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My Collected Poetry of
Edgar Allan Poe


Contents

Acrostic
Al Aaraaf
Alone
Annabel Lee
Bells
Bridal Ballad
Campaign Song
Catholic Hymn
City in the Sea
Coliseum
Conqueror Worm
Deep in Earth
Divine Right of Kings
A Dream
Dream Within A Dream
Dreamland
Dreams
Eldorado
Elizabeth
Enigma
An Enigma
Epigram for Wall Street
Eulalie
Evening Star
Fairy-Land
Fanny
For Annie
The Happiest Day
The Haunted Palace
Hymn
Imitation
Impromptu. To Kate Carol
Irene
In Youth I Have Known
Israfel
The Lake
Latin Hymn
Lenore
Lines on Ale
Lyrics of a Dream
May Queen Ode
O Tempora! O Mores!
Pćan
The Raven
Romance
Serenade
Silence
The Sleeper
Song
Song of Triumph
Sonnet to Science
Sonnet to Zante
Spirit of the Dead
Tamerlane
To - -
To - -
To - -
To F
To F-s O-d
To Helen
To Helen
To Isadore
To M
To M.L.S.
To My Mother
To The River
To One In Paradise
Ulalume
Untitled
Valentine
Valley Nis
Valley of Unrest (Original Nis)

An Acrostic

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" - thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth - and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love - was cured of all beside -
His folly - pride - and passion - for he died.


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Al Aaraaf

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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Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago
In this 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 in heaven
Coveted her and me.

And that 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 high-born kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
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 a wind blew out of a cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those that 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 night tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea--
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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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.

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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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A Campaign Song

See the White Eagle soaring aloft to the sky,
Wakening the broad welkin with his loud battle cry;
Then here's the White Eagle, full daring is he,
As he sails on his pinions o'er valley and sea.


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Catholic Hymn

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!


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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
Shines 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 marvelous shrine
Where 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
Within each idol's diamond eye,
Not the gaily-jeweled 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.

For lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave--there is a movement there!
As if the towers cast 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.


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The Coliseum

Lone ampitheatre ! Grey 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 love [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!
Gaunt vestibules! and phantom-peopled aisles !
I feel ye now: I feel ye in your strength!
O spells more sure then [than] e'er Judćan 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 yellow hair
Wav'd to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle :
Here, where on ivory couch the Cćsar sate,
On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder :

Here, where on golden throne the monarch loll'd,
Glides spectre-like unto his marble home,
Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
The swift and silent lizard of the stones.

These crumbling walls; these tottering arcades ;
These mouldering plinths; these sad, and blacken'd shafts ;
These vague entablatures; this broken frieze ;
These shattered cornices; this wreck; this ruin ;
These stones, alas! - these grey stones - are they all ;
All of the great 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 in old days from Memnon to the sun.
We rule the hearts of mightiest men: - we rule
With a despotic sway all giant minds.
We are not desolate - 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 now and ever,
And clothe us in a robe of more than glory."


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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.

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Deep in Earth

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone


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The Divine Right Of Kings

The only king by right divine
Is Ellen King, and were she mine
I'd strive for liberty no more,
But hug the glorious chains I wore.

Her bosom is an ivory throne,
Where tyrant virtue reigns alone ;
No subject vice dare interfere,
To check the power that governs here.

O! would she deign to rule my fate,
I'd worship Kings and kingly state,
And hold this maxim all life long,
The King - my King - can do no wrong.


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A Dream

1

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

2

And what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turn'd back upon the past?

3

That holy dream - that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheer'd me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding:

4

What tho' 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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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.


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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.


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Eldorado

Gayly 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,'' says 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!''


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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.


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Enigma

The noblest name in Allegory's page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage;
A pleasing moralist whose page refined,
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;
A tender poet of a foreign tongue,
(Indited in the language that he sung.)
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page
At once the shame and glory of our age,
The prince of harmony and stirling sense,
The ancient dramatist of eminence,
The bard that paints imagination's powers,
And him whose song revives departed hours,
Once more an ancient tragic bard recall,
In boldness of design surpassing all.
These names when rightly read, a name [make] known
Which gathers all their glories in its own.

[This poem is attributed to Poe by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, who also gives the answers to the puzzles as:

line - author:
1 - Spenser
2 - Homer
3-4 - Aristotle
5-6 - Kallimachos
7-8 - Shelley
9 - Alexander Pope.
10 - Euripides
11 - Mark Akenside
12 - Samuel Rogers
13-14 - Euripidies
15-16 - William Shakespeare]


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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.

[The hidden name in this poem is that of Sarah Anna Lewis. It is spelled with one letter on each line, the first letter of the first line "S", the second letter of the second line "a", the third letter of the third line "r", etc.]


