The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 31

however, had I attained the height of fifty yards, when,
roaring and rumbling up after me in the most horrible and tumultuous
manner, came so dense a hurricane of fire, and smoke, and sulphur, and
legs and arms, and gravel, and burning wood, and blazing metal, that
my very heart sunk within me, and I fell down in the bottom of the car,
trembling with unmitigated terror. Indeed, I now perceived that I had
entirely overdone the business, and that the main consequences of the
shock were yet to be experienced. Accordingly, in less than a second,
I felt all the blood in my body rushing to my temples, and immediately
thereupon, a concussion, which I shall never forget, burst abruptly
through the night and seemed to rip the very firmament asunder. When
I afterward had time for reflection, I did not fail to attribute the
extreme violence of the explosion, as regarded myself, to its proper
cause--my situation directly above it, and in the line of its greatest
power. But at the time, I thought only of preserving my life. The
balloon at first collapsed, then furiously expanded, then whirled round
and round with horrible velocity, and finally, reeling and staggering
like a drunken man, hurled me with great force over the rim of the car,
and left me dangling, at a terrific height, with my head downward, and
my face outwards, by a piece of slender cord about three feet in
length, which hung accidentally through a crevice near the bottom of
the wicker-work, and in which, as I fell, my left foot became most
providentially entangled. It is impossible--utterly impossible--to form
any adequate idea of the horror of my situation. I gasped convulsively
for breath--a shudder resembling a fit of the ague agitated every nerve
and muscle of my frame--I felt my eyes starting from their sockets--a
horrible nausea overwhelmed me--and at length I fainted away.

"How long I remained in this state it is impossible to say. It must,
however, have been no inconsiderable time, for when I partially
recovered the sense of existence, I found the day breaking, the balloon
at a prodigious height over a wilderness of ocean, and not a trace
of land to be discovered far and wide within the limits of the vast
horizon. My sensations, however, upon thus recovering, were by no means
so rife with agony as might have been anticipated. Indeed, there was
much of incipient madness in the calm survey which I began to take of my
situation. I drew up to my eyes each of my hands, one after the other,

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
" _H.
Page 1
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_ "But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore!" .
Page 3
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Here are the perturbed ones, through whose eyes, like those of the Cenci, the soul finds windows though the mind is dazed; here spirits, groping for the path which leads to Eternity, are halted and delayed.
Page 6
Notable among them is Buerger's "Lenore," that ghostly and resonant ballad, the lure and foil of the translators.
Page 7
Close acquaintance tells in favor of every true work of art.
Page 8
Like another and prouder satirist, he too found "something of summer" even "in the hum of insects.
Page 10
"This vivid writing!" she exclaimed,--"this power which is felt!.
Page 11
" I select from Mr.
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_The Raven_ also may be taken as a representative poem of its author, for its exemplification of all his notions of what a poem should be.
Page 13
Rhyme, alliteration, the burden, the stanzaic form, were devised with singular adroitness.
Page 14
He relied upon it to the uttermost in a few later poems,--"Lenore," "Annabel Lee," "Ulalume," and "For Annie.
Page 15
Gustave Dore, the last work of whose pencil is before us, was not the painter, or even the draughtsman, for realists demanding truth of tone, figure, and perfection.
Page 16
In melodramatic feats they both, through their command of the supernatural, avoided the danger-line between the ideal and the absurd.
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[Illustration] THE RAVEN.
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Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" Merely this and nothing more.
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"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] "For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Nameless here for evermore.
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'" [Illustration] "Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy.