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

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 99

sad tears does Betty shed....
She pats the pony, where or when
She knows not ... happy Betty Foy!
Oh, Johnny, never mind the doctor!'

"Secondly:

"'The dew was falling fast, the--stars began to blink;
I heard a voice: it said,--"Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow-white mountain lamb, with a maiden at its side.
No other sheep was near, the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tether'd to a stone.'

"Now, we have no doubt this is all true: we _will_ believe it,
indeed we will, Mr, W. Is it sympathy for the sheep you wish to excite?
I love a sheep from the bottom of my heart.

"But there are occasions, dear B----, there are occasions when even
Wordsworth is reasonable. Even Stamboul, it is said, shall have an end,
and the most unlucky blunders must come to a conclusion. Here is an
extract from his preface:

"'Those who have been accustomed to the phraseology of modern writers,
if they persist in reading this book to a conclusion (_impossible!_)
will, no doubt, have to struggle with feelings of awkwardness; (ha!
ha! ha!) they will look round for poetry (ha! ha! ha! ha!), and will
be induced to inquire by what species of courtesy these attempts have
been permitted to assume that title.' Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

"Yet, let not Mr. W. despair; he has given immortality to a wagon, and
the bee Sophocles has transmitted to eternity a sore toe, and dignified
a tragedy with a chorus of turkeys.

"Of Coleridge, I cannot speak but with reverence. His towering
intellect! his gigantic power! To use an author quoted by himself,

'_J'ai trouve souvent que la plupart des sectes ont raison dans une
bonne partie de ce qu'elles avancent, mais non pas en ce qu'elles
nient_;'

and to employ his own language, he has imprisoned his own conceptions by
the barrier he has erected against those of others. It is lamentable to
think that such a mind should be buried in metaphysics, and, like the
Nyctanthes, waste its perfume upon the night alone. In reading that
man's poetry, I tremble like one who stands upon a volcano, conscious
from the very darkness bursting from the crater, of the fire and the
light that are weltering below.

"What is Poetry?--Poetry! that Proteus-like idea, with as many
appellations as the nine-titled Corcyra!

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
---- (O! I care not that my earthly lot)_ _The Conqueror Worm_ _Sonnet--To Zante_ _To M.
Page 4
Now doubt--now Pain Come never again, For her soul gives me sigh for sigh, And all day long Shines, bright and strong, Astarté within the sky, While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-- While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.
Page 6
" 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 wide the door;-- Darkness there, and nothing more.
Page 8
" "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.
Page 9
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride.
Page 10
amid its hallowed mirth, Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damnèd Earth! And I!--to-night my heart is light!--no dirge will I upraise, But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!" _DREAMS_ Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Page 11
In the monarch Thought's dominion-- It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair! Banners yellow, glorious, golden, On its roof did float and flow, (This--all this--was in the olden Time long ago,) And every gentle air that dallied, In that sweet day, Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, A wingèd odour went away.
Page 13
_THE SLEEPER_ At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon.
Page 16
But were stopped by the door of a tomb-- By the door of a legended tomb; And I said--"What is written, sweet sister, On the door of this legended tomb?" She replied--"Ulalume--Ulalume-- 'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!" Then my heart it grew ashen and sober As the leaves that were crisped and sere-- As the leaves that were withering and sere; And I cried--"It was surely October On _this_ very night of last year That I journeyed--I journeyed down here-- That I brought a dread burden down here-- On this night of all nights in the year, Ah, what demon has tempted me here? Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber-- This misty mid region of Weir-- Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber, This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
Page 17
But he grew old-- This knight so bold-- And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado.
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 23
[Illustration: Al Aaraaf] Ligeia! Ligeia! My beautiful one! Whose harshest idea Will to melody run, O! is it thy will On the breezes to toss? Or, capriciously still, Like the lone Albatross, Incumbent on night (As she on the air) To keep watch with delight .
Page 24
Thou hast bound many eyes In a dreamy sleep-- But the strains still arise Which _thy_ vigilance keep-- The sound of the rain, Which leaps down to the flower-- And dances again In the rhythm of the shower-- The murmur that springs From the growing of grass Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then, my dearest, Oh! hie thee away To the springs that lie clearest Beneath the moon-ray-- To lone lake that smiles, In its dream of deep rest, At the many star-isles That enjewel its breast-- Where wild flowers, creeping, Have mingled their shade, On its margin is sleeping Full many a maid-- Some have left the cool glade, and Have slept with the bee-- Arouse them, my maiden, On moorland and lea-- Go! breathe on their slumber, All softly in ear, Thy musical number They slumbered to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon, Whose sleep hath been taken Beneath the cold moon, As the spell which no slumber Of witchery may test, The rhythmical number Which lull'd him to rest?" Spirits in wing, and angels to the view, A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro' Young dreams still hovering on their drowsy flight-- Seraphs in all but "Knowledge," the keen.
Page 25
That eve--that eve--I should remember well-- The sun-ray dropp'd in Lemnos, with a spell On th' arabesque carving of a gilded hall Wherein I sate, and on the draperied wall-- And on my eyelids--O the heavy light! How drowsily it weigh'd them into night! On flowers, before, and mist, and love they ran With Persian Saadi in his Gulistan: But O that light!--I slumber'd--Death, the while, Stole o'er my senses in that lovely isle So softly that no single silken hair Awoke that slept--or knew that he was there.
Page 28
brood Over the magic solitude.
Page 33
" _DREAMLAND_ By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule-- From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE--out of TIME.
Page 34
And oh! of all torture _That_ torture the worst Has abated--the terrible Torture of thirst For the naphthaline river Of Passion accurst:-- I have drunk of a water That quenches all thirst:-- Of a water that flows, With a lullaby sound, From a spring but a very few Feet under ground-- From a cavern not very far Down under ground.
Page 36
O yearning heart! I did inherit Thy withering portion with the fame, The searing glory which hath shone Amid the jewels of my throne, Halo of Hell! and with a pain Not Hell shall make me fear again-- O craving heart, for the lost flowers And sunshine of my summer hours! The undying voice of that dead time, With its interminable chime, Rings, in the spirit of a spell, Upon thy emptiness--a knell.
Page 37
I have no words--alas!--to tell The loveliness of loving well! Nor would I now attempt to trace The more than beauty of a face Whose lineaments, upon my mind, Are----shadows on th' unstable wind Thus I remember having dwelt Some page of early lore upon, With loitering eye, till I have felt The letters--with their meaning--melt To fantasies--with none.
Page 39
And boyhood is a summer sun Whose waning is the dreariest one-- For all we live to know is known, And all we seek to keep hath flown-- Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall With the noon-day beauty--which is all.