The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 177

water his
fears redouble within him. The sounds of life encompass his path. A
dozen times he hears or fancies the step of an observer. Even the very
lights from the city bewilder him. Yet, in time and by long and frequent
pauses of deep agony, he reaches the river's brink, and disposes of
his ghastly charge--perhaps through the medium of a boat. But now what
treasure does the world hold--what threat of vengeance could it hold
out--which would have power to urge the return of that lonely murderer
over that toilsome and perilous path, to the thicket and its blood
chilling recollections? He returns not, let the consequences be what
they may. He could not return if he would. His sole thought is immediate
escape. He turns his back forever upon those dreadful shrubberies and
flees as from the wrath to come.

"But how with a gang? Their number would have inspired them with
confidence; if, indeed confidence is ever wanting in the breast of the
arrant blackguard; and of arrant blackguards alone are the supposed
gangs ever constituted. Their number, I say, would have prevented the
bewildering and unreasoning terror which I have imagined to paralyze the
single man. Could we suppose an oversight in one, or two, or three, this
oversight would have been remedied by a fourth. They would have left
nothing behind them; for their number would have enabled them to carry
all at once. There would have been no need of return.

"Consider now the circumstance that in the outer garment of the corpse
when found, 'a slip, about a foot wide had been torn upward from the
bottom hem to the waist wound three times round the waist, and secured
by a sort of hitch in the back.' This was done with the obvious design
of affording a handle by which to carry the body. But would any number
of men have dreamed of resorting to such an expedient? To three or four,
the limbs of the corpse would have afforded not only a sufficient, but
the best possible hold. The device is that of a single individual; and
this brings us to the fact that 'between the thicket and the river, the
rails of the fences were found taken down, and the ground bore evident
traces of some heavy burden having been dragged along it!' But would a
number of men have put themselves to the superfluous trouble of taking
down a fence, for the purpose of dragging through it a corpse which they
might have lifted over any fence in an instant? Would a number of

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
Page 1
" _H.
Page 2
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he.
Page 3
Page 4
_ "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore!" _R.
Page 5
" Each seems without a prototype, yet all fascinate us with elements wrested from the shadow of the Supernatural.
Page 6
" The whole of it would be exchanged, I suspect, by readers of a fastidious cast, for such passages as these: "Around, by lifting winds forgot, Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie.
Page 7
" And thus with other ambitions: the courtier, soldier, actor,--whatever their parts,--each counts his triumph from some lucky stroke.
Page 8
Through the industry of Poe's successive biographers, the hit made by _The Raven_ has become an oft-told tale.
Page 9
Poems_, 1845, a book which the poet shortly felt encouraged to offer the public.
Page 10
But Mr.
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Pike's revision the following stanza, of which the main features correspond with the original version: "Restless I pace our lonely rooms, I play our songs no more, The garish sun shines flauntingly upon the unswept floor; The mocking-bird still sits and sings, O melancholy strain! For my heart is like an autumn-cloud that overflows with rain; Thou art lost to me forever, Isadore!" Here we have a prolonged measure, a similarity of refrain, and the introduction of a bird whose song enhances sorrow.
Page 13
A "refrain" is the lure wherewith a poet or a musician holds the wandering ear,--the recurrent longing of Nature for the initial strain.
Page 14
She also employed what I term the Repetend, in the use of which Poe has excelled all poets since Coleridge thus revived it: "O happy living things! no tongue Their beauty might declare: A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware: Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.
Page 16
" Both resorted often to the elf-land of fantasy and romance.
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[Illustration] THE RAVEN.
Page 18
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-- Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-- 'T is the wind and nothing more!" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Page 19
Quoth the Raven, "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.
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" [Illustration] "'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice; .