The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 206

a sense--a
sentiment ineffable. His forehead, although little wrinkled, seems to
bear upon it the stamp of a myriad of years.--His gray hairs are records
of the past, and his grayer eyes are Sybils of the future. The cabin
floor was thickly strewn with strange, iron-clasped folios, and
mouldering instruments of science, and obsolete long-forgotten charts.
His head was bowed down upon his hands, and he pored, with a fiery
unquiet eye, over a paper which I took to be a commission, and which, at
all events, bore the signature of a monarch. He muttered to himself, as
did the first seaman whom I saw in the hold, some low peevish syllables
of a foreign tongue, and although the speaker was close at my elbow, his
voice seemed to reach my ears from the distance of a mile.

* * * * *

The ship and all in it are imbued with the spirit of Eld. The crew glide
to and fro like the ghosts of buried centuries; their eyes have an eager
and uneasy meaning; and when their fingers fall athwart my path in the
wild glare of the battle-lanterns, I feel as I have never felt before,
although I have been all my life a dealer in antiquities, and have
imbibed the shadows of fallen columns at Balbec, and Tadmor, and
Persepolis, until my very soul has become a ruin.

* * * * *

When I look around me I feel ashamed of my former apprehensions. If I
trembled at the blast which has hitherto attended us, shall I not stand
aghast at a warring of wind and ocean, to convey any idea of which
the words tornado and simoom are trivial and ineffective? All in the
immediate vicinity of the ship is the blackness of eternal night, and a
chaos of foamless water; but, about a league on either side of us, may
be seen, indistinctly and at intervals, stupendous ramparts of ice,
towering away into the desolate sky, and looking like the walls of the
universe.

* * * * *

As I imagined, the ship proves to be in a current; if that appellation
can properly be given to a tide which, howling and shrieking by the
white ice, thunders on to the southward with a velocity like the
headlong dashing of a cataract.

* * * * *

To conceive the horror of my sensations is, I presume, utterly
impossible; yet a curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of these awful
regions, predominates even over my despair, and will reconcile me to the
most hideous aspect of death. It is evident that we

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Selections from Poe

Page 7
He was always touched by kindness, but was quick to resent an injury, and even as a boy could not endure a jest at his expense.
Page 18
The breeze, the breath of God, is still, And the mist upon the hill Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken, 25 Is a symbol and a token.
Page 33
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door: 5 Only this and nothing more.
Page 42
35 All, all expired save thee--save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes, Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes: I saw but them--they were the world to me: I saw but them, saw only them for hours, 40 Saw only them until the moon went down.
Page 43
Search narrowly the lines! they hold a treasure 5 Divine, a talisman, an amulet That must be worn at heart.
Page 46
She tenderly kissed me, She fondly caressed, And then I fell gently 75 To sleep on her breast, Deeply to sleep From the heaven of her breast.
Page 51
But he grew old, This knight so bold, And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found 10 No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado.
Page 54
A valet, of stealthy step,.
Page 56
It was thus that he spoke of the object of my visit, of his earnest desire to see me, and of the solace he expected me to afford him.
Page 65
I continued the story:-- "But the good champion Ethelred, now entering within the door, was sore enraged and amazed to perceive no signal of the maliceful hermit; but, in the stead thereof, a dragon of a scaly and prodigious demeanor, and of a fiery tongue, which sate in guard before a palace of gold, with a floor of silver; and upon the wall there hung a shield of shining brass with this legend enwritten-- Who entereth herein, a conqueror hath bin; Who slayeth the dragon, the shield he shall win.
Page 83
Indeed, we have had enough.
Page 88
Each moment added to its speed--to its headlong impetuosity.
Page 94
"Such a hurricane as then blew it is folly to attempt describing.
Page 130
The regulus of cobalt, dissolved in spirit of nitre, gives a red.
Page 142
The Minister decamped, leaving his own letter--one of no importance--upon the table.
Page 143
" "But," said I, "you are quite _au fait_ in these investigations.
Page 155
Had I made the wild attempt you suggest, I might never have left the Ministerial presence alive.
Page 160
6.
Page 166
Jean Baptiste Louis Gresset (1709-1777) was a French poet and playwright; the two works mentioned are poems,--the first, a tale of an escaped parrot who stopped at a convent and shocked the nuns by his profanity.
Page 170
curvets and caracoles: rare terms belonging to horsemanship; the first is a low leap, the second a sudden wheel.