The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 44

to have moved but little from their original station.

"I no longer hesitated what to do. I resolved to lash myself securely to
the water cask upon which I now held, to cut it loose from the counter,
and to throw myself with it into the water. I attracted my brother's
attention by signs, pointed to the floating barrels that came near us,
and did everything in my power to make him understand what I was about
to do. I thought at length that he comprehended my design--but, whether
this was the case or not, he shook his head despairingly, and refused to
move from his station by the ring-bolt. It was impossible to reach him;
the emergency admitted of no delay; and so, with a bitter struggle, I
resigned him to his fate, fastened myself to the cask by means of the
lashings which secured it to the counter, and precipitated myself with
it into the sea, without another moment's hesitation.

"The result was precisely what I had hoped it might be. As it is myself
who now tell you this tale--as you see that I _did_ escape--and as you
are already in possession of the mode in which this escape was effected,
and must therefore anticipate all that I have farther to say--I will
bring my story quickly to conclusion. It might have been an hour, or
thereabout, after my quitting the smack, when, having descended to a
vast distance beneath me, it made three or four wild gyrations in rapid
succession, and, bearing my loved brother with it, plunged headlong, at
once and forever, into the chaos of foam below. The barrel to which I
was attached sunk very little farther than half the distance between the
bottom of the gulf and the spot at which I leaped overboard, before a
great change took place in the character of the whirlpool. The slope of
the sides of the vast funnel became momently less and less steep.
The gyrations of the whirl grew, gradually, less and less violent. By
degrees, the froth and the rainbow disappeared, and the bottom of the
gulf seemed slowly to uprise. The sky was clear, the winds had gone
down, and the full moon was setting radiantly in the west, when I
found myself on the surface of the ocean, in full view of the shores
of Lofoden, and above the spot where the pool of the Moskoe-stroem
_had been_. It was the hour of the slack--but the sea still heaved
in mountainous waves from the effects of the hurricane. I was borne
violently into the channel

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Text Comparison with The Raven

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_ "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.
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_ "For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Nameless here for evermore.
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" _R.
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It is the limbo of "planetary souls," wherein are all moonlight uncertainties, all lost loves and illusions.
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" The whole of it would be exchanged, I suspect, by readers of a fastidious cast, for such passages as these: "Around, by lifting winds forgot, Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie.
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Close acquaintance tells in favor of every true work of art.
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The statement that it was not afterward revised is erroneous.
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In 1843, Albert Pike, the half-Greek, half-frontiersman, poet of Arkansas, had printed in "The New Mirror," for which Poe then was writing, some verses entitled "Isadore," but.
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Escaped across the Styx, from.
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This must be allied to Beauty.
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All this stage effect of situation, light, color, sound, is purely romantic, and even melodramatic, but of a poetic quality that melodrama rarely exhibits, and thoroughly reflective of the poet's "eternal passion, eternal pain.
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The lower kingdoms were called into his service; his rocks, trees and mountains, the sky itself, are animate with motive and diablerie.
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Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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" 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, 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] "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.
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