Edgar Allan Poe

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    Biographical information

  1. A Dream
  2. A Dream Within A Dream
  3. A Valentine
  4. Al Aaraaf
  5. Alone
  6. An Enigma
  7. Annabel Lee
  8. Bridal Ballad
  9. Dreamland
  10. Dreams
  11. El Dorado
  12. Elizabeth
  13. Eulalie
  14. Evening Star
  15. Fairy-Land
  16. For Annie
  17. Hymn
  18. Hymn To Aristogeiton And Harmodius
  19. Imitation
  20. In Youth I have Known One
  21. Israfel
  22. Lenore
  23. Romance
  24. Sancta Maria
  25. Serenade
  26. Song
  27. Sonnet. Silence
  28. Sonnet. To Science
  29. Sonnet. To Zante
  30. Spirits Of The Death
  31. Stanzas
  32. Tamerlane
  33. The Bells
  34. The City In The Sea
  35. The Coliseum
  36. The Conqueror Worm
  37. The Forest Reverie
  38. The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour
  39. The Haunted Palace
  40. The Lake
  41. The Raven
  42. The Sleeper
  43. The Valley Of Unrest
  44. To Helen
  45. To Helen II
  46. To M.L.S.
  47. To My Mother
  48. To One Departed
  49. To One In Paradise




    Biographical information

      Name: Edgar Poe
      Place and date of birth: Boston, Massachusetts (United States); January 19, 1809
      Place and date of death: Baltimore, Maryland (United States); October 7, 1849 (aged 40)

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      A Dream

        In visions of the dark night
        I have dreamed of joy departed-
        But a waking dream of life and light
        Hath left me broken-hearted.

        Ah! what is not a dream by day
        To him whose eyes are cast
        On things around him with a ray
        Turned back upon the past?

        That holy dream- that holy dream,
        While all the world were chiding,
        Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
        A lonely spirit guiding.

        What though that light, thro' storm and night,
        So trembled from afar-
        What could there be more purely bright
        In Truth's day-star?

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      A Dream Within A Dream

        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 grasp
        Them with a tighter clasp?
        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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      A Valentine

        For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
        Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
        Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
        Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
        Search narrowly the lines!- they hold a treasure
        Divine- a talisman- an amulet
        That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
        The words- the syllables! Do not forget
        The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
        And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
        Which one might not undo without a sabre,
        If one could merely comprehend the plot.
        Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
        Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
        Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
        Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet's, too,
        Its letters, although naturally lying
        Like the knight Pinto- Mendez Ferdinando-
        Still form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying!
        You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

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      Al Aaraaf

        PART I

        O! nothing earthly save the ray
        (Thrown back from flowers) of Beauty's eye,
        As in those gardens where the day
        Springs from the gems of Circassy-
        O! nothing earthly save the thrill
        Of melody in woodland rill-
        Or (music of the passion-hearted)
        Joy's voice so peacefully departed
        That like the murmur in the shell,
        Its echo dwelleth and will dwell-
        Oh, nothing of the dross of ours-
        Yet all the beauty- all the flowers
        That list our Love, and deck our bowers-
        Adorn yon world afar, afar-
        The wandering star.

        'Twas a sweet time for Nesace- for there
        Her world lay lolling on the golden air,
        Near four bright suns- a temporary rest-
        An oasis in desert of the blest.
        Away- away- 'mid seas of rays that roll
        Empyrean splendor o'er th' unchained soul-
        The soul that scarce (the billows are so dense)
        Can struggle to its destin'd eminence,-
        To distant spheres, from time to time, she rode
        And late to ours, the favor'd one of God-
        But, now, the ruler of an anchor'd realm,
        She throws aside the sceptre- leaves the helm,
        And, amid incense and high spiritual hymns,
        Laves in quadruple light her angel limbs.

        Now happiest, loveliest in yon lovely Earth,
        Whence sprang the "Idea of Beauty" into birth,
        (Falling in wreaths thro' many a startled star,
        Like woman's hair 'mid pearls, until, afar,
        It lit on hills Achaian, and there dwelt)
        She looked into Infinity- and knelt.
        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 color bound.

        All hurriedly she knelt upon a bed
        Of flowers: of lilies such as rear'd the head
        On the fair Capo Deucato, and sprang
        So eagerly around about to hang
        Upon the flying footsteps of- deep pride-
        Of her who lov'd a mortal- and so died.
        The Sephalica, budding with young bees,
        Upreared its purple stem around her knees:-
        And gemmy flower, of Trebizond misnam'd-
        Inmate of highest stars, where erst it sham'd
        All other loveliness:- its honied dew
        (The fabled nectar that the heathen knew)
        Deliriously sweet, was dropp'd from Heaven,
        And fell on gardens of the unforgiven
        In Trebizond- and on a sunny flower
        So like its own above that, to this hour,
        It still remaineth, torturing the bee
        With madness, and unwonted reverie:
        In Heaven, and all its environs, the leaf
        And blossom of the fairy plant in grief
        Disconsolate linger- grief that hangs her head,
        Repenting follies that full long have Red,
        Heaving her white breast to the balmy air,
        Like guilty beauty, chasten'd and more fair:
        Nyctanthes too, as sacred as the light
        She fears to perfume, perfuming the night:
        And Clytia, pondering between many a sun,
        While pettish tears adown her petals run:
        And that aspiring flower that sprang on Earth,
        And died, ere scarce exalted into birth,
        Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing
        Its way to Heaven, from garden of a king:
        And Valisnerian lotus, thither flown"
        From struggling with the waters of the Rhone:
        And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante!
        Isola d'oro!- Fior di Levante!
        And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever
        With Indian Cupid down the holy river-
        Fair flowers, and fairy! to whose care is given
        To bear the Goddess' song, in odors, up to Heaven:

        "Spirit! that dwellest where,
        In the deep sky,
        The terrible and fair,
        In beauty vie!
        Beyond the line of blue-
        The boundary of the star
        Which turneth at the view
        Of thy barrier and thy bar-
        Of the barrier overgone
        By the comets who were cast
        From their pride and from their throne
        To be drudges till the last-
        To be carriers of fire
        (The red fire of their heart)
        With speed that may not tire
        And with pain that shall not part-
        Who livest- that we know-
        In Eternity- we feel-
        But the shadow of whose brow
        What spirit shall reveal?
        Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace,
        Thy messenger hath known
        Have dream'd for thy Infinity
        A model of their own-
        Thy will is done, O God!
        The star hath ridden high
        Thro' many a tempest, but she rode
        Beneath thy burning eye;
        And here, in thought, to thee-
        In thought that can alone
        Ascend thy empire and so be
        A partner of thy throne-
        By winged Fantasy,
        My embassy is given,
        Till secrecy shall knowledge be
        In the environs of Heaven."

        She ceas'd- and buried then her burning cheek
        Abash'd, amid the lilies there, to seek
        A shelter from the fervor of His eye;
        For the stars trembled at the Deity.
        She stirr'd not- breath'd not- for a voice was there
        How solemnly pervading the calm air!
        A sound of silence on the startled ear
        Which dreamy poets name "the music of the sphere."
        Ours is a world of words: Quiet we call
        "Silence"- which is the merest word of all.
        All Nature speaks, and ev'n ideal things
        Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings-
        But ah! not so when, thus, in realms on high
        The eternal voice of God is passing by,
        And the red winds are withering in the sky:-

        "What tho 'in worlds which sightless cycles run,
        Linked to a little system, and one sun-
        Where all my love is folly and the crowd
        Still think my terrors but the thunder cloud,
        The storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath-
        (Ah! will they cross me in my angrier path?)
        What tho' in worlds which own a single sun
        The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run,
        Yet thine is my resplendency, so given
        To bear my secrets thro' the upper Heaven!
        Leave tenantless thy crystal home, and fly,
        With all thy train, athwart the moony sky-
        Apart- like fire-flies in Sicilian night,
        And wing to other worlds another light!
        Divulge the secrets of thy embassy
        To the proud orbs that twinkle- and so be
        To ev'ry heart a barrier and a ban
        Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!"

