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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 170

O, beloved as thou art!

O, lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast:
O, press it close to thine again,
Where it will break at last!

Very few perhaps are familiar with these lines, yet no less a poet than
Shelley is their author. Their warm, yet delicate and ethereal
imagination will be appreciated by all, but by none so thoroughly as by
him who has himself arisen from sweet dreams of one beloved to bathe in
the aromatic air of a southern midsummer night.

One of the finest poems by Willis, the very best in my opinion which he
has ever written, has no doubt, through this same defect of undue
brevity, been kept back from its proper position, not less in the
critical than in the popular view:

The shadows lay along Broadway,
'Twas near the twilight-tide--
And slowly there a lady fair
Was walking in her pride.
Alone walk'd she; but, viewlessly
Walk'd spirits at her side.

Peace charm'd the street beneath her feet,
And honor charm'd the air;
And all astir looked kind on her,
And called her good as fair--
For all God ever gave to her
She kept with chary care.

She kept with care her beauties rare
From lovers warm and true--
For heart was cold to all but gold,
And the rich came not to woo--
But honor'd well her charms to sell,
If priests the selling do.

Now walking there was one more fair--
A slight girl, lily-pale;
And she had unseen company
To make the spirit quail--
Twixt Want and Scorn she walk'd forlorn,
And nothing could avail.

No mercy now can clear her brow
From this world's peace to pray,
For as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,
Her woman's heart gave way!--
But the sin forgiven by Christ in Heaven,

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