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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 166

and called unto the hippopotami
which dwelt among the fens in the recesses of the morass. And the
hippopotami heard my call, and came, with the behemoth, unto the foot of
the rock, and roared loudly and fearfully beneath the moon. And I lay
close within my covert and observed the actions of the man. And the man
trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned, and he sat upon the

"Then I cursed the elements with the curse of tumult; and a frightful
tempest gathered in the heaven, where before there had been no wind. And
the heaven became livid with the violence of the tempest--and the rain
beat upon the head of the man--and the floods of the river came
down--and the river was tormented into foam--and the water-lilies
shrieked within their beds--and the forest crumbled before the wind--and
the thunder rolled--and the lightning fell--and the rock rocked to its
foundation. And I lay close within my covert and observed the actions of
the man. And the man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned, and
he sat upon the rock.

"Then I grew angry and cursed, with the curse of silence, the river, and
the lilies, and the wind, and the forest, and the heaven, and the
thunder, and the sighs of the water-lilies. And they became accursed,
and _were still._ And the moon ceased to totter up its pathway to
heaven--and the thunder died away--and the lightning did not flash--and
the clouds hung motionless--and the waters sunk to their level and
remained--and the trees ceased to rock--and the water-lilies sighed no
more--and the murmur was heard no longer from among them, nor any shadow
of sound throughout the vast illimitable desert. And I looked upon the
characters of the rock, and they were changed;--and the characters were

"And mine eyes fell upon the countenance of the man, and his countenance
was wan with terror. And, hurriedly, he raised his head from his hand,
and stood forth upon the rock and listened. But there was no voice
throughout the vast illimitable desert, and the characters upon the rock
were SILENCE. And the man shuddered, and turned his face away, and fled
afar off, in haste, so that I beheld him no more."


Now there are fine tales in the volumes of the Magi--in the iron-bound,
melancholy volumes of the Magi. Therein, I say, are glorious histories
of the Heaven, and of the Earth, and of the mighty Sea--and of the Genii
that overruled the sea, and the earth, and the lofty heaven. There was
much lore, too, in the sayings which were said by

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
Page 1
His reserve had been always excessive and habitual.
Page 2
Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream, I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building.
Page 3
His countenance, I thought, wore a mingled expression of low cunning and perplexity.
Page 4
The silken hair, too, had been suffered to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild gossamer texture, it floated rather than fell about the face, I could not, even with effort, connect its Arabesque expression with any idea of simple humanity.
Page 5
I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul.
Page 6
For several days ensuing, her name was unmentioned by either Usher or myself: and during this period I was busied in earnest endeavours to alleviate the melancholy of my friend.
Page 7
They must have been, and were, in the notes, as well as in the words of his wild fantasias (for he not unfrequently accompanied himself with rhymed verbal improvisations), the result of that intense mental collectedness and concentration to which I have previously alluded as observable only in particular moments of the highest artificial excitement.
Page 8
In the greenest of our valleys, By good angels tenanted, Once a fair and stately palace-- Radiant palace--reared its head.
Page 9
And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing And sparkling evermore, A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty, The wit and wisdom of their king.
Page 10
And travellers now within that valley, Through the red-litten windows, see Vast forms that move fantastically To a discordant melody; While, like a rapid ghastly river, Through the pale door, A hideous throng rush out forever, And laugh--but smile no more.
Page 11
The conditions of the sentience had been here, he imagined, fulfilled in the method of collocation of these stones--in the order of their arrangement, as well as in that of the many fungi which overspread them, and of the decayed trees which stood around--above all, in the long undisturbed endurance of this arrangement, and in its reduplication in the still waters of the tarn.
Page 12
Having deposited our mournful burden upon tressels within this region of horror, we partially turned aside the yet unscrewed lid of the coffin, and looked upon the face of the tenant.
Page 13
I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet certain degrees, the wild influences of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions.
Page 14
"You must not--you shall not behold this!" said I, shudderingly, to Usher, as I led him, with a gentle violence, from the window to a seat.
Page 15
It was, beyond doubt, the coincidence alone which had arrested my attention; for, amid the rattling of the sashes of the casements, and the ordinary commingled noises of the still increasing storm, the sound, in itself, had nothing, surely, which should have interested or disturbed me.
Page 16
Having rapidly taken notice of all this, I resumed the narrative of Sir Launcelot, which thus proceeded: "And now, the champion, having escaped from the terrible fury of the dragon, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and of the breaking up of the enchantment which was upon it, removed the carcass from out of.
Page 17
I heard them--many, many days ago--yet I dared not--I dared not speak! And now--to-night--Ethelred--ha! ha!--the breaking of the hermit's door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangour of the shield!--say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault! Oh whither shall I fly? Will she not be here anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footsteps on the stair? Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart? Madman!" here he sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his soul--"Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!" As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found the potency of a spell--the huge antique panels to which the speaker pointed, threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony.
Page 18
The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old causeway.