The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 152

endeavor to remember. And now a
partial and evanescent success. And now the memory has so far regained
its dominion, that, in some measure, I am cognizant of my state. I feel
that I am not awaking from ordinary sleep. I recollect that I have been
subject to catalepsy. And now, at last, as if by the rush of an ocean,
my shuddering spirit is overwhelmed by the one grim Danger--by the one
spectral and ever-prevalent idea.

For some minutes after this fancy possessed me, I remained without
motion. And why? I could not summon courage to move. I dared not
make the effort which was to satisfy me of my fate--and yet there was
something at my heart which whispered me it was sure. Despair--such as
no other species of wretchedness ever calls into being--despair alone
urged me, after long irresolution, to uplift the heavy lids of my eyes.
I uplifted them. It was dark--all dark. I knew that the fit was over. I
knew that the crisis of my disorder had long passed. I knew that I
had now fully recovered the use of my visual faculties--and yet it was
dark--all dark--the intense and utter raylessness of the Night that
endureth for evermore.

I endeavored to shriek; and my lips and my parched tongue moved
convulsively together in the attempt--but no voice issued from the
cavernous lungs, which oppressed as if by the weight of some incumbent
mountain, gasped and palpitated, with the heart, at every elaborate and
struggling inspiration.

The movement of the jaws, in this effort to cry aloud, showed me that
they were bound up, as is usual with the dead. I felt, too, that I lay
upon some hard substance, and by something similar my sides were,
also, closely compressed. So far, I had not ventured to stir any of my
limbs--but now I violently threw up my arms, which had been lying at
length, with the wrists crossed. They struck a solid wooden substance,
which extended above my person at an elevation of not more than six
inches from my face. I could no longer doubt that I reposed within a
coffin at last.

And now, amid all my infinite miseries, came sweetly the cherub
Hope--for I thought of my precautions. I writhed, and made spasmodic
exertions to force open the lid: it would not move. I felt my wrists for
the bell-rope: it was not to be found. And now the Comforter fled for
ever, and a still sterner Despair reigned triumphant; for I could not
help perceiving the absence of the paddings which I had so carefully
prepared--and then,

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
_ LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS WITH NAMES OF ENGRAVERS Title-page, designed by Elihu Vedder.
Page 1
'" _W.
Page 2
Page 3
_ "'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!'" .
Page 4
Even though the poet himself, in his other mood, tell you that his art is but sleight of hand, his food enchanter's food, and offer to show you the trick of it,--believe him not.
Page 5
To one land only he has power to lead you, and for one night only can you share his dream.
Page 6
"Ulalume," while equally strange and imaginative, has not the universal quality that is a portion of our test.
Page 7
He does not acquire it, like a miser's fortune, coin after coin, but "not at all or all in all.
Page 8
But he had written nothing that was on the tongue of everybody.
Page 10
Page 11
Pike's revision the following stanza, of which the main features correspond with the original version: "Restless I pace our lonely rooms, I play our songs no more, The garish sun shines flauntingly upon the unswept floor; The mocking-bird still sits and sings, O melancholy strain! For my heart is like an autumn-cloud that overflows with rain; Thou art lost to me forever, Isadore!" Here we have a prolonged measure, a similarity of refrain, and the introduction of a bird whose song enhances sorrow.
Page 12
"Lenore," _The Raven_, "The Sleeper," "To One in Paradise," and "Ulalume" form a tenebrose symphony,--and "Annabel Lee," written last of all, shows that one theme possessed him to the end.
Page 14
My belief is that the first conception and rough draft of this poem came as inspiration always comes; that its author then saw how it might be perfected, giving it the final touches described in his chapter on Composition, and that the latter, therefore, is neither wholly false nor wholly true.
Page 15
There is a delight in playing one's high part: we are all gladiators, crying _Ave Imperator!_ To quote Burke's matter of fact: "In grief the pleasure is still uppermost, and the affliction we suffer has no resemblance to absolute pain, which is always odious, and which we endeavor to shake off as soon as possible.
Page 16
Had he lived to illustrate Shakespeare, we should have seen a remarkable treatment of Caliban, the Witches, the storm in "Lear"; but doubtless should have questioned his ideals of Imogen or Miranda.
Page 18
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
Page 19
" This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my.
Page 20
"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] "Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore.
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