The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 181

concerned the beloved.

And as years rolled away, and I gazed day after day upon her holy, and
mild, and eloquent face, and poured over her maturing form, day after
day did I discover new points of resemblance in the child to her mother,
the melancholy and the dead. And hourly grew darker these shadows of
similitude, and more full, and more definite, and more perplexing, and
more hideously terrible in their aspect. For that her smile was like her
mother’s I could bear; but then I shuddered at its too perfect identity,
that her eyes were like Morella’s I could endure; but then they, too,
often looked down into the depths of my soul with Morella’s own intense
and bewildering meaning. And in the contour of the high forehead, and
in the ringlets of the silken hair, and in the wan fingers which buried
themselves therein, and in the sad musical tones of her speech, and
above all--oh, above all, in the phrases and expressions of the dead on
the lips of the loved and the living, I found food for consuming thought
and horror, for a worm that would not die.

Thus passed away two lustra of her life, and as yet my daughter
remained nameless upon the earth. “My child,” and “my love,” were the
designations usually prompted by a father’s affection, and the rigid
seclusion of her days precluded all other intercourse. Morella’s name
died with her at her death. Of the mother I had never spoken to the
daughter, it was impossible to speak. Indeed, during the brief period of
her existence, the latter had received no impressions from the outward
world, save such as might have been afforded by the narrow limits of her
privacy. But at length the ceremony of baptism presented to my mind,
in its unnerved and agitated condition, a present deliverance from the
terrors of my destiny. And at the baptismal font I hesitated for a name.
And many titles of the wise and beautiful, of old and modern times, of
my own and foreign lands, came thronging to my lips, with many, many
fair titles of the gentle, and the happy, and the good. What prompted
me then to disturb the memory of the buried dead? What demon urged me to
breathe that sound, which in its very recollection was wont to make ebb
the purple blood in torrents from the temples to the heart? What fiend
spoke from the recesses of my soul, when amid those dim aisles, and in
the silence of the night, I whispered within the ears of the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Masque of the Red Death

Page 0
The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure.
Page 1
That at the eastern extremity was hung, for example in blue--and vividly blue were its windows.
Page 2
There are some who would have thought him mad.
Page 3
In truth the masquerade licence of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince's indefinite decorum.
Page 4
At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.
Page 5
And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay.