The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

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not until a year later that
the bride and her widowed mother followed him thither.

Poe's devotion to his child-wife was one of the most beautiful features
of his life. Many of his famous poetic productions were inspired by her
beauty and charm. Consumption had marked her for its victim, and the
constant efforts of husband and mother were to secure for her all the
comfort and happiness their slender means permitted. Virginia died
January 30, 1847, when but twenty-five years of age. A friend of the
family pictures the death-bed scene--mother and husband trying to impart
warmth to her by chafing her hands and her feet, while her pet cat was
suffered to nestle upon her bosom for the sake of added warmth.

These verses from "Annabel Lee," written by Poe in 1849, the last year
of his life, tell of his sorrow at the loss of his child-wife:

I was a child and _she_ was a child,
In a kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with _a _love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago;
In this kingdom by the sea.
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her high-born kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea,


Poe was connected at various times and in various capacities with the
"Southern Literary Messenger" in Richmond, Va.; "Graham's Magazine" and
the "Gentleman's Magazine" in Philadelphia; the "Evening Mirror," the
"Broadway Journal," and "Godey's Lady's Book" in New York. Everywhere
Poe's life was one of unremitting toil. No tales and poems were ever
produced at a greater cost of brain and spirit.

Poe's initial salary with the "Southern Literary Messenger," to which
he contributed the first drafts of a number of his best-known tales,
was $10 a week! Two years later his salary was but $600 a year. Even in
1844, when his literary reputation was established securely, he wrote to
a friend expressing

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

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L.
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Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten golden-notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-- To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! [Illustration: The Bells] III.
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Is a groan.
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Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness 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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Nothing further then he uttered--not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-- On the morrow _he_ will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.
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Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: The Raven] _TO ONE IN PARADISE_ Thou wast all that to me, love, For which my soul did pine-- A green isle in the sea, love, A fountain and a shrine, All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, And all the flowers were mine.
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There shrines and palaces and towers (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!) Resemble nothing that is ours.
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_ULALUME_ The skies they were ashen and sober; The leaves they were crisped and sere-- The leaves they were withering and sere; It was night in the lonesome October Of my most immemorial year; It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, In the misty mid region of Weir-- It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
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I replied--"This is nothing but dreaming: Let us on by this tremulous light! Let us bathe in this crystalline light! Its Sybilic splendour is beaming With Hope and in Beauty to-night:-- See!--it flickers up the sky through the night! Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming, And be sure it will lead us aright-- We safely may trust to a gleaming That cannot but guide us aright, Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.
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the tamarind tree? _ELDORADO_ Gaily bedight, A gallant knight.
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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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Young flowers were whispering in melody To happy flowers that night--and tree to tree; Fountains were.
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gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away-- Bright beings! that ponder, With half closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like----eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true Love That lull'd ye to rest! Up!--shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O, leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.
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A maiden-angel and her seraph-lover-- O! where (and ye may seek the wide skies over) Was Love, the blind, near sober Duty known? Unguided Love hath fallen--'mid "tears of perfect moan.
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So with the world thy gentle ways, Thy grace, thy more than beauty, Shall be an endless theme of praise, And love--a simple duty.
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bosom swell-- For the words rang as a knell, And the voice seemed _his_ who fell In the battle down the dell, And who is happy now.
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In the morning they arise, And their moony covering Is soaring in the skies, With the tempests as they toss, Like-almost anything-- Or a yellow Albatross.
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We are not impotent--we pallid stones.
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The moaning and groaning, The sighing and sobbing, Are quieted now, With that horrible throbbing At heart:--ah, that horrible, Horrible throbbing! The sickness--the nausea-- The pitiless pain-- Have ceased, with the fever That maddened my brain-- With the fever called "Living" That burned in my brain.
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let it never Be foolishly said That my room it is gloomy And narrow my bed; For man never slept In a different bed-- And, _to sleep_, you must slumber In just such a bed.