the 1831 volume of Poems by Poe: it reappeared as
"The City of Sin," in the 'Southern Literary Messenger' for August 1835,
whilst the present draft of it first appeared in Colton's 'American
Review' for April, 1845.
* * * * *
18. THE SLEEPER
As "Irene," the earliest known version of "The Sleeper," appeared in the
1831 volume. It reappeared in the 'Literary Messenger' for May 1836,
and, in its present form, in the 'Broadway Journal' for May 1845.
* * * * *
19. THE BRIDAL BALLAD
"The Bridal Ballad" is first discoverable in the 'Southern Literary
Messenger' for January 1837, and, in its present compressed and revised
form, was reprinted in the 'Broadway Journal' for August, 1845.
* * * * *
POEMS OF MANHOOD.
* * * * *
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!--a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river.
And, Guy de Vere, hast _thou_ no tear?--weep now or never more!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read--the funeral song be sung!--
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young--
A dirge for her, the doubly dead in that she died so young.
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her--that she died!
How _shall_ the ritual, then, be read?--the requiem how be sung
By you--by yours, the evil eye,--by yours, the slanderous tongue
That did to death the innocence
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
Hear the tolling of the bells-- Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats .Page 7
" This.Page 8
" "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!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.Page 9
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her--that she died! How _shall_ the ritual, then, be read?--the requiem how be sung By you--by yours, the evil eye,--by yours, the slanderous tongue That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?" [Illustration: Lenore] _Peccavimus_; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside, Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride-- For her, the fair and _debonair_, that now so lowly lies, The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes-- The life still there, upon her hair--the death upon her eyes.Page 13
The waves have now a redder glow-- The hours are breathing faint and low-- And when, amid no earthly moans, Down, down that town shall settle hence, Hell, rising from a thousand thrones, Shall do it reverence.Page 14
_ULALUME_ The skies they were ashen and sober; The leaves they were crisped and sere-- The leaves they were withering and sere; It was night in the lonesome October Of my most immemorial year; It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, In the misty mid region of Weir-- It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.Page 15
" But Psyche, uplifting her finger, Said--"Sadly this star I mistrust-- Her pallor I strangely mistrust:-- Oh, hasten!--oh, let us not linger! Oh, fly!--let us fly!--for we must.Page 16
" _ROMANCE_ Romance, who loves to nod and sing, With drowsy head and folded wing, Among the green leaves as they shake Far down within some shadowy lake, To me a painted paroquet Hath been--a most familiar bird-- Taught me my alphabet to say-- To lisp my very earliest word While in the wild wood I did lie, A child--with a most knowing eye.Page 19
Now happiest, loveliest in yon lovely Earth, Whence sprang the "Idea of Beauty" into birth, (Falling in wreaths thro' many a startled star, Like woman's hair 'mid pearls, until, afar, It lit on hills Achaian, and there dwelt) She looked into Infinity--and knelt.Page 20
erst it sham'd All other loveliness:--its honied dew (The fabled nectar that the heathen knew) Deliriously sweet, was dropp'd from Heaven.Page 21
All Nature speaks, and ev'n ideal things Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings-- But ah! not so when, thus, in realms on high The eternal voice of God is passing by, And the red winds are withering in the sky:-- "What tho' in worlds which sightless cycles run Linked to a little system, and one sun-- Where all my life is folly and the crowd Still think my terrors but the thunder cloud, The storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath-- (Ah! will they cross me in my angrier path?) What tho' in world which hold a single sun The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run, Yet thine is my resplendency, so given To bear my secrets thro' the upper Heaven Leave tenantless thy crystal home, and fly, With all thy train, athwart the moony sky-- Apart--like fire-flies in the Sicilian night, And wing to other worlds another light! Divulge the secrets of thy embassy To the proud orbs that twinkle--and so be To ev'ry heart a barrier and a ban Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!" Up rose the maiden in the yellow night, The single-moonÃ¨d eve!--on Earth we plight Our faith to one love--and one moon adore-- The birth-place of young Beauty had no more.Page 22
Within the centre of that hall to breathe, She paused and panted, Zanthe! all beneath, The fairy light that kiss'd her golden hair And long'd to rest, yet could but sparkle there.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 25
" He was a goodly spirit--he who fell: A wanderer by moss-y-mantled well-- A gazer on the lights that shine above-- A dreamer in the moonbeam by his love: What wonder? for each star is eye-like there, And looks so sweetly down on Beauty's hair-- And they, and ev'ry mossy spring were holy To his love-haunted heart and melancholy.Page 27
] Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, wayworn wanderer bore To his own native shore.Page 28
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees That palpitate like the chill seas Around the misty Hebrides! Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven That rustle through the unquiet Heaven Uneasily, from morn till even, Over the violets there that lie In myriad types of the human eye-- Over the lilies there that wave And weep above a nameless grave! They wave:--from out their fragrant tops Eternal dews come down in drops.Page 31
_SONG_ I saw thee on thy bridal day-- When a burning blush came o'er thee, Though happiness around thee lay, The world all love before thee: And in thine eye a kindling light (Whatever it might be) Was all on Earth my aching sight Of Loveliness could see.Page 38
I spoke to her of power and pride, But mystically--in such guise That she might deem it nought beside The moment's converse; in her eyes I read, perhaps too carelessly-- A mingled feeling with my own-- The flush on her bright cheek, to me Seem'd to become a queenly throne Too well that I should let it be Light in the wilderness alone.Page 39