The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 80

a door and ushered
me into the presence of his master.

The room in which I found myself was very large and lofty. The windows
were long, narrow, and pointed, and at so vast a distance from the black
oaken floor as to be altogether inaccessible from within. Feeble gleams
of encrimsoned light made their way through the trellissed panes,
and served to render sufficiently distinct the more prominent objects
around; the eye, however, struggled in vain to reach the remoter angles
of the chamber, or the recesses of the vaulted and fretted ceiling.
Dark draperies hung upon the walls. The general furniture was profuse,
comfortless, antique, and tattered. Many books and musical instruments
lay scattered about, but failed to give any vitality to the scene. I
felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and
irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all.

Upon my entrance, Usher arose from a sofa on which he had been lying at
full length, and greeted me with a vivacious warmth which had much in
it, I at first thought, of an overdone cordiality--of the constrained
effort of the _ennuye_ man of the world. A glance, however, at his
countenance, convinced me of his perfect sincerity. We sat down; and for
some moments, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half
of pity, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered,
in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher! It was with difficulty that
I could bring myself to admit the identity of the wan being before me
with the companion of my early boyhood. Yet the character of his face
had been at all times remarkable. A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye
large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison; lips somewhat thin and
very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve; a nose of a
delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar
formations; a finely moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence,
of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and
tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions
of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be
forgotten. And now in the mere exaggeration of the prevailing character
of these features, and of the expression they were wont to convey, lay
so much of change that I doubted to whom I spoke. The now ghastly pallor
of the skin, and the now miraculous lustre of the eye, above all things
startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
Claudius, G.
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'" _Frederick Juengling.
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_T.
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'" _F.
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As many poets, so many charms.
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Where there was nothing, it remains,--a new creation, part of the treasure of mankind.
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" This is still my belief; and yet, upon a fresh study of this poem, it impresses me more than at any time since my boyhood.
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" He had made proselytes abroad, and gained a lasting hold upon the French mind.
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In Mr.
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Again, these are all nothing if not musical, and some are touched with that quality of the Fantastic which awakes the sense of awe, and adds a new fear to agony itself.
Page 13
I have always admired the beautiful refrains of the English songstress,--"The Nightingales, the Nightingales," "Margret, Margret," "My Heart and I," "Toll slowly," "The River floweth on," "Pan, Pan.
Page 14
The world still thinks of Poe as a "luckless man of genius.
Page 15
His mishaps in life belonged to his region and period, perchance still more to his own infirmity of will.
Page 16
He was a born master of the grotesque, and by a special insight could portray the spectres of a haunted brain.
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And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating "'T is some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;-- This it is, and nothing more.
Page 18
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Page 19
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 20
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-- On this home by Horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore-- Is there--_is_ there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 21
thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 22
" [Illustration] "But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore!" [Illustration] "'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!'" [Illustration] "On this home by Horror haunted.