For public insult in the streets--before
The eyes of the citizens. I'll follow thee--
Like an avenging spirit I'll follow thee
Even unto death. Before those whom thou lovest--
Before all Rome I'll taunt thee, villain,--I'll taunt
Dost hear? with _cowardice_--thou _wilt not_ fight me?
Thou liest! thou _shalt_!
_Cas_. Now this indeed is just!
Most righteous, and most just, avenging Heaven!
[Footnote 1: By Sir Thomas Wyatt.--Ed.]
* * * * *
NOTE ON POLITIAN
20. Such portions of "Politian" as are known to the public first saw the
light of publicity in the 'Southern Literary Messenger' for December
1835 and January 1836, being styled "Scenes from Politian; an
unpublished drama." These scenes were included, unaltered, in the 1845
collection of Poems by Poe. The larger portion of the original draft
subsequently became the property of the present editor, but it is not
considered just to the poet's memory to publish it. The work is a hasty
and unrevised production of its author's earlier days of literary labor;
and, beyond the scenes already known, scarcely calculated to enhance his
reputation. As a specimen, however, of the parts unpublished, the
following fragment from the first scene of Act II. may be offered. The
Duke, it should be premised, is uncle to Alessandra, and father of
" _Frederick Juengling.Page 2
The vision has an end, the scene changes; but we have gained something, the memory of a charm.Page 5
What things go to the making of a poem,--and how true in this, as in most else, that race which named its bards "the makers"? A work is called out of the void.Page 6
Few will deny that Coleridge's wondrous "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" stands at their very head.Page 7
Close acquaintance tells in favor of every true work of art.Page 8
The long, low chamber in the house near the Bloomingdale Road is as famous as the room where Rouget de l'Isle composed the Marseillaise.Page 9
Lang's pretty edition of Poe's verse, brought out in the "Parchment Library," he has shown the instinct of a scholar, and has done wisely, in going back to the text in the volume just mentioned, as given in the London issue of 1846.Page 12
"The death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world,--and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such a topic are those of a bereaved lover.Page 13
What have we? The midnight; the shadowy chamber with its tomes of forgotten lore; the student,--a modern Hieronymus; the raven's tap on the casement; the wintry night and dying fire; the silken wind-swept hangings; the dreams and vague mistrust of the echoing darkness; the black, uncanny bird upon the pallid bust; the accessories of violet velvet and the gloating lamp.Page 15
" He confessed himself the bird's unhappy master, the stricken sufferer of this poem.Page 16
In _The Raven_ sound and color preserve their monotone and we have no change of place or occasion.Page 17
"'T is some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-- Only this, and nothing more.Page 18
Darkness there, and nothing more.Page 19
" Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.Page 20
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.Page 21
" [Illustration] "For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Nameless here for evermore.Page 22
" [Illustration] "'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, upstarting.