The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 176

myself to the task which duty thus once more had
pointed out. There was now a partial glow upon the forehead and upon the
cheek and throat; a perceptible warmth pervaded the whole frame; there
was even a slight pulsation at the heart. The lady lived; and with
redoubled ardor I betook myself to the task of restoration. I chafed
and bathed the temples and the hands, and used every exertion which
experience, and no little medical reading, could suggest. But in vain.
Suddenly, the color fled, the pulsation ceased, the lips resumed the
expression of the dead, and, in an instant afterward, the whole
body took upon itself the icy chilliness, the livid hue, the intense
rigidity, the sunken outline, and all the loathsome peculiarities of
that which has been, for many days, a tenant of the tomb.

And again I sunk into visions of Ligeia--and again, (what marvel that I
shudder while I write,) again there reached my ears a low sob from the
region of the ebony bed. But why shall I minutely detail the unspeakable
horrors of that night? Why shall I pause to relate how, time after
time, until near the period of the gray dawn, this hideous drama of
revivification was repeated; how each terrific relapse was only into a
sterner and apparently more irredeemable death; how each agony wore the
aspect of a struggle with some invisible foe; and how each struggle was
succeeded by I know not what of wild change in the personal appearance
of the corpse? Let me hurry to a conclusion.

The greater part of the fearful night had worn away, and she who had
been dead, once again stirred--and now more vigorously than hitherto,
although arousing from a dissolution more appalling in its utter
hopelessness than any. I had long ceased to struggle or to move, and
remained sitting rigidly upon the ottoman, a helpless prey to a whirl of
violent emotions, of which extreme awe was perhaps the least terrible,
the least consuming. The corpse, I repeat, stirred, and now more
vigorously than before. The hues of life flushed up with unwonted energy
into the countenance--the limbs relaxed--and, save that the eyelids were
yet pressed heavily together, and that the bandages and draperies of the
grave still imparted their charnel character to the figure, I might
have dreamed that Rowena had indeed shaken off, utterly, the fetters of
Death. But if this idea was not, even then, altogether adopted, I could
at least doubt no longer, when, arising from the bed, tottering, with
feeble steps, with closed eyes, and with the manner of

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Edition Table Of Contents And Index Of The Five Volumes

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THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE THE ISLAND OF THE FAY THE ASSIGNATION THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM THE PREMATURE BURIAL THE DOMAIN OF ARNHEIM LANDOR'S COTTAGE WILLIAM WILSON THE TELL-TALE HEART.
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THE SLEEPER.