Posts Tagged ‘Edgar Allan Poe’

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been – a most familiar bird –
Taught me my alphabet to say –
To lisp my earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child – with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Though gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings –
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away – forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.



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Science, true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee, or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

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There are some qualities – some incorporate things,
That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence – sea and shore –
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.”
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod
No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!

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Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awak’ning till the beam
Of an eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! though that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
‘Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be – that dream eternally
Continuing – as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood – should it thus be given,
‘Twere folly still to hope for higher heaven.
For I have reveled, when the sun was bright
I’ the summer sky, in dreams of living light
And loveliness, – have left my very heart
In climes of mine imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought – what more could I have seen?
‘Twas once – and only once – and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass – some pow’r
Or spell had bound me – ‘twas the chilly wind
Came o’er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit – or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly – or the stars – howe’er it was,
That dream was on that night wind – let it pass.
I have been happy – though but in a dream.
I have been happy – and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid coloring 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!
Then young hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

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Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand –
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep – while I weep!
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

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In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less –
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around. 

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 jeweled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define –
Nor love – although the love were thine. 

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence would solace bring
To his lone imagining,
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.


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………………..Sonnet – Silence

There are some qualities – some incorporate things,
That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence – sea and shore –
Body and soul.  One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless, his name’s “No More.”
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod
No foot of man), commend thyself to God!

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…….To One In Paradise

Thou wast all that to me, love,

For which my soul did pine –

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrine,

All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine.


Ah, dream too bright to last!

Ah, starry Hope! That didst arise

But to be overcast!

A voice from out the Future cries,

“On! on!” – but oe’r the Past

(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies

Mute, motionless, aghast!


For, alas! alas! with me

The light of Life is o’er!

No more – no more – no more –
(Such language holds the solemn sea

To the sands upon the shore)

Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree,

Or the stricken eagle soar!


And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy dark eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams –

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.


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The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere –
The leaves they were withering and sere:
It was night, in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir –
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul –
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll –
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Mount Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole –
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere –
Our memories were treacherous and sere;
For we knew not the month was October,
And we marked not the night of the year
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!) –
We noted not the dim lake of Auber
(Though once we had journeyed down here) –
We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
And star-dials pointed to the morn –
As the star-dials hinted of morn –
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn –
Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said: “She is warmer than Dian;
She rolls through an ether of sighs –
She revels in a region of sighs.
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion,
To point us the path to the skies –
To the Lethean peace of the skies –
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
To shine on us with her bright eyes –
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
With love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said, “Sadly this star I mistrust –
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:
Ah, hasten! – ah, let us not linger!
Ah, fly! – let us fly! – for we must.”
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
Wings till they trailed in the dust –
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust –
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied: “This is nothing but dreaming:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sibyllic splendor 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 surely may trust to a gleaming,
That cannot but guide us aright,
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom –
And conquered her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the door of a tomb –
By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said: “What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?”
She replied: “Ulalume – Ulalume –
‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
As the leaves that were crisped and sere –
As the leaves that were withering and sere –
And I cried: “It was surely October
On this very night of last year
That I journeyed – I journeyed down here! –
That I brought a dread burden down here –
On this night of all nights in the year,
Ah, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber –
This misty mid region of Weir –
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,
This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

Said we, then – the two, then: “Ah, can it
Have been that the woodlandish ghouls –
The pitiful, the merciful ghouls –
To bar up our way and to ban it
From the secret that lies in these wolds –
From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds –
Have drawn up the spectre of a planet
From the limbo of lunary souls –
This sinfully scintillant planet
From the Hell of the planetary souls?”

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           For Annie

Thank Heaven! the crisis –
   The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
   Is over at last –
And the fever called “Living”
   Is conquered at last. 

Sadly, I know
   I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
   As I lie at full length –
But no matter! – I feel
   I am better at length. 

And I rest so composedly,
   Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
   Might fancy me dead –
Might start at beholding me,
   Thinking me dead. 

The moaning and groaning,
   The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
   With that horrible throbbing
At heart: – ah, that horrible,
   Horrible throbbing! 

The sickness – the nausea –
   The pitiless pain –
Have ceased, with the fever
   That maddened my brain –
With the fever called “Living”
   That burned in my brain. 

And oh! of all tortures
   That torture the worst
Has abated – the terrible
   Torture of thirst
For the napthaline river
   Of Passion accurst: –
I have drank of a water
   That quenches all thirst: – 

Of a water that flows,
   With a lullaby sound,
From a spring by a very few
   Feet under ground –
From a cavern not very far
   Down under the ground. 

And ah! 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. 

My tantalized spirit
   Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
   Regretting its roses –
Its old agitations
   Of myrtles and roses: 

For now, while so quietly 
   Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
   About it, of pansies –
A rosemary odor,
   Commingled with pansies –
With rue and the beautiful
   Puritan pansies. 

And so it lies happily,
   Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
   And the beauty of Annie –
Drowned in a bath 
   Of the tresses of Annie. 

She tenderly kissed me,
   So fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
   To sleep on her breast –
Deeply to sleep
   From the heaven of her breast. 

When the light was extinguished,
   She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
   To keep me from harm –
To the queen of the angels
   To shield me from harm. 

And I lie so composedly,
   Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
   That you fancy me dead –
And I rest so contentedly,
   Now in my bed,
(With her love at my breast)
   That you fancy me dead –
That you shudder to look at me,
   Thinking me dead: – 

But my heart it is brighter
   Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
   For it sparkles with Annie –
It glows with the light
   Of the love of my Annie –
With the thought of the light
   Of the eyes of my Annie.

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