The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 213

within the Valley of the
Many-Colored Grass; but a second change had come upon all things. The
star-shaped flowers shrank into the stems of the trees, and appeared no
more. The tints of the green carpet faded; and, one by one, the ruby-red
asphodels withered away; and there sprang up, in place of them, ten
by ten, dark, eye-like violets, that writhed uneasily and were ever
encumbered with dew. And Life departed from our paths; for the tall
flamingo flaunted no longer his scarlet plumage before us, but flew
sadly from the vale into the hills, with all the gay glowing birds that
had arrived in his company. And the golden and silver fish swam down
through the gorge at the lower end of our domain and bedecked the sweet
river never again. And the lulling melody that had been softer than
the wind-harp of Aeolus, and more divine than all save the voice of
Eleonora, it died little by little away, in murmurs growing lower and
lower, until the stream returned, at length, utterly, into the solemnity
of its original silence. And then, lastly, the voluminous cloud uprose,
and, abandoning the tops of the mountains to the dimness of old, fell
back into the regions of Hesper, and took away all its manifold golden
and gorgeous glories from the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass.

Yet the promises of Eleonora were not forgotten; for I heard the sounds
of the swinging of the censers of the angels; and streams of a holy
perfume floated ever and ever about the valley; and at lone hours, when
my heart beat heavily, the winds that bathed my brow came unto me laden
with soft sighs; and indistinct murmurs filled often the night air, and
once--oh, but once only! I was awakened from a slumber, like the slumber
of death, by the pressing of spiritual lips upon my own.

But the void within my heart refused, even thus, to be filled. I longed
for the love which had before filled it to overflowing. At length the
valley pained me through its memories of Eleonora, and I left it for
ever for the vanities and the turbulent triumphs of the world.

I found myself within a strange city, where all things might have served
to blot from recollection the sweet dreams I had dreamed so long in the
Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. The pomps and pageantries of a stately
court, and the mad clangor of arms, and the radiant loveliness of women,
bewildered and intoxicated my brain. But as yet my soul had proved true
to its vows, and

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