The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 176

formed by the main structure and
its west wing, in front, sprang a grape-vine of unexampled luxuriance.
Scorning all restraint, it had clambered first to the lower roof--then
to the higher; and along the ridge of this latter it continued to writhe
on, throwing out tendrils to the right and left, until at length it
fairly attained the east gable, and fell trailing over the stairs.

The whole house, with its wings, was constructed of the old-fashioned
Dutch shingles--broad, and with unrounded corners. It is a peculiarity
of this material to give houses built of it the appearance of being
wider at bottom than at top--after the manner of Egyptian architecture;
and in the present instance, this exceedingly picturesque effect was
aided by numerous pots of gorgeous flowers that almost encompassed the
base of the buildings.

The shingles were painted a dull gray; and the happiness with which this
neutral tint melted into the vivid green of the tulip tree leaves that
partially overshadowed the cottage, can readily be conceived by an

From the position near the stone wall, as described, the buildings
were seen at great advantage--for the southeastern angle was thrown
forward--so that the eye took in at once the whole of the two fronts,
with the picturesque eastern gable, and at the same time obtained just a
sufficient glimpse of the northern wing, with parts of a pretty roof
to the spring-house, and nearly half of a light bridge that spanned the
brook in the near vicinity of the main buildings.

I did not remain very long on the brow of the hill, although long enough
to make a thorough survey of the scene at my feet. It was clear that
I had wandered from the road to the village, and I had thus good
traveller's excuse to open the gate before me, and inquire my way, at
all events; so, without more ado, I proceeded.

The road, after passing the gate, seemed to lie upon a natural ledge,
sloping gradually down along the face of the north-eastern cliffs. It
led me on to the foot of the northern precipice, and thence over the
bridge, round by the eastern gable to the front door. In this progress,
I took notice that no sight of the out-houses could be obtained.

As I turned the corner of the gable, the mastiff bounded towards me in
stern silence, but with the eye and the whole air of a tiger. I held him
out my hand, however, in token of amity--and I never yet knew the dog
who was proof against such an appeal to his courtesy.

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