The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 171

valley. As regards vegetation, as well as in respect to every thing
else, the scene softened and sloped to the south. To the north--on the
craggy precipice--a few paces from the verge--up sprang the magnificent
trunks of numerous hickories, black walnuts, and chestnuts, interspersed
with occasional oak, and the strong lateral branches thrown out by the
walnuts especially, spread far over the edge of the cliff. Proceeding
southwardly, the explorer saw, at first, the same class of trees,
but less and less lofty and Salvatorish in character; then he saw the
gentler elm, succeeded by the sassafras and locust--these again by the
softer linden, red-bud, catalpa, and maple--these yet again by still
more graceful and more modest varieties. The whole face of the southern
declivity was covered with wild shrubbery alone--an occasional
silver willow or white poplar excepted. In the bottom of the valley
itself--(for it must be borne in mind that the vegetation hitherto
mentioned grew only on the cliffs or hillsides)--were to be seen three
insulated trees. One was an elm of fine size and exquisite form: it
stood guard over the southern gate of the vale. Another was a hickory,
much larger than the elm, and altogether a much finer tree, although
both were exceedingly beautiful: it seemed to have taken charge of the
northwestern entrance, springing from a group of rocks in the very jaws
of the ravine, and throwing its graceful body, at an angle of nearly
forty-five degrees, far out into the sunshine of the amphitheatre. About
thirty yards east of this tree stood, however, the pride of the valley,
and beyond all question the most magnificent tree I have ever seen,
unless, perhaps, among the cypresses of the Itchiatuckanee. It was a
triple-stemmed tulip-tree--the Liriodendron Tulipiferum--one of the
natural order of magnolias. Its three trunks separated from the parent
at about three feet from the soil, and diverging very slightly and
gradually, were not more than four feet apart at the point where the
largest stem shot out into foliage: this was at an elevation of about
eighty feet. The whole height of the principal division was one hundred
and twenty feet. Nothing can surpass in beauty the form, or the glossy,
vivid green of the leaves of the tulip-tree. In the present instance
they were fully eight inches wide; but their glory was altogether
eclipsed by the gorgeous splendor of the profuse blossoms. Conceive,
closely congregated, a million of the largest and most resplendent
tulips! Only thus can the reader get any idea of the picture I would
convey. And then the stately grace of the clean, delicately-granulated
columnar stems,

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
Page 1
It was the manner in which all this, and much more, was said--it was the apparent heart that went with his request--which allowed me no room for hesitation; and I accordingly obeyed forthwith what I still considered a very singular summons.
Page 2
There can be no doubt that the consciousness of the rapid increase of my superstition--for why should I not so term it?--served mainly to accelerate the increase itself.
Page 3
He accosted me with trepidation and passed on.
Page 4
beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely-moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten.
Page 5
In this unnerved--in this pitiable condition--I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR.
Page 6
From the paintings over which his elaborate fancy brooded, and which grew, touch by touch, into vagueness at which I shuddered the more thrillingly, because I shuddered knowing not why;--from these paintings (vivid as their images now are before me) I would in vain endeavour to educe more than a small portion which should lie within the compass of merely written words.
Page 7
The verses, which were entitled "The Haunted Palace," ran very nearly, if not accurately, thus: I.
Page 8
II.
Page 9
But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch's high estate; (Ah,.
Page 10
This opinion, in its general form, was that of the sentience of all vegetable things.
Page 11
have previously hinted) with the gray stones of the home of his forefathers.
Page 12
I will not deny that when I called to mind the sinister countenance of the person whom I met upon the staircase, on the day of my arrival at the house, I had no desire to oppose what I regarded as at best but a harmless, and by no means an unnatural, precaution.
Page 13
At times, again, I was obliged to resolve all into the mere inexplicable vagaries of madness, for I beheld him gazing upon vacancy for long hours, in an attitude of the profoundest attention, as if listening to some imaginary sound.
Page 14
But the under surfaces of the huge masses of agitated vapor, as well as all terrestrial objects immediately around us, were glowing in the unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hung about and enshrouded the mansion.
Page 15
I had arrived at that well-known portion of the story where Ethelred, the hero of the Trist, having sought in vain for peaceable admission into the dwelling of the hermit, proceeds to make good an entrance by force.
Page 16
His head had dropped upon his breast--yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the wide and rigid opening of the eye as I caught a glance of it in profile.
Page 17
His eyes were bent fixedly before him, and throughout his whole countenance there reigned a stony rigidity.
Page 18
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