeming creatures which are now
throughout the universe so perpetually springing into being can only
be considered as the mediate or indirect, not as the direct or
immediate results of the Divine creative power.
Among men, my Agathos, this idea would be considered heretical in the
Among the angels, my Oinos, it is seen to be simply true.
I can comprehend you thus far--that certain operations of what we term
Nature, or the natural laws, will, under certain conditions, give rise
to that which has all the _appearance_ of creation. Shortly before the
final overthrow of the earth, there were, I well remember, many very
successful experiments in what some philosophers were weak enough to
denominate the creation of animalculae.
The cases of which you speak were, in fact, instances of the secondary
creation, and of the _only_ species of creation which has ever been
since the first word spoke into existence the first law.
Are not the starry worlds that, from the abyss of nonentity, burst
hourly forth into the heavens--are not these stars, Agathos, the
immediate handiwork of the King?
Let me endeavor, my Oinos, to lead you, step by step, to the
conception I intend. You are well
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.Page 2
" 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 3
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.Page 4
" And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore!.