The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 198

for an instant. What other
construction could I possibly put upon such conduct, on the part of a
lady so beautiful--so wealthy--evidently so accomplished--of so high
breeding--of so lofty a position in society--in every regard so entirely
respectable as I felt assured was Madame Lalande? Yes, she loved me--she
returned the enthusiasm of my love, with an enthusiasm as blind--as
uncompromising--as uncalculating--as abandoned--and as utterly unbounded
as my own! These delicious fancies and reflections, however, were now
interrupted by the falling of the drop-curtain. The audience arose; and
the usual tumult immediately supervened. Quitting Talbot abruptly, I
made every effort to force my way into closer proximity with Madame
Lalande. Having failed in this, on account of the crowd, I at length
gave up the chase, and bent my steps homeward; consoling myself for
my disappointment in not having been able to touch even the hem of her
robe, by the reflection that I should be introduced by Talbot, in due
form, upon the morrow.

This morrow at last came, that is to say, a day finally dawned upon a
long and weary night of impatience; and then the hours until “one” were
snail-paced, dreary, and innumerable. But even Stamboul, it is said,
shall have an end, and there came an end to this long delay. The clock
struck. As the last echo ceased, I stepped into B--‘s and inquired for

“Out,” said the footman--Talbot’s own.

“Out!” I replied, staggering back half a dozen paces--“let me tell
you, my fine fellow, that this thing is thoroughly impossible and
impracticable; Mr. Talbot is not out. What do you mean?”

“Nothing, sir; only Mr. Talbot is not in, that’s all. He rode over to
S--, immediately after breakfast, and left word that he would not be in
town again for a week.”

I stood petrified with horror and rage. I endeavored to reply, but my
tongue refused its office. At length I turned on my heel, livid with
wrath, and inwardly consigning the whole tribe of the Talbots to the
innermost regions of Erebus. It was evident that my considerate friend,
il fanatico, had quite forgotten his appointment with myself--had
forgotten it as soon as it was made. At no time was he a very scrupulous
man of his word. There was no help for it; so smothering my vexation as
well as I could, I strolled moodily up the street, propounding futile
inquiries about Madame Lalande to every male acquaintance I met. By
report she was known, I found, to all--to many by sight--but she had
been in town only a few weeks, and there were very few, therefore,

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
_Frederick Juengling.
Page 2
_ "But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore!" .
Page 3
Page 4
Even though the poet himself, in his other mood, tell you that his art is but sleight of hand, his food enchanter's food, and offer to show you the trick of it,--believe him not.
Page 5
" Such is the land, and for one night we enter it,--a night of astral phases and recurrent chimes.
Page 6
" The whole of it would be exchanged, I suspect, by readers of a fastidious cast, for such passages as these: "Around, by lifting winds forgot, Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie.
Page 7
Poe's Raven, despite augury, was for him "the bird that made the breeze to blow.
Page 8
Ralph Hoyt's quaint poem, "Old," appeared in this volume.
Page 11
" I select from Mr.
Page 12
" These last expressions are quoted from Poe's whimsical analysis of this very poem, but they indicate precisely the general range of his verse.
Page 13
" The components of _The Raven_ are few and simple: a man, a bird, and the phantasmal memory at a woman.
Page 14
He relied upon it to the uttermost in a few later poems,--"Lenore," "Annabel Lee," "Ulalume," and "For Annie.
Page 15
This he did by arousing our sense of awe, through marvellous and often sublime conceptions of things unutterable and full of gloom or glory.
Page 16
He was a born master of the grotesque, and by a special insight could portray the spectres of a haunted brain.
Page 17
" 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;-- .
Page 18
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Page 19
" Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.
Page 20
" "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-- "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!--quit the bust above my door! Take.
Page 21
" [Illustration] "Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Page 22
" [Illustration] "'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!'" [Illustration] "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore!" [Illustration] [Illustration].