The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 165

extent when compared with the width of the gorge. It
was about two hundred yards in diameter, and girt in at all points but
one--that immediately fronting the vessel as it entered--by hills equal
in general height to the walls of the chasm, although of a thoroughly
different character. Their sides sloped from the water's edge at an
angle of some forty-five degrees, and they were clothed from base to
summit--not a perceptible point escaping--in a drapery of the most
gorgeous flower-blossoms; scarcely a green leaf being visible among the
sea of odorous and fluctuating color. This basin was of great depth, but
so transparent was the water that the bottom, which seemed to consist of
a thick mass of small round alabaster pebbles, was distinctly visible
by glimpses--that is to say, whenever the eye could permit itself not
to see, far down in the inverted heaven, the duplicate blooming of the
hills. On these latter there were no trees, nor even shrubs of any size.
The impressions wrought on the observer were those of richness,
warmth, color, quietude, uniformity, softness, delicacy, daintiness,
voluptuousness, and a miraculous extremeness of culture that suggested
dreams of a new race of fairies, laborious, tasteful, magnificent, and
fastidious; but as the eye traced upward the myriad-tinted slope, from
its sharp junction with the water to its vague termination amid the
folds of overhanging cloud, it became, indeed, difficult not to fancy
a panoramic cataract of rubies, sapphires, opals, and golden onyxes,
rolling silently out of the sky.

The visiter, shooting suddenly into this bay from out the gloom of the
ravine, is delighted but astounded by the full orb of the declining sun,
which he had supposed to be already far below the horizon, but which now
confronts him, and forms the sole termination of an otherwise limitless
vista seen through another chasm-like rift in the hills.

But here the voyager quits the vessel which has borne him so far, and
descends into a light canoe of ivory, stained with arabesque devices in
vivid scarlet, both within and without. The poop and beak of this boat
arise high above the water, with sharp points, so that the general form
is that of an irregular crescent. It lies on the surface of the bay
with the proud grace of a swan. On its ermined floor reposes a single
feathery paddle of satin-wood; but no oarsmen or attendant is to be
seen. The guest is bidden to be of good cheer--that the fates will take
care of him. The larger vessel disappears, and he is left alone in the
canoe, which lies apparently

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
Trust, The Internet Archive and Comic Book Stories.
Page 1
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.
Page 2
Hear the tolling of the bells-- Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats .
Page 3
And the people--ah, the people-- They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- They are neither man nor woman-- They are neither brute nor human-- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells-- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To.
Page 7
" But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Page 12
No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrets silently-- Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-- Up domes--up spires--up kingly halls-- Up fanes--up Babylon-like walls-- Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-- Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathèd friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Page 13
[Illustration: The City in the Sea] There open fanes and gaping graves Yawn level with the luminous waves; But not the riches there that lie In each idol's diamond eye-- Not the gaily-jewelled dead Tempt the waters from their bed; For no ripples curl, alas! Along that wilderness of glass-- No swellings tell that winds may be Upon some far-off happier sea-- No heavings hint that winds have been On seas less hideously serene.
Page 14
Here once, through an alley Titanic, Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul-- Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
Page 15
" Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her, And tempted her out of her gloom-- And conquered her scruples and gloom; And we passed to the end of the vista, .
Page 16
" _ROMANCE_ Romance, who loves to nod and sing, With drowsy head and folded wing, Among the green leaves as they shake Far down within some shadowy lake, To me a painted paroquet Hath been--a most familiar bird-- Taught me my alphabet to say-- To lisp my very earliest word While in the wild wood I did lie, A child--with a most knowing eye.
Page 17
Not that the grass--O! may it thrive! On my grave is growing or grown-- But that, while I am dead yet alive I cannot be, lady, alone.
Page 20
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.
Page 22
Of molten stars their pavement, such as fall Thro' the ebon air, besilvering the pall Of their own dissolution, while they die-- Adorning then the dwellings of the sky.
Page 25
light That fell, refracted, thro' thy bounds, afar, O Death! from eye of God upon that star: Sweet was that error--sweeter still that death-- Sweet was that error--even with _us_ the breath Of Science dims the mirror of our joy-- To them 'twere the Simoom, and would destroy-- For what (to them) availeth it to know That Truth is Falsehood--or that Bliss is Woe? Sweet was their death--with them to die was rife With the last ecstasy of satiate life-- Beyond that death no immortality-- But sleep that pondereth and is not "to be"-- And there!--oh! may my weary spirit dwell-- Apart from Heaven's Eternity--and yet how far from Hell! What guilty spirit, in what shrubbery dim, Heard not the stirring summons of that hymn? But two: they fell: for Heaven no grace imparts To those who hear not for their beating hearts.
Page 26
_BRIDAL BALLAD_ The ring is on my hand.
Page 27
Clemm.
Page 28
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees That palpitate like the chill seas Around the misty Hebrides! Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven That rustle through the unquiet Heaven Uneasily, from morn till even, Over the violets there that lie In myriad types of the human eye-- Over the lilies there that wave And weep above a nameless grave! They wave:--from out their fragrant tops Eternal dews come down in drops.
Page 31
If I could dwell Where Israfel Hath dwelt, and he where I, He might not sing so wildly well A mortal melody, While a bolder note than this might swell From my lyre within the sky.
Page 34
By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule.
Page 36
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin Unearthly pride hath revell'd in-- I have no time to dote or dream: You call it hope--that fire of fire! It is but agony of desire: If I _can_ hope--O God! I can-- Its fount is holier--more divine-- I would not call thee fool, old man, But such is not a gift of thine.