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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 78

That we go down unhonored and forgotten
Into the dust--so we descend together?
Descend together--and then--and then perchance--

_Lal_. Why dost thou pause, Politian?

_Pol_. And then perchance
_Arise_ together, Lalage, and roam
The starry and quiet dwellings of the blest,
And still--

_Lal_. Why dost thou pause, Politian?

_Pol_. And still _together_--_together_.

_Lal_. Now, Earl of Leicester!
Thou _lovest_ me, and in my heart of hearts
I feel thou lovest me truly.

_Pol_. O Lalage!
(_throwing himself upon his knee_.)
And lovest thou _me_?

_Lal_. Hist! hush! within the gloom
Of yonder trees methought a figure passed--
A spectral figure, solemn, and slow, and noiseless--
Like the grim shadow Conscience, solemn and noiseless.

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Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
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obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he, But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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" 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 lamp-light gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore! Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
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" "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.
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It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade.
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Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour,.
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He disregarded the _decora_ of mere fashion.
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But the echoes of the chime die away--they have endured but an instant--and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart.
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And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around.
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And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay.
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You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.
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" He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.
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The drops of moisture trickle among the bones.
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" As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken.
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I called again-- "Fortunato--" No answer still.
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I hastened to make an end of my labour.