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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 95

less just
the critique, and the converse. On this account, and because there are
but few B----s in the world, I would be as much ashamed of the world's
good opinion as proud of your own. Another than yourself might here
observe, 'Shakespeare is in possession of the world's good opinion, and
yet Shakespeare is the greatest of poets. It appears then that the world
judge correctly, why should you be ashamed of their favorable judgment?'
The difficulty lies in the interpretation of the word 'judgment' or
'opinion.' The opinion is the world's, truly, but it may be called
theirs as a man would call a book his, having bought it; he did not
write the book, but it is his; they did not originate the opinion, but
it is theirs. A fool, for example, thinks Shakespeare a great poet--yet
the fool has never read Shakespeare. But the fool's neighbor, who is a
step higher on the Andes of the mind, whose head (that is to say, his
more exalted thought) is too far above the fool to be seen or
understood, but whose feet (by which I mean his every-day actions) are
sufficiently near to be discerned, and by means of which that
superiority is ascertained, which _but_ for them would never have been
discovered--this neighbor asserts that Shakespeare is a great poet--the
fool believes him, and it is henceforward his _opinion_. This neighbor's
own opinion has, in like manner, been adopted from one above _him_, and
so, ascendingly, to a few gifted individuals who kneel around the
summit, beholding, face to face, the master spirit who stands upon the

"You are aware of the great barrier in the path of an American writer.
He is read, if at all, in preference to the combined and established wit
of the world. I say established; for it is with literature as with law
or empire--an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in
possession. Besides, one might suppose that books, like their authors,
improve by travel--their having crossed the sea is, with us, so great a
distinction. Our antiquaries abandon time for distance; our very fops
glance from the binding to the bottom of the title-page, where the
mystic characters which spell London, Paris, or Genoa, are precisely so
many letters of recommendation.

"I mentioned just now a vulgar error as regards criticism. I think the
notion that no poet can form a correct estimate of his own writings is
another. I remarked before that in proportion to the poetical talent
would be the justice of a critique upon poetry. Therefore a bad

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 5

Page 2
From it are deduced not only the hues but the forms of all objects incumbent.
Page 6
In shape it is nearly circular--and it is hung so that a reflection of the person can be obtained from it in none of the ordinary sitting-places of the room.
Page 16
More probably, they found it difficult, on account of being so fat, to make up their minds.
Page 42
"--This was the expression he employed; and Mr.
Page 59
would have conceived the possibility of understanding; and although, while he flourished, there were not wanting some authors at Rouen to assert "that his _dicta_ evinced neither the purity of the Academy, nor the depth of the Lyceum"--although, mark me, his doctrines were by no means very generally comprehended, still it did not follow that they were difficult of comprehension.
Page 61
His large water-dog was acquainted with the fact, and upon the approach of his master, betrayed his sense of inferiority by a sanctity of deportment, a debasement of the ears, and a dropping of the lower jaw not altogether unworthy of a dog.
Page 78
Gliddon, therefore, gave him his arm, and led him to a comfortable chair by the fire, while the Doctor rang the bell upon the spot and ordered a supply of cigars and wine.
Page 98
There are two of the lines in which a sentiment is conveyed that embodies the _all in all _of the divine passion of Love--a sentiment which, perhaps, has found its echo in more, and in more passionate, human hearts than any other single sentiment ever embodied in words:-- Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer Though the herd have fled from thee, thy home is still here; Here still is the smile, that no cloud can o'ercast, And a heart and a hand all thy own to the last.
Page 100
It is, moreover, powerfully ideal--imaginative.
Page 116
Page 118
Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future!--how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells-- Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-- To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III.
Page 126
(Oh, Heaven!--oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me.
Page 136
me sigh for sigh, And all day long Shines, bright and strong, Astarte within the sky, While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-- While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.
Page 163
Now be this Fancy, by Heaven, or be it Fate, Still will I not descend.
Page 167
My lord!--my friend!- Pol.
Page 187
As sprang that yellow star from downy hours Up rose the maiden from her shrine of flowers, And bent o'er sheeny mountain and dim plain **Her way--but left not yet her Therasaean reign.
Page 206
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) .
Page 214
Page 218
DREAMS Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awak'ning, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow: Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, 'Twere better than the dull reality Of waking life to him whose heart shall be, And hath been ever, on the chilly earth, A chaos of deep passion from his birth! But should it be--that dream eternally Continuing--as dreams have been to me In my young boyhood--should it thus be given, 'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven! For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright In the summer sky; in dreamy fields of light, And left unheedingly my very heart In climes of mine imagining--apart From mine own home, with beings that have been Of mine own thought--what more could I have seen? 'Twas once.
Page 226
IV Like music heard in dreams, Like strains of harps unknown, Of birds forever flown Audible as the voice of streams That murmur in some leafy dell, .