The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

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in her hands.


BY late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state
of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of
a nature so completely unexpected--so entirely novel--so utterly at
variance with preconceived opinions--as to leave no doubt on my mind
that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment,
all reason and astronomy together by the ears.

It appears that on the---- day of---- (I am not positive about the
date), a vast crowd of people, for purposes not specifically
mentioned, were assembled in the great square of the Exchange in the
well-conditioned city of Rotterdam. The day was warm--unusually so for
the season--there was hardly a breath of air stirring; and the multitude
were in no bad humor at being now and then besprinkled with friendly
showers of momentary duration, that fell from large white masses
of cloud which chequered in a fitful manner the blue vault of the
firmament. Nevertheless, about noon, a slight but remarkable agitation
became apparent in the assembly: the clattering of ten thousand tongues
succeeded; and, in an instant afterward, ten thousand faces were
upturned toward the heavens, ten thousand pipes descended simultaneously
from the corners of ten thousand mouths, and a shout, which could be
compared to nothing but the roaring of Niagara, resounded long, loudly,
and furiously, through all the environs of Rotterdam.

The origin of this hubbub soon became sufficiently evident. From behind
the huge bulk of one of those sharply-defined masses of cloud already
mentioned, was seen slowly to emerge into an open area of blue space, a
queer, heterogeneous, but apparently solid substance, so oddly shaped,
so whimsically put together, as not to be in any manner comprehended,
and never to be sufficiently admired, by the host of sturdy burghers who
stood open-mouthed below. What could it be? In the name of all the vrows
and devils in Rotterdam, what could it possibly portend? No one knew, no
one could imagine; no one--not even the burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von
Underduk--had the slightest clew by which to unravel the mystery; so, as
nothing more reasonable could be done, every one to a man replaced his
pipe carefully in the corner of his mouth, and cocking up his right
eye towards the phenomenon, puffed, paused, waddled about, and grunted
significantly--then waddled back, grunted, paused, and finally--puffed

In the meantime, however, lower and still lower toward the goodly city,
came the object of so much curiosity, and the cause of so much smoke. In
a very few minutes it arrived near

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

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And the people--ah, the people-- They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- They are neither man nor woman-- They are neither brute nor human-- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells-- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To.
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"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-- Only this, and nothing more.
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What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! [Illustration: To Helen] How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition; yet how deep-- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away.
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Frances Sargent Osgood] Beloved! amid the earnest woes That crowd around my earthly path-- (Drear path, alas! where grows Not even one lonely rose)-- My soul at least a solace hath In dreams of thee, and therein knows An Eden of bland repose.
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These were days when my heart was volcanic As the scoriac rivers that roll-- As the lavas that restlessly roll Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek In the ultimate climes of the pole-- That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek In the realms of the boreal pole.
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_SONNET--TO SCIENCE_ Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
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'Twas a sweet time for Nesace--for there Her world lay lolling on the golden air, Near four bright suns--a temporary rest-- An oasis in desert of the blest.
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And fell on gardens of the unforgiven In Trebizond--and on a sunny flower So like its own above that, to this hour, It still remaineth, torturing the bee With madness, and unwonted reverie: In Heaven, and all its environs, the leaf And blossom of the fairy plant in grief Disconsolate linger--grief that hangs her head, Repenting follies that full long have fled, Heaving her white breast to the balmy air, Like guilty beauty, chasten'd and more fair: Nyctanthes too, as sacred as the light She fears to perfume, perfuming the night: And Clytia, pondering between many a sun, While pettish tears adown her petals run: And that aspiring flower that sprang on Earth, And died, ere scarce exalted into birth, Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing Its way to Heaven, from garden of a king: And Valisnerian lotus, thither flown From struggling with the waters of the Rhone: And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante! Isola d'oro!--Fior di Levante! And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever With Indian Cupid down the holy river-- Fair flowers, and fairy! to whose care is given To bear the Goddess' song, in odours, up to Heaven "Spirit! thou dwellest where, In the deep sky, The terrible and fair, In beauty vie! Beyond the line of blue-- The boundary of the star Which turneth at the view Of thy barrier and thy bar-- Of the barrier overgone By the comets who were cast From their pride and from their throne To be drudges till the last-- To be carriers of fire (The red fire of their heart) With speed that may not tire And with pain that shall not part-- Who livest--_that_ we know-- In Eternity--we feel-- But the shadow of whose brow What spirit shall reveal? Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace, Thy messenger hath known Have dream'd for thy Infinity A model of.
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head-- Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed Of giant pasturage lying at his ease, Raising his heavy eyelid, starts and sees With many a mutter'd "hope to be forgiven" What time the moon is quadrated in Heaven-- Of Rosy head that, towering far away Into the sunlight ether, caught the ray Of sunken suns at eve--at noon of night, While the moon danc'd with the fair stranger light Uprear'd upon such height arose a pile Of gorgeous columns on th' unburthen'd air, Flashing from Parian marble that twin smile Far down upon the wave that sparkled there, And nursled the young mountain in its lair.
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On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
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O----D_ [Mrs.
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But he spoke to re-assure me, And he kissed my pallid brow, While a reverie came o'er me, And to the church-yard bore me, And I sighed to him before me, Thinking him dead D'Elormie, "Oh, I am happy now!" And thus the words were spoken, And this the plighted vow, And, though my faith be broken, And, though my heart be broken, Here is a ring, as token That I am happy now! Would God I could awaken! For I dream I know not how! And my soul is sorely shaken Lest an evil step be taken,-- Lest the dead who is forsaken May not be happy now.
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Of power! said I? yes! such I ween; But they have vanish'd long, alas! The visions of my youth have been-- But let them pass.
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_TO ----_ The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see The wantonest singing.
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" _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.
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It was but man, I thought, who shed Laurels upon me: and the rush-- The torrent of the chilly air Gurgled within my ear the crush Of empires--with the captive's prayer-- The hum of suitors--and the tone Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne.
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so: But father, there liv'd one who, then, Then--in my boyhood--when their fire Burn'd with a still intenser glow, (For passion must, with youth, expire) E'en _then_ who knew this iron heart In woman's weakness had a part.
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I spoke to her of power and pride, But mystically--in such guise That she might deem it nought beside The moment's converse; in her eyes I read, perhaps too carelessly-- A mingled feeling with my own-- The flush on her bright cheek, to me Seem'd to become a queenly throne Too well that I should let it be Light in the wilderness alone.
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