The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 92

thousand conflicting sensations,
in which wonder and extreme terror were predominant, I still retained
sufficient presence of mind to avoid exciting, by any observation, the
sensitive nervousness of my companion. I was by no means certain that
he had noticed the sounds in question; although, assuredly, a strange
alteration had, during the last few minutes, taken place in his
demeanor. From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought
round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber;
and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw
that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly. His head had
dropped upon his breast--yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the
wide and rigid opening of the eye as I caught a glance of it in profile.
The motion of his body, too, was at variance with this idea--for he
rocked from side to side with a gentle yet constant and uniform sway.
Having rapidly taken notice of all this, I resumed the narrative of Sir
Launcelot, which thus proceeded:

"And now, the champion, having escaped from the terrible fury of the
dragon, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and of the breaking up
of the enchantment which was upon it, removed the carcass from out of
the way before him, and approached valorously over the silver pavement
of the castle to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth
tarried not for his full coming, but feel down at his feet upon the
silver floor, with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound."

No sooner had these syllables passed my lips, than--as if a shield
of brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a floor of
silver--I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous,
yet apparently muffled reverberation. Completely unnerved, I leaped to
my feet; but the measured rocking movement of Usher was undisturbed. I
rushed to the chair in which he sat. His eyes were bent fixedly
before him, and throughout his whole countenance there reigned a stony
rigidity. But, as I placed my hand upon his shoulder, there came a
strong shudder over his whole person; a sickly smile quivered about his
lips; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and gibbering murmur,
as if unconscious of my presence. Bending closely over him, I at length
drank in the hideous import of his words.

"Not hear it?--yes, I hear it, and _have_ heard it.
Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard
it--yet I dared not--oh, pity me, miserable wretch that

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 2
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Page 3
And the people--ah, the people-- They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- They are neither man nor woman-- They are neither brute nor human-- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells-- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To.
Page 4
Ah, less--less bright The stars of the night Than the eyes of the radiant girl! And never a flake That the vapour can make With the moon-tints of purple and pearl, Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl-- Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie’s most humble and careless curl.
Page 5
_SONNET--SILENCE_ There are some qualities--some incorporate things, That have a double life, which thus is made A type of that twin entity which springs From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
Page 6
" 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 wide the door;-- Darkness there, and nothing more.
Page 7
" This.
Page 8
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 9
[Illustration: To One in Paradise] _LENORE_ Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll!--a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy de Vere, hast _thou_ no tear?--weep now or nevermore! See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore! Come! let the burial rite be read--the funeral song be sung!-- An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-- A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
Page 10
] I saw thee once--once only--years ago: I must not say _how_ many--but _not_ many.
Page 11
_Only thine eyes remained;_ They _would not_ go--they never yet have gone; Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, _They_ have not left me (as my hopes have) since; They follow me--they lead me through the years.
Page 15
now, as the night was senescent, And star-dials pointed to morn-- As the star-dials hinted of morn-- At the end of our path a liquescent And nebulous lustre was born, Out of which a miraculous crescent Arose with a duplicate horn-- Astarte's bediamonded crescent Distinct with its duplicate horn.
Page 16
_SONNET--TO SCIENCE_ Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Page 17
It _is_ not that my founts of bliss Are gushing--strange! with tears-- Or that the thrill of a single kiss Hath palsied many years-- 'Tis not that the flowers of twenty springs Which have wither'd as they rose Lie dead on my heart-strings With the weight of an age of snows.
Page 19
O! nothing earthly save the ray (Thrown back from flowers) of Beauty's eye, As in those gardens where the day Springs from the gems of Circassy-- O! nothing earthly save the thrill Of melody in woodland rill-- Or (music of the passion-hearted) Joy's voice so peacefully departed That like the murmur in the shell.
Page 22
Of molten stars their pavement, such as fall Thro' the ebon air, besilvering the pall Of their own dissolution, while they die-- Adorning then the dwellings of the sky.
Page 24
Thou hast bound many eyes In a dreamy sleep-- But the strains still arise Which _thy_ vigilance keep-- The sound of the rain, Which leaps down to the flower-- And dances again In the rhythm of the shower-- The murmur that springs From the growing of grass Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then, my dearest, Oh! hie thee away To the springs that lie clearest Beneath the moon-ray-- To lone lake that smiles, In its dream of deep rest, At the many star-isles That enjewel its breast-- Where wild flowers, creeping, Have mingled their shade, On its margin is sleeping Full many a maid-- Some have left the cool glade, and Have slept with the bee-- Arouse them, my maiden, On moorland and lea-- Go! breathe on their slumber, All softly in ear, Thy musical number They slumbered to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon, Whose sleep hath been taken Beneath the cold moon, As the spell which no slumber Of witchery may test, The rhythmical number Which lull'd him to rest?" Spirits in wing, and angels to the view, A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro' Young dreams still hovering on their drowsy flight-- Seraphs in all but "Knowledge," the keen.
Page 27
] Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, wayworn wanderer bore To his own native shore.
Page 33
" _DREAMLAND_ By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule-- From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE--out of TIME.
Page 34
By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule.
Page 37
O, she was worthy of all love! Love--as in infancy was mine-- 'Twas such as angel minds above Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my every hope and thought Were incense--then a goodly gift, For they were childish and upright-- Pure--as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift, Trust to the fire within, for light? We grew in age--and love--together, Roaming the forest, and the wild; My breast her shield in wintry weather-- And, when the friendly sunshine smil'd And she would mark the opening skies, _I_ saw no Heaven--but in her eyes.