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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 43

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2. THE BELLS


The bibliographical history of "The Bells" is curious. The subject, and
some lines of the original version, having been suggested by the poet's
friend, Mrs. Shew, Poe, when he wrote out the first draft of the poem,
headed it, "The Bells. By Mrs. M. A. Shew." This draft, now the editor's
property, consists of only seventeen lines, and reads thus:



I.

The bells!--ah the bells!
The little silver bells!
How fairy-like a melody there floats
From their throats--
From their merry little throats--
From the silver, tinkling throats
Of the bells, bells, bells--
Of the bells!

II.

The bells!--ah, the bells!
The heavy iron bells!
How horrible a monody there floats
From their throats--
From their deep-toned throats--
From their melancholy throats
How I shudder at the notes
Of the bells, bells, bells--
Of the bells!



In the autumn of 1848 Poe added another line to this poem, and sent it
to the editor of the 'Union Magazine'. It was not published. So, in the
following February, the poet forwarded to the same periodical a much
enlarged and altered transcript. Three months having elapsed without
publication, another revision of the poem, similar to the current
version, was sent, and in the following October was published in the
'Union Magazine'.



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3. ULALUME


This poem was first published in Colton's 'American Review' for December
1847, as "To----Ulalume: a Ballad." Being reprinted immediately in
the 'Home Journal', it was copied

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Text Comparison with The Raven Illustrated

Page 0
L.
Page 1
" [Illustration: 9015] 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 .
Page 2
"Surely," said I, "surely that is Something at my window lattice; [Illustration: 0019] Let me see, then, what thereat is, And this mystery explore-- Let my heart be still a moment And this mystery explore;-- 'Tis the wind and nothing more.
Page 3
When, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven [Illustration: 8020] Of the saintly days of yore.
Page 4
" Wondering at the stillness broken By reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters Is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy.
Page 5
" This I sat engaged in guessing, But no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now Burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, With my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining That the lamplight gloated o'er, But.
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" [Illustration: 0029] [Illustration: 0031] [Illustration: 9031] "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!-- Prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether Tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate, yet all undaunted, On this desert land enchanted-- On this home by Horror haunted-- Tell me truly, I implore-- Is there,--is there balm in Gilead?-- Tell me--tell me, I implore!" .
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Quoth the Raven, " Nevermore.
Page 8
And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: 0035].