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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 42

is the most effective single example of
'fugitive poetry' ever published in this country, and unsurpassed in
English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of
versification, and consistent sustaining of imaginative lift and
'pokerishness.' It is one of those 'dainties bred in a book' which we
feed on. It will stick to the memory of everybody who reads it."

In the February number of the 'American Review' the poem was published
as by "Quarles," and it was introduced by the following note, evidently
suggested if not written by Poe himself.

["The following lines from a correspondent--besides the deep, quaint
strain of the sentiment, and the curious introduction of some
ludicrous touches amidst the serious and impressive, as was doubtless
intended by the author--appears to us one of the most felicitous
specimens of unique rhyming which has for some time met our eye. The
resources of English rhythm for varieties of melody, measure, and
sound, producing corresponding diversities of effect, have been
thoroughly studied, much more perceived, by very few poets in the
language. While the classic tongues, especially the Greek, possess, by
power of accent, several advantages for versification over our own,
chiefly through greater abundance of spondaic feet, we have other and
very great advantages of sound by the modern usage of rhyme.
Alliteration is nearly the only effect of that kind which the ancients
had in common with us. It will be seen that much of the melody of 'The
Raven' arises from alliteration and the studious use of similar sounds
in unusual places. In regard to its measure, it may be noted that if
all the verses were like the second, they might properly be placed
merely in short lines, producing a not uncommon form: but the presence
in all the others of one line--mostly the second in the verse"
(stanza?)--"which flows continuously, with only an aspirate pause in
the middle, like that before the short line in the Sapphio Adonic,
while the fifth has at the middle pause no similarity of sound with
any part beside, gives the versification an entirely different effect.
We could wish the capacities of our noble language in prosody were
better understood."

ED. 'Am. Rev.']



*

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
---- (O! I care not that my earthly lot)_ _The Conqueror Worm_ _Sonnet--To Zante_ _To M.
Page 1
Hear the loud alarum bells-- Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavour.
Page 2
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Page 4
Ah, less--less bright The stars of the night Than the eyes of the radiant girl! And never a flake That the vapour can make With the moon-tints of purple and pearl, Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl-- Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie’s most humble and careless curl.
Page 5
But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we-- Of many far wiser than we-- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
Page 6
" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt.
Page 8
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore-- Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.
Page 11
What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! [Illustration: To Helen] How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition; yet how deep-- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away.
Page 15
And I said--"She is warmer than Dian: She rolls through an ether of sighs-- She revels in a region of sighs: She has seen that the tears are not dry on These cheeks, where the worm never dies, And has come past the stars of the Lion, To point us the path to the skies-- To the Lethean peace of the skies-- Come up, in despite of the Lion, To shine on us with her bright eyes-- Come up through the lair of the Lion, With love in her luminous eyes.
Page 17
Not that the grass--O! may it thrive! On my grave is growing or grown-- But that, while I am dead yet alive I cannot be, lady, alone.
Page 20
And fell on gardens of the unforgiven In Trebizond--and on a sunny flower So like its own above that, to this hour, It still remaineth, torturing the bee With madness, and unwonted reverie: In Heaven, and all its environs, the leaf And blossom of the fairy plant in grief Disconsolate linger--grief that hangs her head, Repenting follies that full long have fled, Heaving her white breast to the balmy air, Like guilty beauty, chasten'd and more fair: Nyctanthes too, as sacred as the light She fears to perfume, perfuming the night: And Clytia, pondering between many a sun, While pettish tears adown her petals run: And that aspiring flower that sprang on Earth, And died, ere scarce exalted into birth, Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing Its way to Heaven, from garden of a king: And Valisnerian lotus, thither flown From struggling with the waters of the Rhone: And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante! Isola d'oro!--Fior di Levante! And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever With Indian Cupid down the holy river-- Fair flowers, and fairy! to whose care is given To bear the Goddess' song, in odours, up to Heaven "Spirit! thou dwellest where, In the deep sky, The terrible and fair, In beauty vie! Beyond the line of blue-- The boundary of the star Which turneth at the view Of thy barrier and thy bar-- Of the barrier overgone By the comets who were cast From their pride and from their throne To be drudges till the last-- To be carriers of fire (The red fire of their heart) With speed that may not tire And with pain that shall not part-- Who livest--_that_ we know-- In Eternity--we feel-- But the shadow of whose brow What spirit shall reveal? Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace, Thy messenger hath known Have dream'd for thy Infinity A model of.
Page 21
She stirr'd not--breath'd not--for a voice was there How solemnly pervading the calm air! A sound of silence on the startled ear Which dreamy poets name "the music of the sphere.
Page 23
gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away-- Bright beings! that ponder, With half closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like----eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true Love That lull'd ye to rest! Up!--shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O, leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.
Page 24
On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
Page 27
On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome.
Page 28
brood Over the magic solitude.
Page 35
let it never Be foolishly said That my room it is gloomy And narrow my bed; For man never slept In a different bed-- And, _to sleep_, you must slumber In just such a bed.
Page 36
It was but man, I thought, who shed Laurels upon me: and the rush-- The torrent of the chilly air Gurgled within my ear the crush Of empires--with the captive's prayer-- The hum of suitors--and the tone Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne.
Page 37
I have no words--alas!--to tell The loveliness of loving well! Nor would I now attempt to trace The more than beauty of a face Whose lineaments, upon my mind, Are----shadows on th' unstable wind Thus I remember having dwelt Some page of early lore upon, With loitering eye, till I have felt The letters--with their meaning--melt To fantasies--with none.
Page 38
What tho' the moon--the white moon Shed all the splendour of her noon, _Her_ smile is chilly, and _her_ beam, In that time of dreariness, will seem (So like you gather in your breath) A portrait taken after.