        Up rose the maiden in the yellow night,
        The single-mooned eve!- on Earth we plight
        Our faith to one love- and one moon adore-
        The birth-place of young Beauty had no more.
        As sprang that yellow star from downy hours
        Up rose the maiden from her shrine of flowers,
        And bent o'er sheeny mountains and dim plain
        Her way, but left not yet her Therasaean reign.
        PART II

        High on a mountain of enamell'd head-
        Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed
        Of giant pasturage lying at his ease,
        Raising his heavy eyelid, starts and sees
        With many a mutter'd "hope to be forgiven"
        What time the moon is quadrated in Heaven-
        Of rosy head that, towering far away
        Into the sunlit ether, caught the ray
        Of sunken suns at eve- at noon of night,
        While the moon danc'd with the fair stranger light-
        Uprear'd upon such height arose a pile
        Of gorgeous columns on th' unburthen'd air,
        Flashing from Parian marble that twin smile
        Far down upon the wave that sparkled there,
        And nursled the young mountain in its lair.
        Of molten stars their pavement, such as fall
        Thro' the ebon air, besilvering the pall
        Of their own dissolution, while they die-
        Adorning then the dwellings of the sky.
        A dome, by linked light from Heaven let down,
        Sat gently on these columns as a crown-
        A window of one circular diamond, there,
        Look'd out above into the purple air,
        And rays from God shot down that meteor chain
        And hallow'd all the beauty twice again,
        Save, when, between th' empyrean and that ring,
        Some eager spirit Flapp'd his dusky wing.
        But on the pillars Seraph eyes have seen
        The dimness of this world: that greyish green
        That Nature loves the best Beauty's grave
        Lurk'd in each cornice, round each architrave-
        And every sculptur'd cherub thereabout
        That from his marble dwelling peered out,
        Seem'd earthly in the shadow of his niche-
        Achaian statues in a world so rich!
        Friezes from Tadmor and Persepolis-
        From Balbec, and the stilly, clear abyss
        Of beautiful Gomorrah! O, the wave
        Is now upon thee- but too late to save!

        Sound loves to revel in a summer night:
        Witness the murmur of the grey twilight
        That stole upon the ear, in Eyraco,
        Of many a wild star-gazer long ago-
        That stealeth ever on the ear of him
        Who, musing, gazeth on the distance dim,
        And sees the darkness coming as a cloud-
        Is not its form- its voice- most palpable and loud?

        But what is this?- it cometh, and it brings
        A music with it- 'tis the rush of wings-
        A pause- and then a sweeping, falling strain
        And Nesace is in her halls again.
        From the wild energy of wanton haste
        Her cheeks were flushing, and her lips apart;
        And zone that clung around her gentle waist
        Had burst beneath the heaving of her heart.
        Within the centre of that hall to breathe,
        She paused and panted, Zanthe! all beneath,
        The fairy light that kiss'd her golden hair
        And long'd to rest, yet could but sparkle there.

        Young flowers were whispering in melody
        To happy flowers that night- and tree to tree;
        Fountains were gushing music as they fell
        In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell;
        Yet silence came upon material things-
        Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-
        And sound alone that from the spirit sprang
        Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang:

        "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-
        Or tufted wild spray
        That keeps, from the dreamer,
        The moonbeam away-
        Bright beings! that ponder,
        With half closing eyes,
        On the stars which your wonder
        Hath drawn from the skies,
        Till they glance thro' the shade, and
        Come down to your brow
        Like- eyes of the maiden
        Who calls on you now-
        Arise! from your dreaming
        In violet bowers,
        To duty beseeming
        These star-litten hours-
        And shake from your tresses
        Encumber'd with dew
        The breath of those kisses
        That cumber them too-
        (O! how, without you, Love!
        Could angels be blest?)
        Those kisses of true Love
        That lull'd ye to rest!
        Up!- shake from your wing
        Each hindering thing:
        The dew of the night-
        It would weigh down your flight
        And true love caresses-
        O, leave them apart!
        They are light on the tresses,
        But lead on the heart.

        Ligeia! Ligeia!
        My beautiful one!
        Whose harshest idea
        Will to melody run,
        O! is it thy will
        On the breezes to toss?
        Or, capriciously still,
        Like the lone Albatros,
        Incumbent on night
        (As she on the air)
        To keep watch with delight
        On the harmony there?

        Ligeia! wherever
        Thy image may be,
        No magic shall sever
        Thy music from thee.
        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 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.
        A maiden-angel and her seraph-lover-
        O! where (and ye may seek the wide skies over)
        Was Love, the blind, near sober Duty known?
        Unguided Love hath fallen- 'mid "tears of perfect moan."
        He was a goodly spirit- he who fell:
        A wanderer by moss-y-mantled well-
        A gazer on the lights that shine above-
        A dreamer in the moonbeam by his love:
        What wonder? for each star is eye-like there,
        And looks so sweetly down on Beauty's hair-
        And they, and ev'ry mossy spring were holy
        To his love-haunted heart and melancholy.
        The night had found (to him a night of woe)
        Upon a mountain crag, young Angelo-
        Beetling it bends athwart the solemn sky,
        And scowls on starry worlds that down beneath it lie.
        Here sat he with his love- his dark eye bent
        With eagle gaze along the firmament:
        Now turn'd it upon her- but ever then
        It trembled to the orb of EARTH again.

        "Ianthe, dearest, see- how dim that ray!
        How lovely 'tis to look so far away!
        She seem'd not thus upon that autumn eve
        I left her gorgeous halls- nor mourn'd to leave.
        That eve- that eve- I should remember well-
        The sun-ray dropp'd in Lemnos, with a spell
        On th' arabesque carving of a gilded hall
        Wherein I sate, and on the draperied wall-
        And on my eyelids- O the heavy light!
        How drowsily it weigh'd them into night!
        On flowers, before, and mist, and love they ran
        With Persian Saadi in his Gulistan:
        But O that light!- I slumber'd- Death, the while,
        Stole o'er my senses in that lovely isle
        So softly that no single silken hair
        Awoke that slept- or knew that he was there.

        "The last spot of Earth's orb I trod upon
        Was a proud temple call'd the Parthenon;
        More beauty clung around her column'd wall
        Than ev'n thy glowing bosom beats withal,
        And when old Time my wing did disenthral
        Thence sprang I- as the eagle from his tower,
        And years I left behind me in an hour.
        What time upon her airy bounds I hung,
        One half the garden of her globe was flung
        Unrolling as a chart unto my view-
        Tenantless cities of the desert too!
        Ianthe, beauty crowded on me then,
        And half I wish'd to be again of men."

        "My Angelo! and why of them to be?
        A brighter dwelling-place is here for thee-
        And greener fields than in yon world above,
        And woman's loveliness- and passionate love."

