The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 33

only at the turn of the ebb and flood,
and in calm weather, and last but a quarter of an hour, its violence
gradually returning. When the stream is most boisterous, and its fury
heightened by a storm, it is dangerous to come within a Norway mile
of it. Boats, yachts, and ships have been carried away by not guarding
against it before they were within its reach. It likewise happens
frequently, that whales come too near the stream, and are overpowered by
its violence; and then it is impossible to describe their howlings and
bellowings in their fruitless struggles to disengage themselves. A
bear once, attempting to swim from Lofoden to Moskoe, was caught by the
stream and borne down, while he roared terribly, so as to be heard on
shore. Large stocks of firs and pine trees, after being absorbed by the
current, rise again broken and torn to such a degree as if bristles grew
upon them. This plainly shows the bottom to consist of craggy rocks,
among which they are whirled to and fro. This stream is regulated by the
flux and reflux of the sea--it being constantly high and low water every
six hours. In the year 1645, early in the morning of Sexagesima Sunday,
it raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the
houses on the coast fell to the ground."

In regard to the depth of the water, I could not see how this could have
been ascertained at all in the immediate vicinity of the vortex. The
"forty fathoms" must have reference only to portions of the channel
close upon the shore either of Moskoe or Lofoden. The depth in the
centre of the Moskoe-stroem must be immeasurably greater; and no better
proof of this fact is necessary than can be obtained from even the
sidelong glance into the abyss of the whirl which may be had from the
highest crag of Helseggen. Looking down from this pinnacle upon the
howling Phlegethon below, I could not help smiling at the simplicity
with which the honest Jonas Ramus records, as a matter difficult of
belief, the anecdotes of the whales and the bears; for it appeared to
me, in fact, a self-evident thing, that the largest ship of the line in
existence, coming within the influence of that deadly attraction, could
resist it as little as a feather the hurricane, and must disappear
bodily and at once.

The attempts to account for the phenomenon--some of which, I remember,
seemed to me sufficiently plausible in perusal--now wore a very
different and unsatisfactory aspect. The idea generally

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Text Comparison with The Raven Illustrated

Page 0
Dutton And Company 39 West Twenty Third Street 1884 Copyright, 1883 Illustrated By W.
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" [Illustration: 9015] Presently my soul grew stronger; Hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly Your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, And so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, Tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"-- Here I opened .
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[Illustration: 0017] Then into the chamber turning, All my soul within me burning, Soon I heard again a tapping Something louder than before.
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Not the least obeisance made he; Not an instant stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, [Illustration: 8021] Perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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master Whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster, So when hope he would adjure, Stern despair returned, Instead of the sweet hope he dared adjure, That sad answer, "Nevermore.
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"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee By these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and Nepenthe From thy memories of Lenore! Let me quaff this kind Nepenthe, And forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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" And the Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon's that is dreaming, .
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And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! [Illustration: 0035].