The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 95

Upon
its front were characters engraven in the stone; and I walked through
the morass of water-lilies, until I came close unto the shore, that I
might read the characters upon the stone. But I could not decypher them.
And I was going back into the morass, when the moon shone with a
fuller red, and I turned and looked again upon the rock, and upon the
characters;--and the characters were DESOLATION.

"And I looked upwards, and there stood a man upon the summit of the
rock; and I hid myself among the water-lilies that I might discover the
actions of the man. And the man was tall and stately in form, and was
wrapped up from his shoulders to his feet in the toga of old Rome. And
the outlines of his figure were indistinct--but his features were the
features of a deity; for the mantle of the night, and of the mist, and
of the moon, and of the dew, had left uncovered the features of his
face. And his brow was lofty with thought, and his eye wild with care;
and, in the few furrows upon his cheek I read the fables of sorrow, and
weariness, and disgust with mankind, and a longing after solitude.

"And the man sat upon the rock, and leaned his head upon his hand, and
looked out upon the desolation. He looked down into the low unquiet
shrubbery, and up into the tall primeval trees, and up higher at the
rustling heaven, and into the crimson moon. And I lay close within
shelter of the lilies, and observed the actions of the man. And the
man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned, and he sat upon the
rock.

"And the man turned his attention from the heaven, and looked out upon
the dreary river Zaire, and upon the yellow ghastly waters, and upon the
pale legions of the water-lilies. And the man listened to the sighs of
the water-lilies, and to the murmur that came up from among them. And I
lay close within my covert and observed the actions of the man. And the
man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned and he sat upon the
rock.

"Then I went down into the recesses of the morass, and waded afar in
among the wilderness of the lilies, and called unto the hippopotami
which dwelt among the fens in the recesses of the morass. And the
hippopotami heard my call, and came, with the behemoth, unto the foot
of the rock, and roared loudly and fearfully beneath the moon. And I lay
close within my covert

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 4

Page 1
27 to 5010, Folio, Gothic edit.
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Page 84
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Page 173
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