The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 145

lady's appearance that her friends would be unable to
recognize her. They were mistaken, however, for, at the first meeting,
Monsieur Renelle did actually recognize and make claim to his wife.
This claim she resisted, and a judicial tribunal sustained her in her
resistance, deciding that the peculiar circumstances, with the long
lapse of years, had extinguished, not only equitably, but legally, the
authority of the husband.

The "Chirurgical Journal" of Leipsic--a periodical of high authority
and merit, which some American bookseller would do well to translate
and republish, records in a late number a very distressing event of the
character in question.

An officer of artillery, a man of gigantic stature and of robust
health, being thrown from an unmanageable horse, received a very severe
contusion upon the head, which rendered him insensible at once; the
skull was slightly fractured, but no immediate danger was apprehended.
Trepanning was accomplished successfully. He was bled, and many other of
the ordinary means of relief were adopted. Gradually, however, he fell
into a more and more hopeless state of stupor, and, finally, it was
thought that he died.

The weather was warm, and he was buried with indecent haste in one of
the public cemeteries. His funeral took place on Thursday. On the Sunday
following, the grounds of the cemetery were, as usual, much thronged
with visiters, and about noon an intense excitement was created by
the declaration of a peasant that, while sitting upon the grave of
the officer, he had distinctly felt a commotion of the earth, as if
occasioned by some one struggling beneath. At first little attention was
paid to the man's asseveration; but his evident terror, and the dogged
obstinacy with which he persisted in his story, had at length their
natural effect upon the crowd. Spades were hurriedly procured, and the
grave, which was shamefully shallow, was in a few minutes so far thrown
open that the head of its occupant appeared. He was then seemingly dead;
but he sat nearly erect within his coffin, the lid of which, in his
furious struggles, he had partially uplifted.

He was forthwith conveyed to the nearest hospital, and there pronounced
to be still living, although in an asphytic condition. After some hours
he revived, recognized individuals of his acquaintance, and, in broken
sentences spoke of his agonies in the grave.

From what he related, it was clear that he must have been conscious
of life for more than an hour, while inhumed, before lapsing into
insensibility. The grave was carelessly and loosely filled with an
exceedingly porous soil; and thus some air was necessarily admitted.
He heard the footsteps

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Text Comparison with The Raven Illustrated

Page 0
[Illustration: 0013] THE RAVEN |ONCE upon a midnight dreary, While I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious Volume of forgotten lore-- While I nodded, nearly napping, Suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, Rapping at my chamber door.
Page 1
" [Illustration: 9015] Presently my soul grew stronger; Hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly Your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, And so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, Tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"-- Here I opened .
Page 2
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 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.
Page 3
" .
Page 4
" Wondering at the stillness broken By reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters Is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy.
Page 5
master Whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster, So when hope he would adjure, Stern despair returned, Instead of the sweet hope he dared adjure, That sad answer, "Nevermore.
Page 6
" [Illustration: 0029] [Illustration: 0031] [Illustration: 9031] "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!-- Prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether Tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate, yet all undaunted, On this desert land enchanted-- On this home by Horror haunted-- Tell me truly, I implore-- Is there,--is there balm in Gilead?-- Tell me--tell me, I implore!" .
Page 7
" [Illustration: 0033] Leave no black plume as a token Of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!-- Quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and Take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 8
And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: 0035].