        "But, list, Ianthe! when the air so soft
        Fail'd, as my pennon'd spirit leapt aloft,
        Perhaps my brain grew dizzy- but the world
        I left so late was into chaos hurl'd-
        Sprang from her station, on the winds apart.
        And roll'd, a flame, the fiery Heaven athwart.
        Methought, my sweet one, then I ceased to soar
        And fell- not swiftly as I rose before,
        But with a downward, tremulous motion thro'
        Light, brazen rays, this golden star unto!
        Nor long the measure of my falling hours,
        For nearest of all stars was thine to ours-
        Dread star! that came, amid a night of mirth,
        A red Daedalion on the timid Earth."

        "We came- and to thy Earth- but not to us
        Be given our lady's bidding to discuss:
        We came, my love; around, above, below,
        Gay fire-fly of the night we come and go,
        Nor ask a reason save the angel-nod
        She grants to us, as granted by her God-
        But, Angelo, than thine grey Time unfurl'd
        Never his fairy wing O'er fairier world!
        Dim was its little disk, and angel eyes
        Alone could see the phantom in the skies,
        When first Al Aaraaf knew her course to be
        Headlong thitherward o'er the starry sea-
        But when its glory swell'd upon the sky,
        As glowing Beauty's bust beneath man's eye,
        We paused before the heritage of men,
        And thy star trembled- as doth Beauty then!"

        Thus, in discourse, the lovers whiled away
        The night that waned and waned and brought no day.
        They fell: for Heaven to them no hope imparts
        Who hear not for the beating of their hearts.

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      Alone

        From childhood's hour I have not been
        As others were; I have not seen
        As others saw; I could not bring
        My passions from a common spring.
        From the same source I have not taken
        My sorrow; I could not awaken
        My heart to joy at the same tone;
        And all I loved, I loved alone.
        Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
        Of a most stormy life- was drawn
        From every depth of good and ill
        The mystery which binds me still:
        From the torrent, or the fountain,
        From the red cliff of the mountain,
        From the sun that round me rolled
        In its autumn tint of gold,
        From the lightning in the sky
        As it passed me flying by,
        From the thunder and the storm,
        And the cloud that took the form
        (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
        Of a demon in my view.

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      An Enigma

        "Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce,
        "Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
        Through all the flimsy things we see at once
        As easily as through a Naples bonnet-
        Trash of all trash!- how can a lady don it?
        Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff-
        Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff
        Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it."
        And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
        The general tuckermanities are arrant
        Bubbles- ephemeral and so transparent-
        But this is, now- you may depend upon it-
        Stable, opaque, immortal- all by dint
        Of the dear names that he concealed within 't.

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      Annabel Lee

        It was many and many a year ago
        In a kingdom by the sea
        That a maiden there lived whom you may know
        By the name of Annabel Lee;
        And this maiden she lived with no other thought
        Than to love and be loved by me.

        I was a child and she was a child
        In this kingdom by the sea;
        But we loved with a love that was more than love
        I and my Annabel Lee;
        With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
        Coveted her and me.

        And this was the reason that long ago
        In this kingdom by the sea
        A wind blew out of a cloud chilling
        My beautiful Annabel Lee;
        So that her highborn kinsman came
        And bore her away from me
        To shut her up in a sepulchre
        In this kingdom by the sea.

        The angels not half so happy in heaven
        Went envying her and me,
        Yes! That was the reason (as all men know
        In this kingdom by the sea)
        That the wind came out of the cloud by night
        Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

        But our love it was stronger by far than the love
        Of those who were older than we
        Of many far wiser than we
        And neither the angels in heaven above
        Nor the demons down under the sea
        Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

        For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
        And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
        And so all the nighttide I lie down by the side
        Of my darling my darling my life and my bride
        In the sepulchre there by the sea
        In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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      Bridal Ballad

        The ring is on my hand,
        And the wreath is on my brow;
        Satin and jewels grand
        Are all at my command,
        And I am happy now.
        And my lord he loves me well;
        But, when first he breathed his vow,
        I felt my bosom swell-
        For the words rang as a knell,
        And the voice seemed his who fell
        In the battle down the dell,
        And who is happy now.

        But he spoke to re-assure me,
        And he kissed my pallid brow,
        While a reverie came o'er me,
        And to the church-yard bore me,
        And I sighed to him before me,
        Thinking him dead D'Elormie,
        "Oh, I am happy now!"

        And thus the words were spoken,
        And this the plighted vow,
        And, though my faith be broken,
        And, though my heart be broken,
        Here is a ring, as token
        That I am happy now!

        Would God I could awaken!
        For I dream I know not how!
        And my soul is sorely shaken
        Lest an evil step be taken,-
        Lest the dead who is forsaken
        May not be happy now.

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      Dreamland

        By a route obscure and lonely,
        Haunted by ill angels only,
        Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
        On a black throne reigns upright,
        I have reached these lands but newly
        From an ultimate dim Thule-
        From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

        Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
        And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
        With forms that no man can discover
        For the tears that drip all over;
        Mountains toppling evermore
        Into seas without a shore;
        Seas that restlessly aspire,
        Surging, unto skies of fire;
        Lakes that endlessly outspread
        Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
        Their still waters- still and chilly
        With the snows of the lolling lily.

        By the lakes that thus outspread
        Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
        Their sad waters, sad and chilly
        With the snows of the lolling lily,-
        By the mountains- near the river
        Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
        By the grey woods,- by the swamp
        Where the toad and the newt encamp-
        By the dismal tarns and pools
        Where dwell the Ghouls,-
        By each spot the most unholy-
        In each nook most melancholy-
        There the traveller meets aghast
        Sheeted Memories of the Past-
        Shrouded forms that start and sigh
        As they pass the wanderer by-
        White-robed forms of friends long given,
        In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

        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 fringed lid;
        And thus the sad Soul that here passes
        Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

        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.

      Up

      Dreams

        Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
        My spirit not awakening, till the beam
        Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
        Yes! tho' 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 revell'd, when the sun was bright
        I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light
        And loveliness,- have left my very heart
        In climes of my 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 power
        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 as that night-wind- let it pass.

        I have been happy, tho' 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!
        Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

      Up

      El Dorado

        Gaily bedight,
        A gallant knight,
        In sunshine and in shadow,
        Had journeyed long,
        Singing a song,
        In search of Eldorado.

        But he grew old--
        This knight so bold--
        And o'er his heart a shadow
        Fell as he found
        No spot of ground
        That looked like Eldorado.

        And, as his strength
        Failed him at length,
        He met a pilgrim shadow-
        "Shadow," said he,
        "Where can it be--
        This land of Eldorado?"

        "Over the Mountains
        Of the Moon,
        Down the Valley of the Shadow,
        Ride, boldly ride,"
        The shade replied--
        "If you seek for Eldorado!"

      Up

      Elizabeth

        Elizabeth, it surely is most fit
        [Logic and common usage so commanding]
        In thy own book that first thy name be writ,
        Zeno and other sages notwithstanding;
        And I have other reasons for so doing
        Besides my innate love of contradiction;
        Each poet - if a poet - in pursuing
        The muses thro' their bowers of Truth or Fiction,
        Has studied very little of his part,
        Read nothing, written less - in short's a fool
        Endued with neither soul, nor sense, nor art,
        Being ignorant of one important rule,
        Employed in even the theses of the school-
        Called - I forget the heathenish Greek name
        [Called anything, its meaning is the same]
        "Always write first things uppermost in the heart."

      Up

      Eulalie

        I dwelt alone
        In a world of moan,
        And my soul was a stagnant tide,
        Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride-
        Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.

