The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 194

upon one of which sparkled a diamond ring, which I
at once saw was of extraordinary value. The admirable roundness of the
wrist was well set off by a bracelet which encircled it, and which also
was ornamented and clasped by a magnificent aigrette of jewels--telling,
in words that could not be mistaken, at once of the wealth and
fastidious taste of the wearer.

I gazed at this queenly apparition for at least half an hour, as if I
had been suddenly converted to stone; and, during this period, I felt
the full force and truth of all that has been said or sung concerning
“love at first sight.” My feelings were totally different from any which
I had hitherto experienced, in the presence of even the most celebrated
specimens of female loveliness. An unaccountable, and what I am
compelled to consider a magnetic, sympathy of soul for soul, seemed to
rivet, not only my vision, but my whole powers of thought and feeling,
upon the admirable object before me. I saw--I felt--I knew that I was
deeply, madly, irrevocably in love--and this even before seeing the face
of the person beloved. So intense, indeed, was the passion that consumed
me, that I really believe it would have received little if any abatement
had the features, yet unseen, proved of merely ordinary character, so
anomalous is the nature of the only true love--of the love at first
sight--and so little really dependent is it upon the external conditions
which only seem to create and control it.

While I was thus wrapped in admiration of this lovely vision, a sudden
disturbance among the audience caused her to turn her head partially
toward me, so that I beheld the entire profile of the face. Its beauty
even exceeded my anticipations--and yet there was something about it
which disappointed me without my being able to tell exactly what it
was. I said “disappointed,” but this is not altogether the word. My
sentiments were at once quieted and exalted. They partook less of
transport and more of calm enthusiasm of enthusiastic repose. This state
of feeling arose, perhaps, from the Madonna-like and matronly air of
the face; and yet I at once understood that it could not have arisen
entirely from this. There was something else--some mystery which I
could not develope--some expression about the countenance which slightly
disturbed me while it greatly heightened my interest. In fact, I was
just in that condition of mind which prepares a young and susceptible
man for any act of extravagance. Had the lady been alone, I should
undoubtedly have entered her box and

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
S.
Page 4
the rolling of the bells-- Of the bells, bells, bells: To the tolling of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-- Bells, bells, bells-- To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
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" 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.
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I have been happy--and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life, As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife Of semblance with reality, which brings To the delirious eye, more lovely things Of Paradise and Love--and all our own! Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.
Page 12
lute's well-tuned law, Round about a throne where, sitting (Porphyrogene!) In state his glory well befitting, The ruler of the realm was seen.
Page 15
I replied--"This is nothing but dreaming: Let us on by this tremulous light! Let us bathe in this crystalline light! Its Sybilic splendour is beaming With Hope and in Beauty to-night:-- See!--it flickers up the sky through the night! Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming, And be sure it will lead us aright-- We safely may trust to a gleaming That cannot but guide us aright, Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.
Page 18
But see, amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes!--it writhes!--with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Page 19
Rich clouds, for canopies, about her curled-- Fit emblems of the model of her world-- Seen but in beauty--not impeding sight Of other beauty glittering thro' the light-- A wreath that twined each starry form around, And all the opal'd air in colour bound.
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 25
light That fell, refracted, thro' thy bounds, afar, O Death! from eye of God upon that star: Sweet was that error--sweeter still that death-- Sweet was that error--even with _us_ the breath Of Science dims the mirror of our joy-- To them 'twere the Simoom, and would destroy-- For what (to them) availeth it to know That Truth is Falsehood--or that Bliss is Woe? Sweet was their death--with them to die was rife With the last ecstasy of satiate life-- Beyond that death no immortality-- But sleep that pondereth and is not "to be"-- And there!--oh! may my weary spirit dwell-- Apart from Heaven's Eternity--and yet how far from Hell! What guilty spirit, in what shrubbery dim, Heard not the stirring summons of that hymn? But two: they fell: for Heaven no grace imparts To those who hear not for their beating hearts.
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On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome.
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_THE HAPPIEST DAY, THE HAPPIEST HOUR_ The happiest day--the happiest hour My sear'd and blighted heart hath known, The highest hope of pride and power, I feel hath flown.
Page 31
How it hangs upon the trees, A mystery of mysteries! _ISRAFEL_ And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God's creatures.
Page 33
Not all the power is gone--not all our fame-- Not all the magic of our high renown-- Not all the wonder that encircles us-- Not all the mysteries that in us lie-- Not all the memories that hang upon And cling around about us as a garment, Clothing us in a robe of more than glory.
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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.
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let it never Be foolishly said That my room it is gloomy And narrow my bed; For man never slept In a different bed-- And, _to sleep_, you must slumber In just such a bed.
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It was but man, I thought, who shed Laurels upon me: and the rush-- The torrent of the chilly air Gurgled within my ear the crush Of empires--with the captive's prayer-- The hum of suitors--and the tone Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne.
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so: But father, there liv'd one who, then, Then--in my boyhood--when their fire Burn'd with a still intenser glow, (For passion must, with youth, expire) E'en _then_ who knew this iron heart In woman's weakness had a part.
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I reach'd my home--my home no more-- For all had flown who made it so.