The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 225

humanities” had, also, much increased of late, by
an accidental bias in favor of what he supposed to be natural science.
Somebody had accosted him in the street, mistaking him for no less a
personage than Doctor Dubble L. Dee, the lecturer upon quack physics.
This set him off at a tangent; and just at the epoch of this story--for
story it is getting to be after all--my grand-uncle Rumgudgeon was
accessible and pacific only upon points which happened to chime in with
the caprioles of the hobby he was riding. For the rest, he laughed with
his arms and legs, and his politics were stubborn and easily understood.
He thought, with Horsley, that “the people have nothing to do with the
laws but to obey them.”

I had lived with the old gentleman all my life. My parents, in dying,
had bequeathed me to him as a rich legacy. I believe the old villain
loved me as his own child--nearly if not quite as well as he loved
Kate--but it was a dog’s existence that he led me, after all. From my
first year until my fifth, he obliged me with very regular floggings.
From five to fifteen, he threatened me, hourly, with the House of
Correction. From fifteen to twenty, not a day passed in which he did not
promise to cut me off with a shilling. I was a sad dog, it is true--but
then it was a part of my nature--a point of my faith. In Kate, however,
I had a firm friend, and I knew it. She was a good girl, and told me
very sweetly that I might have her (plum and all) whenever I could
badger my grand-uncle Rumgudgeon, into the necessary consent. Poor
girl!--she was barely fifteen, and without this consent, her little
amount in the funds was not come-at-able until five immeasurable summers
had “dragged their slow length along.” What, then, to do? At fifteen, or
even at twenty-one (for I had now passed my fifth olympiad) five years
in prospect are very much the same as five hundred. In vain we besieged
the old gentleman with importunities. Here was a piece de resistance (as
Messieurs Ude and Careme would say) which suited his perverse fancy to a
T. It would have stiffed the indignation of Job himself, to see how much
like an old mouser he behaved to us two poor wretched little mice. In
his heart he wished for nothing more ardently than our union. He had
made up his mind to this all along. In fact, he would have given ten
thousand

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Text Comparison with The Bells, and Other Poems

Page 0
S.
Page 1
Now--now to sit or never, .
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And the people--ah, the people-- They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- They are neither man nor woman-- They are neither brute nor human-- They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells-- Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To.
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I was a child and _she_ was a child, In this kingdom.
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Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
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and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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_TO HELEN_ [Helen was Mrs.
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that, on this July midnight-- Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me.
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And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow-- "Shadow," said he, "Where can it be-- This land of Eldorado?" [Illustration: Eldorado] "Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride," The shade replied-- "If you seek for Eldorado!" _TO M----_ O! I care not that my earthly lot Hath little of Earth in it, That years of love have been forgot In the fever of a minute: I heed not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you meddle with my fate Who am a passer by.
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" She ceas'd--and buried then her burning cheek Abash'd, amid the lilies there, too seek A shelter from the fervour of His eye; For the stars trembled at the Deity.
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On the harmony there? Ligeia! wherever Thy image may be, No magic shall sever Thy music from thee.
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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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I left behind me in an hour.
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But when the Night had thrown her pall Upon that spot, as upon all, And the mystic wind went by Murmuring in melody-- Then--ah then I would awake To the terror of the lone lake Yet that terror was not fright, But a tremulous delight-- A feeling not the jewelled mine Could teach or bribe me to define-- Nor Love--although the Love were thine.
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And I! my spells are broken.
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_SPIRITS OF THE DEAD_ Thy soul shall find itself alone 'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone; Not one, of all the crowd, to pry Into thine hour of secrecy.
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For the heart whose woes are legion 'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-- For the spirit that walks in shadow 'Tis--oh, 'tis an Eldorado! But the traveller, travelling through it, May not--dare not openly view it! Never its mysteries are exposed To the weak human eye unclosed; So wills its King, who hath forbid The uplifting of the fringèd lid; And thus the sad Soul that here passes Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
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Know thou the secret of a spirit Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
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I have no words--alas!--to tell The loveliness of loving well! Nor would I now attempt to trace The more than beauty of a face Whose lineaments, upon my mind, Are----shadows on th' unstable wind Thus I remember having dwelt Some page of early lore upon, With loitering eye, till I have felt The letters--with their meaning--melt To fantasies--with none.
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I reach'd my home--my home no more-- For all had flown who made it so.