        Ah, less- less bright
        The stars of the night
        Than the eyes of the radiant girl!
        That the vapor can make
        With the moon-tints of purple and pearl,
        Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl-
        Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie's most humble and careless
        curl.

        Now Doubt- now Pain
        Come never again,
        For her soul gives me sigh for sigh,
        And all day long
        Shines, bright and strong,
        Astarte within the sky,
        While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-
        While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.

      Up

      Evening Star

        'Twas noontide of summer,
        And mid-time of night;
        And stars, in their orbits,
        Shone pale, thro' the light
        Of the brighter, cold moon,
        'Mid planets her slaves,
        Herself in the Heavens,
        Her beam on the waves.
        I gazed awhile
        On her cold smile;
        Too cold- too cold for me-
        There pass'd, as a shroud,
        A fleecy cloud,
        And I turned away to thee,
        Proud Evening Star,
        In thy glory afar,
        And dearer thy beam shall be;
        For joy to my heart
        Is the proud part
        Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
        And more I admire
        Thy distant fire,
        Than that colder, lowly light.

      Up

      Fairy-Land

        Dim vales- and shadowy floods-
        And cloudy-looking woods,
        Whose forms we can't discover
        For the tears that drip all over!
        Huge moons there wax and wane-
        Again- again- again-
        Every moment of the night-
        Forever changing places-
        And they put out the star-light
        With the breath from their pale faces.
        About twelve by the moon-dial,
        One more filmy than the rest
        (A kind which, upon trial,
        They have found to be the best)
        Comes down- still down- and down,
        With its centre on the crown
        Of a mountain's eminence,
        While its wide circumference
        In easy drapery falls
        Over hamlets, over halls,
        Wherever they may be-
        O'er the strange woods- o'er the sea-
        Over spirits on the wing-
        Over every drowsy thing-
        And buries them up quite
        In a labyrinth of light-
        And then, how deep!- O, deep!
        Is the passion of their sleep.
        In the morning they arise,
        And their moony covering
        Is soaring in the skies,
        With the tempests as they toss,
        Like- almost anything-
        Or a yellow Albatross.
        They use that moon no more
        For the same end as before-
        Videlicet, a tent-
        Which I think extravagant:
        Its atomies, however,
        Into a shower dissever,
        Of which those butterflies
        Of Earth, who seek the skies,
        And so come down again,
        (Never-contented things!)
        Have brought a specimen
        Upon their quivering wings.

      Up

      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 naphthaline river
        Of Passion accurst:-
        I have drunk of a water
        That quenches all thirst:-

        Of a water that flows,
        With a lullaby sound,
        From a spring but a very few
        Feet under ground-
        From a cavern not very far
        Down under 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,
        She 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.

      Up

      Hymn

        At morn- at noon- at twilight dim-
        Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
        In joy and woe- in good and ill-
        Mother of God, be with me still!
        When the hours flew brightly by,
        And not a cloud obscured the sky,
        My soul, lest it should truant be,
        Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
        Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
        Darkly my Present and my Past,
        Let my Future radiant shine
        With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

      Up

      Hymn To Aristogeiton And Harmodius

        Wreathed in myrtle, my sword I'll conceal
        Like those champions devoted and brave,
        When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,
        And to Athens deliverance gave.

        Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam
        In the joy breathing isles of the blest;
        Where the mighty of old have their home -
        Where Achilles and Diomed rest.

        In fresh myrtle my blade I'll entwine,
        Like Harmodious, the gallant and good,
        When he made at the tutelar shrine
        A libation of Tyranny's blood.

        Ye deliverers of Athens from shame!
        Ye avengers of Liberty's wrongs!
        Endless ages shall cherish your fame
        Embalmed in their echoing songs!

      Up

      Imitation

        A dark unfathomed tide
        Of interminable pride -
        A mystery, and a dream,
        Should my early life seem;
        I say that dream was fraught
        With a wild and waking thought
        Of beings that have been,
        Which my spirit hath not seen,
        Had I let them pass me by,
        With a dreaming eye!
        Let none of earth inherit
        That vision of my spirit;
        Those thoughts I would control,
        As a spell upon his soul:
        For that bright hope at last
        And that light time have past,
        And my worldly rest hath gone
        With a sigh as it passed on:
        I care not though it perish
        With a thought I then did cherish

      Up

      In Youth I have Known One

        How often we forget all time, when lone
        Admiring Nature's universal throne;
        Her woods - her winds - her mountains - the intense
        Reply of Hers to Our intelligence!

        I.

        In youth I have known one with whom the Earth
        In secret communing held - as he with it,
        In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth:
        Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit
        From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
        A passionate light - such for his spirit was fit -
        And yet that spirit knew - not in the hour
        Of its own fervour - what had o'er it power.

        II.

        Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought
        To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er,
        But I will half believe that wild light fraught
        With more of sovereignty than ancient lore
        Hath ever told - or is it of a thought
        The unembodied essence, and no more
        That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass
        As dew of the night time, o'er the summer grass?

        III.

        Doth o'er us pass, when as th' expanding eye
        To the loved object - so the tear to the lid
        Will start, which lately slept in apathy?
        And yet it need not be - (that object) hid
        From us in life - but common - which doth lie
        Each hour before us - but then only bid
        With a strange sound, as of a harpstring broken
        T' awake us - 'Tis a symbol and a token -

        IV.

        Of what in other worlds shall be - and given
        In beauty by our God, to those alone
        Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven
        Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,
        That high tone of the spirit which hath striven
        Though not with Faith - with godliness - whose throne
        With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;
        Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.

      Up

      Israfel

        In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
        "Whose heart-strings are a lute";
        None sing so wildly well
        As the angel Israfel,
        And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
        Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
        Of his voice, all mute.

        Tottering above
        In her highest noon,
        The enamored moon
        Blushes with love,
        While, to listen, the red levin
        (With the rapid Pleiads, even,
        Which were seven,)
        Pauses in Heaven.

        And they say (the starry choir
        And the other listening things)
        That Israfeli's fire
        Is owing to that lyre
        By which he sits and sings-
        The trembling living wire
        Of those unusual strings.

        But the skies that angel trod,
        Where deep thoughts are a duty-
        Where Love's a grown-up God-
        Where the Houri glances are
        Imbued with all the beauty
        Which we worship in a star.

        Therefore thou art not wrong,
        Israfeli, who despisest
        An unimpassioned song;
        To thee the laurels belong,
        Best bard, because the wisest!
        Merrily live, and long!

        The ecstasies above
        With thy burning measures suit-
        Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
        With the fervor of thy lute-
        Well may the stars be mute!

        Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
        Is a world of sweets and sours;
        Our flowers are merely- flowers,
        And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
        Is the sunshine of ours.

        If I could dwell
        Where Israfel
        Hath dwelt, and he where I,
        He might not sing so wildly well
        A mortal melody,
        While a bolder note than this might swell
        From my lyre within the sky.

      Up

      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.

        "Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
        And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
        How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
        By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
        That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"

        Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
        Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
        The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside,
        Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy
        bride.
        For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
        The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
        The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

        "Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
        From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
        From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of
        Heaven!
        Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
        Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
        And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
        But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"

      Up

      Romance

        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—most familiar bird—
        Taught me my alphabet to say,
        To lisp my very 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
        Through 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 a crime
        Unless it trembled with the strings.

      Up

      Sancta Maria

        Sancta Maria! turn thine eyes -
        Upon the sinner's sacrifice,
        Of fervent prayer and humble love,
        From thy holy throne above.
        At morn - at noon - at twilight dim -
        Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
        In joy and wo - in good and ill -
        Mother of God, be with me still!

