The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 154

in default of my
customary nightcap.

The tortures endured, however, were indubitably quite equal for the
time, to those of actual sepulture. They were fearfully--they were
inconceivably hideous; but out of Evil proceeded Good; for their very
excess wrought in my spirit an inevitable revulsion. My soul acquired
tone--acquired temper. I went abroad. I took vigorous exercise. I
breathed the free air of Heaven. I thought upon other subjects than
Death. I discarded my medical books. "Buchan" I burned. I read no "Night
Thoughts"--no fustian about churchyards--no bugaboo tales--such as
this. In short, I became a new man, and lived a man's life. From that
memorable night, I dismissed forever my charnel apprehensions, and with
them vanished the cataleptic disorder, of which, perhaps, they had been
less the consequence than the cause.

There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of
our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell--but the imagination
of man is no Carathis, to explore with impunity its every cavern. Alas!
the grim legion of sepulchral terrors cannot be regarded as altogether
fanciful--but, like the Demons in whose company Afrasiab made his voyage
down the Oxus, they must sleep, or they will devour us--they must be
suffered to slumber, or we perish.


The garden like a lady fair was cut,
That lay as if she slumbered in delight,
And to the open skies her eyes did shut.
The azure fields of Heaven were 'sembled right
In a large round, set with the flowers of light.
The flowers de luce, and the round sparks of dew.
That hung upon their azure leaves did shew
Like twinkling stars that sparkle in the evening blue.
Giles Fletcher.

FROM his cradle to his grave a gale of prosperity bore my friend Ellison
along. Nor do I use the word prosperity in its mere worldly sense. I
mean it as synonymous with happiness. The person of whom I speak seemed
born for the purpose of foreshadowing the doctrines of Turgot, Price,
Priestley, and Condorcet--of exemplifying by individual instance
what has been deemed the chimera of the perfectionists. In the brief
existence of Ellison I fancy that I have seen refuted the dogma, that in
man's very nature lies some hidden principle, the antagonist of bliss.
An anxious examination of his career has given me to

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

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