The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 208

the heavy shutters of the room--since it was
already night--to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by
the head of my bed--and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains
of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. I wished all this done
that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the
contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which
had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and
describe them.

Long--long I read--and devoutly, devotedly I gazed. Rapidly and
gloriously the hours flew by and the deep midnight came. The position of
the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty,
rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its
rays more fully upon the book.

But the action produced an effect altogether unanticipated. The rays of
the numerous candles (for there were many) now fell within a niche of
the room which had hitherto been thrown into deep shade by one of the
bed-posts. I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before. It
was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood. I glanced
at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes. Why I did this
was not at first apparent even to my own perception. But while my lids
remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting
them. It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought--to make
sure that my vision had not deceived me--to calm and subdue my fancy for
a more sober and more certain gaze. In a very few moments I again looked
fixedly at the painting.

That I now saw aright I could not and would not doubt; for the first
flashing of the candles upon that canvas had seemed to dissipate the
dreamy stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at
once into waking life.

The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl. It was a
mere head and shoulders, done in what is technically termed a vignette
manner; much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully. The arms, the
bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into
the vague yet deep shadow which formed the back-ground of the whole. The
frame was oval, richly gilded and filigreed in Moresque. As a thing of
art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself. But it
could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal

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Text Comparison with Le Corbeau = The Raven

Page 0
_ Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Page 1
»--Ici j'ouvris, grande, la porte: les ténèbres et rien de.
Page 2
«Sûrement, dis-je, sûrement c'est quelque chose à la persienne de ma fenêtre.
Page 3
»_ 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 a name as "Nevermore.
Page 4
" _Mais le Corbeau, perché solitairement sur ce buste placide, parla ce seul mot comme si, son âme, en ce seul mot, il la répandait.
Page 5
de «Jamais--jamais plus.
Page 6
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 7
" _«Que ce mot soit le signal de notre séparation, oiseau ou malin esprit,» hurlai-je, en me dressant.