        When the Hours flew brightly by,
        And not a cloud obscured the sky,
        My soul, lest it should truant be,
        Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;

        Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
        Darkly my Present and my Past,
        Let my Future radiant shine
        With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

      Up

      Serenade

        So sweet the hour, so calm the time,
        I feel it more than half a crime,
        When Nature sleeps and stars are mute,
        To mar the silence ev'n with lute.
        At rest on ocean's brilliant dyes
        An image of Elysium lies:
        Seven Pleiades entranced in Heaven,
        Form in the deep another seven:
        Endymion nodding from above
        Sees in the sea a second love.
        Within the valleys dim and brown,
        And on the spectral mountain's crown,
        The wearied light is dying down,
        And earth, and stars, and sea, and sky
        Are redolent of sleep, as I
        Am redolent of thee and thine
        Enthralling love, my Adeline.
        But list, O list,- so soft and low
        Thy lover's voice tonight shall flow,
        That, scarce awake, thy soul shall deem
        My words the music of a dream.
        Thus, while no single sound too rude
        Upon thy slumber shall intrude,
        Our thoughts, our souls- O God above!
        In every deed shall mingle, love.

      Up

      Song

        I SAW thee on thy bridal day -
        When a burning blush came o'er thee,
        Though happiness around thee lay,
        The world all love before thee:

        And in thine eye a kindling light
        (Whatever it might be)
        Was all on Earth my aching sight
        Of Loveliness could see.

        That blush, perhaps, was maiden shame -
        As such it well may pass -
        Though its glow hath raised a fiercer flame
        In the breast of him, alas!

        Who saw thee on that bridal day,
        When that deep blush would come o'er thee,
        Though happiness around thee lay,
        The world all love before thee.

      Up

      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!

      Up

      Sonnet To Science

        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?

      Up

      Sonnet. To Zante

        Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,
        Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take!
        How many memories of what radiant hours
        At sight of thee and thine at once awake!
        How many scenes of what departed bliss!
        How many thoughts of what entombed hopes!
        How many visions of a maiden that is
        No more- no more upon thy verdant slopes!
        No more! alas, that magical sad sound
        Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no more-
        Thy memory no more! Accursed ground
        Henceforth I hold thy flower-enameled shore,
        O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante!
        "Isola d'oro! Fior di Levante!"

      Up

      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.

        Be silent in that solitude,
        Which is not loneliness- for then
        The spirits of the dead, who stood
        In life before thee, are again
        In death around thee, and their will
        Shall overshadow thee; be still.

        The night, though clear, shall frown,
        And the stars shall not look down
        From their high thrones in the Heaven
        With light like hope to mortals given,
        But their red orbs, without beam,
        To thy weariness shall seem
        As a burning and a fever
        Which would cling to thee for ever.

        Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
        Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
        From thy spirit shall they pass
        No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

        The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
        And the mist upon the hill
        Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
        Is a symbol and a token.
        How it hangs upon the trees,
        A mystery of mysteries!

      Up

      Stanzas

        How often we forget all time, when lone
        Admiring Nature's universal throne;
        Her woods- her wilds- her mountains- the intense
        Reply of HERS to OUR intelligence! [BYRON, The Island.]

        I

        In youth have I known one with whom the Earth
        In secret communing held- as he with it,
        In daylight, and in beauty from his birth:
        Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit
        From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
        A passionate light- such for his spirit was fit-
        And yet that spirit knew not, in the hour
        Of its own fervor what had o'er it power.


        II

        Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought
        To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er,
        But I will half believe that wild light fraught
        With more of sovereignty than ancient lore
        Hath ever told- or is it of a thought
        The unembodied essence, and no more,
        That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass
        As dew of the night-time o'er the summer grass?

        III

        Doth o'er us pass, when, as th' expanding eye
        To the loved object- so the tear to the lid
        Will start, which lately slept in apathy?
        And yet it need not be- (that object) hid
        From us in life- but common- which doth lie
        Each hour before us- but then only, bid
        With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken,
        To awake us- 'Tis a symbol and a token

        IV

        Of what in other worlds shall be- and given
        In beauty by our God, to those alone
        Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven
        Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,
        That high tone of the spirit which hath striven,
        Tho' not with Faith- with godliness- whose throne
        With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;
        Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.

      Up

      Tamerlane

        Kind solace in a dying hour!
        Such, father, is not (now) my theme-
        I will not madly deem that power
        Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
        Unearthly pride hath revell'd in-
        I have no time to dote or dream:
        You call it hope- that fire of fire!
        It is but agony of desire:
        If I can hope- Oh God! I can-
        Its fount is holier- more divine-
        I would not call thee fool, old man,
        But such is not a gift of thine.

        Know thou the secret of a spirit
        Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
        O yearning heart! I did inherit
        Thy withering portion with the fame,
        The searing glory which hath shone
        Amid the jewels of my throne,
        Halo of Hell! and with a pain
        Not Hell shall make me fear again-
        O craving heart, for the lost flowers
        And sunshine of my summer hours!
        The undying voice of that dead time,
        With its interminable chime,
        Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
        Upon thy emptiness- a knell.

        I have not always been as now:
        The fever'd diadem on my brow
        I claim'd and won usurpingly-
        Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
        Rome to the Caesar- this to me?
        The heritage of a kingly mind,
        And a proud spirit which hath striven
        Triumphantly with human kind.

        On mountain soil I first drew life:
        The mists of the Taglay have shed
        Nightly their dews upon my head,
        And, I believe, the winged strife
        And tumult of the headlong air
        Have nestled in my very hair.

        So late from Heaven- that dew- it fell
        (Mid dreams of an unholy night)
        Upon me with the touch of Hell,
        While the red flashing of the light
        From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,
        Appeared to my half-closing eye
        The pageantry of monarchy,
        And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar
        Came hurriedly upon me, telling
        Of human battle, where my voice,
        My own voice, silly child!- was swelling
        (O! how my spirit would rejoice,
        And leap within me at the cry)
        The battle-cry of Victory!

        The rain came down upon my head
        Unshelter'd- and the heavy wind
        Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
        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.

        My passions, from that hapless hour,
        Usurp'd a tyranny which men
        Have deem'd, since I have reach'd to power,
        My innate nature- be it 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.

        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.

        O, she was worthy of all love!
        Love- as in infancy was mine-
        'Twas such as angel minds above
        Might envy; her young heart the shrine
        On which my every hope and thought
        Were incense- then a goodly gift,
        For they were childish and upright-
        Pure- as her young example taught:
        Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
        Trust to the fire within, for light?

        We grew in age- and love- together,
        Roaming the forest, and the wild;
        My breast her shield in wintry weather-
        And when the friendly sunshine smil'd,
        And she would mark the opening skies,
        I saw no Heaven- but in her eyes.

        Young Love's first lesson is- the heart:
        For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles,
        When, from our little cares apart,
        And laughing at her girlish wiles,
        I'd throw me on her throbbing breast,
        And pour my spirit out in tears-
        There was no need to speak the rest-
        No need to quiet any fears
        Of her- who ask'd no reason why,
        But turn'd on me her quiet eye!

