The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 211

the serpent-like
trees, and looked down within the water of the River of Silence at our
images therein. We spoke no words during the rest of that sweet day, and
our words even upon the morrow were tremulous and few. We had drawn the
God Eros from that wave, and now we felt that he had enkindled within us
the fiery souls of our forefathers. The passions which had for centuries
distinguished our race, came thronging with the fancies for which they
had been equally noted, and together breathed a delirious bliss over
the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. A change fell upon all things.
Strange, brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burn out upon the trees
where no flowers had been known before. The tints of the green carpet
deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there
sprang up in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby-red asphodel. And
life arose in our paths; for the tall flamingo, hitherto unseen, with
all gay glowing birds, flaunted his scarlet plumage before us. The
golden and silver fish haunted the river, out of the bosom of which
issued, little by little, a murmur that swelled, at length, into a
lulling melody more divine than that of the harp of Aeolus-sweeter than
all save the voice of Eleonora. And now, too, a voluminous cloud, which
we had long watched in the regions of Hesper, floated out thence, all
gorgeous in crimson and gold, and settling in peace above us, sank, day
by day, lower and lower, until its edges rested upon the tops of the
mountains, turning all their dimness into magnificence, and shutting us
up, as if forever, within a magic prison-house of grandeur and of glory.

The loveliness of Eleonora was that of the Seraphim; but she was a
maiden artless and innocent as the brief life she had led among the
flowers. No guile disguised the fervor of love which animated her heart,
and she examined with me its inmost recesses as we walked together
in the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass, and discoursed of the mighty
changes which had lately taken place therein.

At length, having spoken one day, in tears, of the last sad change
which must befall Humanity, she thenceforward dwelt only upon this one
sorrowful theme, interweaving it into all our converse, as, in the songs
of the bard of Schiraz, the same images are found occurring, again and
again, in every impressive variation of phrase.

She had seen that the finger of Death was upon her bosom--that, like the
ephemeron, she had been made perfect in loveliness

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 5

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they may have some chance of being seen by posterity.
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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.