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Epigram for Wall Street

I'll tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
Better than banking, trade or leases -
Take a bank note and fold it up,
And then you will find your money in creases!
This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
Keeps your cash in your hands, where nothing can trouble it;
And every time that you fold it across,
'Tis as plain as the light of the day that you double it!


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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.


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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.

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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.


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Fanny

The dying swan by northern lakes
Sing's [Sings] its wild death song, sweet and clear,
And as the solemn music breaks
O'er hill and glen dissolves in air ;
Thus musical thy soft voice came,
Thus trembled on thy tongue my name.

Like sunburst through the ebon cloud,
Which veils the solemn midnight sky,
Piercing cold evening's sable shroud,
Thus came the first glance of that eye ;
But like the adamantine rock,
My spirit met and braved the shock.

Let memory the boy recall
Who laid his heart upon thy shrine,
When far away his footsteps fall,
Think that he deem'd thy charms divine ;
A victim on love's alter [altar] slain,
By witching eyes which looked disdain.


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For Annie

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

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

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

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

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

And oh! of all tortures
That torture the worst
Has abated- the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the 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.


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The Happiest Day

The happiest day--the happiest hour
My seared 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 vanished long, alas!
The visions of my youth have been--
But let them pass.

And pride, what have I now with thee?
Another brow may ev'n inherit
The venom thou hast poured 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 offered with the pain
Ev'n then I felt--that brightest hour
I would not live again:

For on its wings was dark alloy
And as it fluttered--fell
An essence--powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.


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The Haunted Palace

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

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,
Upon the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute's well-timed law.
Round about a throne where, sitting,
(Porphyrogene!)
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

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

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 house of glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

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


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Hymn

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 woe, in good and ill
Mother of God! be with us still.

When my hours flew gently by,
And no storms were in the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be -
Thy love did guide to thine and thee.

Now, when clouds of Fate o'ercast
All my Present, and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine.


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Imitation

A dark unfathom'd 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 on [of] my spirit;
Those thoughts I would controul,
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 sight [sigh] as it pass'd on
I care not tho' it perish
With a thought I then did cherish.


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Impromptu. To Kate Carol

When from your gems of thought I turn
To those pure orbs, your heart to learn,
I scarce know which to prize most high -
The bright i-dea, or the bright dear-eye.


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In youth have I known

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.


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Irene

'T is now (so sings the soaring moon)
Midnight in the sweet month of June,
When winged visions love to lie
Lazily upon beauty's eye,
Or worse - upon her brow to dance
In panoply of old romance,
Till thoughts and locks are left, alas!
A ne'er-to-be untangled mass.

An influence dewy, drowsy, dim,
Is dripping from that golden rim;
Grey towers are mouldering into rest,
Wrapping the fog around their breast:
Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
A conscious slumber seems to take,
And would not for the world awake:

The rosemary sleeps upon the grave -
The lily lolls upon the wave -
And [a] million bright pines to and fro,
Are rocking lullabies as they go,
To the lone oak that reels with bliss,
Nodding above the dim abyss.

All beauty sleeps: and lo! where lies
With casement open to the skies,
Irene, with her destinies!
Thus hums the moon within her ear,
"O lady sweet! how camest thou here?
"Strange are thine eyelids - strange thy dress!
"And strange thy glorious length of tress!
"Sure thou art come o'er far-off seas,
"A wonder to our desert trees!
"Some gentle wind hath thought it right
"To open thy window to the night,
"And wanton airs from the tree-top,
"Laughingly thro' the lattice drop,
"And wave this crimson canopy,
"Like a banner o'er thy dreaming eye!
"Lady, awake! lady awake!
"For the holy Jesus' sake!
"For strangely - fearfully in this hall
"My tinted shadows rise and fall!"

The lady sleeps: the dead all sleep -
At least as long as Love doth weep:
Entranc'd, the spirit loves to lie
As long as - tears on Memory's eye:
But when a week or two go by,
And the light laughter chokes the sigh,
Indignant from the tomb doth take
Its way to some remember'd lake,
Where oft - in life - with friends - it went
To bathe in the pure element,
And there, from the untrodden grass,
Wreathing for its transparent brow
Those flowers that say (ah hear them now!)
To the night-winds as they pass,
"Ai ! ai ! alas ! - alas!"
Pores for a moment, ere it go,
On the clear waters there that flow,
Then sinks within (weigh'd down by wo)
Th' uncertain, shadowy heaven below.


The lady sleeps: oh! may her sleep
As it is lasting so be deep -
No icy worms about her creep:
I pray to God that she may lie
Forever with as calm an eye,
That chamber chang'd for one more holy -
That bed for one more melancholy.

Far in the forest, dim and old,
For her may some tall vault unfold,
Against whose sounding door she hath thrown,
In childhood, many an idle stone -
Some tomb, which oft hath flung its black
And vampyre-winged pannels back,
Flutt'ring triumphant o'er the palls
Of her old family funerals.