        Yet more than worthy of the love
        My spirit struggled with, and strove,
        When, on the mountain peak, alone,
        Ambition lent it a new tone-
        I had no being- but in thee:
        The world, and all it did contain
        In the earth- the air- the sea-
        Its joy- its little lot of pain
        That was new pleasure- the ideal,
        Dim vanities of dreams by night-

        And dimmer nothings which were real-
        (Shadows- and a more shadowy light!)
        Parted upon their misty wings,
        And, so, confusedly, became
        Thine image, and- a name- a name!
        Two separate- yet most intimate things.

        I was ambitious- have you known
        The passion, father? You have not:
        A cottager, I mark'd a throne
        Of half the world as all my own,
        And murmur'd at such lowly lot-
        But, just like any other dream,
        Upon the vapour of the dew
        My own had past, did not the beam
        Of beauty which did while it thro'
        The minute- the hour- the day- oppress
        My mind with double loveliness.

        We walk'd together on the crown
        Of a high mountain which look'd down
        Afar from its proud natural towers
        Of rock and forest, on the hills-
        The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers,
        And shouting with a thousand rills.

        I spoke to her of power and pride,
        But mystically- in such guise
        That she might deem it nought beside
        The moment's converse; in her eyes
        I read, perhaps too carelessly-
        A mingled feeling with my own-
        The flush on her bright cheek, to me
        Seem'd to become a queenly throne
        Too well that I should let it be
        Light in the wilderness alone.

        I wrapp'd myself in grandeur then,
        And donn'd a visionary crown-
        Yet it was not that Fantasy
        Had thrown her mantle over me-
        But that, among the rabble- men,
        Lion ambition is chained down-
        And crouches to a keeper's hand-
        Not so in deserts where the grand-
        The wild- the terrible conspire
        With their own breath to fan his fire.

        Look 'round thee now on Samarcand!
        Is not she queen of Earth? her pride
        Above all cities? in her hand
        Their destinies? in all beside
        Of glory which the world hath known
        Stands she not nobly and alone?
        Falling- her veriest stepping-stone
        Shall form the pedestal of a throne-
        And who her sovereign? Timour- he
        Whom the astonished people saw
        Striding o'er empires haughtily
        A diadem'd outlaw!

        O, human love! thou spirit given
        On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!
        Which fall'st into the soul like rain
        Upon the Siroc-wither'd plain,
        And, failing in thy power to bless,
        But leav'st the heart a wilderness!
        Idea! which bindest life around
        With music of so strange a sound,
        And beauty of so wild a birth-
        Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

        When Hope, the eagle that tower'd, could see
        No cliff beyond him in the sky,
        His pinions were bent droopingly-
        And homeward turn'd his soften'd eye.
        'Twas sunset: when the sun will part
        There comes a sullenness of heart
        To him who still would look upon
        The glory of the summer sun.
        That soul will hate the ev'ning mist,
        So often lovely, and will list
        To the sound of the coming darkness (known
        To those whose spirits hearken) as one
        Who, in a dream of night, would fly
        But cannot from a danger nigh.

        What tho' the moon- the white moon
        Shed all the splendour of her noon,
        Her smile is chilly, and her beam,
        In that time of dreariness, will seem
        (So like you gather in your breath)
        A portrait taken after death.
        And boyhood is a summer sun
        Whose waning is the dreariest one-
        For all we live to know is known,
        And all we seek to keep hath flown-
        Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall
        With the noon-day beauty- which is all.

        I reach'd my home- my home no more
        For all had flown who made it so.
        I pass'd from out its mossy door,
        And, tho' my tread was soft and low,
        A voice came from the threshold stone
        Of one whom I had earlier known-
        O, I defy thee, Hell, to show
        On beds of fire that burn below,
        A humbler heart- a deeper woe.

        Father, I firmly do believe-
        I know- for Death, who comes for me
        From regions of the blest afar,
        Where there is nothing to deceive,
        Hath left his iron gate ajar,
        And rays of truth you cannot see
        Are flashing thro' Eternity-
        I do believe that Eblis hath
        A snare in every human path-
        Else how, when in the holy grove
        I wandered of the idol, Love,
        Who daily scents his snowy wings
        With incense of burnt offerings
        From the most unpolluted things,
        Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven
        Above with trellis'd rays from Heaven,
        No mote may shun- no tiniest fly-
        The lightning of his eagle eye-
        How was it that Ambition crept,
        Unseen, amid the revels there,
        Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt
        In the tangles of Love's very hair?

      Up

      The Bells

        I

        Hear the sledges with the bells-
        Silver bells!
        What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
        How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
        In the icy air of night!
        While the stars that oversprinkle
        All the heavens, seem to twinkle
        With a crystalline delight;
        Keeping time, time, time,
        In a sort of Runic rhyme,
        To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
        From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
        Bells, bells, bells-
        From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

        II

        Hear the mellow wedding bells,
        Golden bells!
        What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
        Through the balmy air of night
        How they ring out their delight!
        From the molten-golden notes,
        And an in tune,
        What a liquid ditty floats
        To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
        On the moon!
        Oh, from out the sounding cells,
        What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
        How it swells!
        How it dwells
        On the Future! how it tells
        Of the rapture that impels
        To the swinging and the ringing
        Of the bells, bells, bells,
        Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
        Bells, bells, bells-
        To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

        III

        Hear the loud alarum bells-
        Brazen bells!
        What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
        In the startled ear of night
        How they scream out their affright!
        Too much horrified to speak,
        They can only shriek, shriek,
        Out of tune,
        In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
        In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
        Leaping higher, higher, higher,
        With a desperate desire,
        And a resolute endeavor,
        Now- now to sit or never,
        By the side of the pale-faced moon.
        Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
        What a tale their terror tells
        Of Despair!
        How they clang, and clash, and roar!
        What a horror they outpour
        On the bosom of the palpitating air!
        Yet the ear it fully knows,
        By the twanging,
        And the clanging,
        How the danger ebbs and flows:
        Yet the ear distinctly tells,
        In the jangling,
        And the wrangling,
        How the danger sinks and swells,
        By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells-
        Of the bells-
        Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
        Bells, bells, bells-
        In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

        IV

        Hear the tolling of the bells-
        Iron Bells!
        What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
        In the silence of the night,
        How we shiver with affright
        At the melancholy menace of their tone!
        For every sound that floats
        From the rust within their throats
        Is a groan.
        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 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.

      Up

      The City In The Sea

        Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
        In a strange city lying alone
        Far down within the dim West,
        Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
        Have gone to their eternal rest.
        There shrines and palaces and towers
        (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
        Resemble nothing that is ours.
        Around, by lifting winds forgot,
        Resignedly beneath the sky
        The melancholy waters lie.

        No rays from the holy heaven come down
        On the long night-time of that town;
        But light from out the lurid sea
        Streams up the turrets silently—
        Gleams up the pinnacles far and free—
        Up domes—up spires—up kingly halls—
        Up fanes—up Babylon-like walls—
        Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
        Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers—
        Up many and many a marvellous shrine
        Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
        The viol, the violet, and the vine.

        Resignedly beneath the sky
        The melancholy waters lie.
        So blend the turrets and shadows there
        That all seem pendulous in air,
        While from a proud tower in the town
        Death looks gigantically down.

        There open fanes and gaping graves
        Yawn level with the luminous waves;
        But not the riches there that lie
        In each idol's diamond eye—
        Not the gaily-jewelled dead
        Tempt the waters from their bed;
        For no ripples curl, alas!
        Along that wilderness of glass—
        No swellings tell that winds may be
        Upon some far-off happier sea—
        No heavings hint that winds have been
        On seas less hideously serene.

        But lo, a stir is in the air!
        The wave—there is a movement there!
        As if the towers had thrust aside,
        In slightly sinking, the dull tide—
        As if their tops had feebly given
        A void within the filmy Heaven.
        The waves have now a redder glow—
        The hours are breathing faint and low—
        And when, amid no earthly moans,
        Down, down that town shall settle hence,
        Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
        Shall do it reverence.

      Up

      The Coliseum

        Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
        Of lofty contemplation left to Time
        By buried centuries of pomp and power!
        At length- at length- after so many days
        Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,
        (Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)
        I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
        Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
        My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!
        Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
        Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
        I feel ye now- I feel ye in your strength-
        O spells more sure than e'er Judaean king
        Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
        O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
        Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

        Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
        Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
        A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
        Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
        Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
        Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
        Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,
        Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
        The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

        But stay! these walls- these ivy-clad arcades-
        These moldering plinths- these sad and blackened shafts-
        These vague entablatures- this crumbling frieze-
        These shattered cornices- this wreck- this ruin-
        These stones- alas! these grey stones- are they all-
        All of the famed, and the colossal left
        By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

        "Not all"- the Echoes answer me- "not all!
        Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
        From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
        As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
        We rule the hearts of mightiest men- we rule
        With a despotic sway all giant minds.
        We are not impotent- we pallid stones.
        Not all our 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."

      Up

      The Conqueror Worm

        Lo! 'tis a gala night
        Within the lonesome latter years.
        An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
        In veils, and drowned in tears,
        Sit in a theatre to see
        A play of hopes and fears
        While the orchestra breathes fitfully
        The music of the spheres.

        Mimes, in the form of God on high,
        Mutter and mumble low,
        And hither and thither fly;
        Mere puppets they, who come and go
        At bidding of vast formless things
        That shift the scenery to and fro,
        Flapping from out their condor wings
        Invisible Woe.

        That motley drama--oh, be sure
        It shall not be forgot!
        With its Phantom chased for evermore
        By a crowd that seize it not,
        Through a circle that ever returneth in
        To the self-same spot;
        And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
        And Horror the soul of the plot.

        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.

        Out--out are the lights--out all!
        And over each quivering form
        The curtain, a funeral pall,
        Comes down with the rush of a storm,
        While the angels, all pallid and wan,
        Uprising, unveiling, affirm
        That the play is the tragedy, ``Man,''
        And the hero, the Conqueror Worm.

      Up

      The Forest Reverie

        'Tis said that when
        The hands of men
        Tamed this primeval wood,
        And hoary trees with groans of woe,
        Like warriors by an unknown foe,
        Were in their strength subdued,
        The virgin Earth Gave instant birth
        To springs that ne'er did flow
        That in the sun Did rivulets run,
        And all around rare flowers did blow
        The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale
        And the queenly lily adown the dale
        (Whom the sun and the dew
        And the winds did woo),
        With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.

        So when in tears
        The love of years
        Is wasted like the snow,
        And the fine fibrils of its life
        By the rude wrong of instant strife
        Are broken at a blow
        Within the heart
        Do springs upstart
        Of which it doth now know,
        And strange, sweet dreams,
        Like silent streams
        That from new fountains overflow,
        With the earlier tide
        Of rivers glide
        Deep in the heart whose hope has died--
        Quenching the fires its ashes hide,--
        Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
        Sweet flowers, ere long,
        The rare and radiant flowers of song!

      Up

      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.

        Of power! said I? yes! such I ween;
        But they have vanish'd long, alas!
        The visions of my youth have been-
        But let them pass.

        And, pride, what have I now with thee?
        Another brow may even inherit
        The venom thou hast pour'd on me
        Be still, my spirit!

        The happiest day- the happiest hour
        Mine eyes shall see- have ever seen,
        The brightest glance of pride and power,
        I feel- have been:

        But were that hope of pride and power
        Now offer'd with the pain
        Even then I felt- that brightest hour
        I would not live again:

        For on its wing was dark alloy,
        And, as it flutter'd- fell
        An essence- powerful to destroy
        A soul that knew it well.

      Up

      The Haunted Palace

        I.
        In the greenest of our valleys,
        By good angels tenanted,
        Once fair and stately palace --
        Radiant palace --reared its head.
        In the monarch Thought's dominion --
        It stood there!
        Never seraph spread a pinion
        Over fabric half so fair.

        II.
        Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
        On its roof did float and flow;
        (This --all this --was in the olden
        Time long ago)
        And every gentle air that dallied,
        In that sweet day,
        Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
        A winged odour went away.

        III.
        Wanderers in that happy valley
        Through two luminous windows saw
        Spirits moving musically
        To a 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.

        IV.
        And all with pearl and ruby glowing
        Was the fair palace door,
        Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
        And sparkling evermore,
        A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty
        Was but to sing,
        In voices of surpassing beauty,
        The wit and wisdom of their king.

        V.
        But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
        Assailed the monarch's high estate;
        (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow
        Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
        And, round about his home, the glory
        That blushed and bloomed
        Is but a dim-remembered story
        Of the old time entombed.

        VI.
        And travellers now within that valley,
        Through the red-litten windows, see
        Vast forms that move fantastically
        To a discordant melody;
        While, like a rapid ghastly river,
        Through the pale door,
        A hideous throng rush out forever,
        And laugh --but smile no more.

      Up

      The Lake

        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 jewelled 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 could solace bring
        To his lone imagining-
        Whose solitary soul could make
        An Eden of that dim lake.

      Up

      The Raven

        Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary
        Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
        While I nodded nearly napping suddenly there came a tapping
        As of some one gently rapping rapping at my chamber door.
        'Tis some visitor' I muttered 'tapping at my chamber door
        Only this and nothing more'.

        Ah distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December
        And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
        Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
        From my books surcease of sorrow sorrow for the lost Lenore
        For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore
        Nameless here for evermore.

        And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
        Thrilled me filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
        So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating
        'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door
        Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;
        This it is and nothing more'.

        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;
        Darkness there and nothing more.

        Deep into that darkness peering long I stood there wondering fearing
        Doubting dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
        But the silence was unbroken and the stillness gave no token
        And the only word there spoken was the whispered word 'Lenore!'
        This I whispered and an echo murmured back the word 'Lenore!'
        Merely this and nothing more.

        Back into the chamber turning all my soul within me burning
        Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
        'Surely' said I 'surely that is something at my window lattice:
        Let me see then what thereat is and this mystery explore
        Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;
        'Tis the wind and nothing more'.

        Open here I flung the shutter when with many a flirt 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.

        Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling
        By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
        'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou' I said 'art sure no craven
        Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore
        Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night's Plutonian shore!'
        Quoth the raven 'Nevermore'.

        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 blest with seeing bird above his chamber door
        Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door
        With such name as 'Nevermore'.

        But the raven sitting lonely on the placid bust spoke only
        That one word as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
        Nothing further then he uttered not a feather then he fluttered
        Till I scarcely more than muttered 'Other friends have flown before
        On the morrow he will leave me as my hopes have flown before.
        Then the bird said 'Nevermore'.

        Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken
        'Doubtless' said I 'what it utters is its only stock and store
        Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
        Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore
        Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
        Of 'Never nevermore'.

        But the raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling
        Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
        Then upon the velvet sinking I betook myself to linking
        Fancy unto fancy thinking what this ominous bird of yore
        What this grim ungainly ghastly gaunt and ominous bird of yore
        Meant in croaking 'Nevermore'.

        This I sat engaged in guessing but no syllable expressing
        To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
        This and more I sat divining with my head at ease reclining
        On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er
        But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
        She shall press ah nevermore!

        Then methought the air grew denser perfumed from an unseen censer
        Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
        'Wretch' I cried 'thy God hath lent thee by these angels he hath sent thee
        Respite respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
        Quaff oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!'
        Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore'.

        'Prophet!' said I 'thing of evil! Prophet still if bird or devil!
        Whether Tempter sent or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore
        Desolate yet all undaunted on this desert land enchanted
        On this home by horror haunted tell me truly I implore
        Is there is there balm in Gilead? Tell me tell me I implore!'
        Quoth the raven 'Nevermore'.

        'Prophet!' said I 'thing of evil prophet still if bird or devil!
        By that Heaven that bends above us by that God we both adore
        Tell this soul with sorrow laden if within the distant Aidenn
        It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore
        Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore'.
        Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore'.

        'Be that word our sign in parting bird or fiend' I shrieked upstarting
        'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
        Leave no plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
        Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit the bust above my door!
        Take thy beak from out my heart and take thy form from off my door!'
        Quoth the raven 'Nevermore'.

        And the raven never flitting still is sitting still is sitting
        On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
        And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
        And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
        And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
        Shall be lifted nevermore!

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      The Sleeper

        At midnight, in the month of June,
        I stand beneath the mystic moon.
        An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
        Exhales from out her golden rim,
        And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
        Upon the quiet mountain top,
        Steals drowsily and musically
        Into the universal valley.
        The rosemary nods upon the grave;
        The lily lolls upon the wave;
        Wrapping the fog about its breast,
        The ruin molders into rest;
        Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
        A conscious slumber seems to take,
        And would not, for the world, awake.
        All Beauty sleeps!- and lo! where lies
        Irene, with her Destinies!

        O, lady bright! can it be right-
        This window open to the night?
        The wanton airs, from the tree-top,
        Laughingly through the lattice drop-
        The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,
        Flit through thy chamber in and out,
        And wave the curtain canopy
        So fitfully- so fearfully-
        Above the closed and fringed lid
        'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid,
        That, o'er the floor and down the wall,
        Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
        Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
        Why and what art thou dreaming here?
        Sure thou art come O'er far-off seas,
        A wonder to these garden trees!
        Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress,
        Strange, above all, thy length of tress,
        And this all solemn silentness!

        The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
        Which is enduring, so be deep!
        Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
        This chamber changed for one more holy,
        This bed for one more melancholy,
        I pray to God that she may lie
        For ever with unopened eye,
        While the pale sheeted ghosts go by!

        My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep
        As it is lasting, so be deep!
        Soft may the worms about her creep!
        Far in the forest, dim and old,
        For her may some tall vault unfold-
        Some vault that oft has flung its black
        And winged panels fluttering back,
        Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,
        Of her grand family funerals-
        Some sepulchre, remote, alone,
        Against whose portal she hath thrown,
        In childhood, many an idle stone-
        Some tomb from out whose sounding door
        She ne'er shall force an echo more,
        Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!
        It was the dead who groaned within.

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      The Valley Of Unrest

        Once it smiled a silent dell
        Where the people did not dwell;
        They had gone unto the wars,
        Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
        Nightly, from their azure towers,
        To keep watch above the flowers,
        In the midst of which all day
        The red sunlight lazily lay.
        Now each visitor shall confess
        The sad valley's restlessness.
        Nothing there is motionless-
        Nothing save the airs that brood
        Over the magic solitude.
        Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
        That palpitate like the chill seas
        Around the misty Hebrides!
        Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
        That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
        Uneasily, from morn till even,
        Over the violets there that lie
        In myriad types of the human eye-
        Over the lilies there that wave
        And weep above a nameless grave!
        They wave:- from out their fragrant tops
        Eternal dews come down in drops.
        They weep:- from off their delicate stems
        Perennial tears descend in gems.

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      To Helen

        Helen thy beauty is to me
        Like those Nicean barks of yore
        That gently o'er a perfumed sea
        The weary wayworn wanderer bore
        To his own native shore.

        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.

        Lo! In yon brilliant windowniche
        How statuelike I see thee stand
        The agate lamp within thy hand!
        Ah Psyche from the regions which
        Are Holy Land!

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      To Helen II

        I saw thee once- once only- years ago:
        I must not say how many- but not many.
        It was a July midnight; and from out
        A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
        Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
        There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
        With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
        Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
        Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
        Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe-
        Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
        That gave out, in return for the love-light,
        Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death-
        Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
        That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
        By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.
        Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
        I saw thee half reclining; while the moon
        Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,
        And on thine own, upturn'd- alas, in sorrow!

        Was it not Fate, 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 an slept,
        Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!
        How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)
        Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked-
        And in an instant all things disappeared.
        (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)

        The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
        The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
        The happy flowers and the repining trees,
        Were seen no more: the very roses' odors
        Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
        All- all expired save thee- save less than thou:
        Save only the divine light in thine eyes-
        Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.
        I saw but them- they were the world to me!
        I saw but them- saw only them for hours,
        Saw only them until the moon went down.
        What wild heart-histories seemed to he enwritten
        Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
        How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!
        How silently serene a sea of pride!
        How daring an ambition; yet how deep-
        How fathomless a capacity for love!

        But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,
        Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;
        And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
        Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained;
        They would not go- they never yet have gone;
        Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
        They have not left me (as my hopes have) since;
        They follow me- they lead me through the years.
        They are my ministers- yet I their slave.
        Their office is to illumine and enkindle-
        My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
        And purified in their electric fire,
        And sanctified in their elysian fire.
        They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),
        And are far up in Heaven- the stars I kneel to
        In the sad, silent watches of my night;
        While even in the meridian glare of day
        I see them still- two sweetly scintillant
        Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!

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      To M.L.S.

        Of all who hail thy presence as the morning-
        Of all to whom thine absence is the night-
        The blotting utterly from out high heaven
        The sacred sun- of all who, weeping, bless thee
        Hourly for hope- for life- ah! above all,
        For the resurrection of deep-buried faith
        In Truth- in Virtue- in Humanity-
        Of all who, on Despair's unhallowed bed
        Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen
        At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!"
        At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled
        In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes-
        Of all who owe thee most- whose gratitude
        Nearest resembles worship- oh, remember
        The truest- the most fervently devoted,
        And think that these weak lines are written by him-
        By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think
        His spirit is communing with an angel's.

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      To My Mother

        Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
        The angels, whispering to one another,
        Can find, among their burning terms of love,
        None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
        Therefore by that dear name I long have called you-
        You who are more than mother unto me,
        And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
        In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
        My mother- my own mother, who died early,
        Was but the mother of myself; but you
        Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
        And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
        By that infinity with which my wife
        Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

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      To One Departed

        Seraph! thy memory is to me
        Like some enchanted far-off isle
        In some tumultuous sea -
        Some ocean vexed as it may be
        With storms; but where, meanwhile,
        Serenest skies continually
        Just o'er that one bright island smile.
        For 'mid the earnest cares and woes
        That crowd around my earthly path,
        (Sad path, alas, where grows
        Not even one lonely rose!)
        My soul at least a solace hath
        In dreams of thee; and therein knows
        An Eden of bland repose.

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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 o'er the Past
        (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
        Mute, motionless, aghast!

        For, alas! Alas! 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 thunderblasted tree.

        Or the stricken eagle soar!
        And all my days are trances,
        And all my nightly dreams
        Are where thy grey eye glances,
        And where thy footstep gleams
        In what ethereal dances,
        By what eternal streams.

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