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Israfel

And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God's creatures. -- (Koran)

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 enomoured moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads, even,
Which are 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 were 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.


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The Lake

In youth's spring, it was my lot
To haunt of the wide earth 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 tower'd around.
But when the night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot - as upon all,
And the wind would pass me by
In its stilly melody,
My infant spirit would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright -
But a tremulous delight,
And a feeling undefin'd,
Springing from a darken'd mind.
Death was in that poison'd wave
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his dark imagining;
Whose wild'ring thought could even make
An Eden of that dim lake.


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Latin Hymn

Mille, mille, mille
Mille, mille, mille
Decollavimus, unus homo!
Mille, mille, mille, mille, decollavimus!
Mille, mille, mille!
Vivat qui mille mille occidit!
Tantum vini habet nemo
Quantum sanguinis effudit! - which may be thus paraphrased.

A thousand, a thousand, a thousand !
A thousand, a thousand, a thousand !
We with one warrior have slain.
A thousand, a thousand, a thousand, a thousand !
Sing a thousand over again.
Soho! let us sing
Long life to our king
Who knocked over a thousand so fine.
Soho! let us roar
He has given us more
Red gallons of gore
Than all Syria can furnish of wine!


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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 never more!
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 innocent 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 so 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! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise,
"But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!
"Let no bell toll! - lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
"Should catch the note, as it doth float - up from the damned Earth.
"To friends above, 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."


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Lines on Ale

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain -
Quaintest thoughts - queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.


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Lyrics of 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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May Queen Ode

Fairies guard the Queen of May,
Let her reign in Peace and Honor -
Every blessing be upon her;
May her future pathway lie
All beneath a smiling sky.


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O, Tempora! O, Mores!

O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion
That you are changing sadly your dominion -
I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased,
For men have none at all, or bad at least;
And as for times, altho' 'tis said by many
The "good old times" were far the worst of any,
Of which sound doctrine l believe each tittle,
Yet still I think these worse than them a little.

I've been a thinking - isn't that the phrase? -
I like your Yankee words and Yankee ways -
I've been a thinking, whether it were best
To take things seriously, or all in jest;
Whether, with grim Heraclitus of yore,
To weep, as he did, till his eyes were sore,
Or rather laugh with him, that queer philosopher,
Democritus of Thrace, who used to toss over
The page of life and grin at the dog-ears,
As though he'd say, "Why, who the devil cares?"

This is a question which, oh heaven, withdraw
The luckless query from a member's claw!
Instead of two sides, Job [Bob] has nearly eight,
Each fit to furnish forth four hours debate.
What shall be done? I'll lay it on the table,
And take the matter up when I'm more able,
And, in the meantime, to prevent all bother,
I'll neither laugh with one, nor cry with t'other,
Nor deal in flatt'ry or aspersions foul,
But, taking one by each hand, merely growl.

Ah, growl, say you, my friend, and pray at what?
Why, really, sir, I almost had forgot -
But, damn it, sir, I deem it a disgrace
That things should stare us boldly in the face,
And daily strut the street with bows and scrapes,
Who would be men by imitating apes.
I beg your pardon, reader, for the oath
The monkeys make me swear, though something loth;
I'm apt to be discursive in my style,
But pray be patient; yet a little while
Will change me, and as politicians do,
I'll mend my manners and my measures too.
Of all the cities - and I've seen no few;
For I have travelled, friend, as well as you -
I don't remember one, upon my soul,
But take it generally upon the whole,
(As members say they like their logick [logic] taken
, Because divided, it may chance be shaken)
So pat, agreeable and vastly proper
As this for a neat, frisky counter-hopper;
Here he may revel to his heart's content,
Flounce like a fish in his own element,
Toss back his fine curls from their forehead fair,
And hop o'er counters with a Vester's air,
Complete at night what he began A.M.,
And having cheated ladies, dance with them;
For, at a ball, what fair one can escape
The pretty little hand that sold her tape,
Or who so cold, so callous to refuse
The youth who cut the ribbon for her shoes!

One of these fish, par excellence the beau -
God help me! - it has been my lot to know,
At least by sight, for I'm a timid man,
And always keep from laughing, if I can;
But speak to him, he'll make you such grimace,
Lord! to be grave exceeds the power of face.
The hearts of all the ladies are with him,
Their bright eyes on his Tom and Jerry brim
And dove-tailed coat, obtained at cost; while then
Those eyes won't turn on anything like men.

His very voice is musical delight,
His form, once seen, becomes a part of sight;
In short, his shirt collar, his look, his tone is
The "beau ideal" fancied for Adonis.
Philosophers have often held dispute
As to the seat of thought in man and brute;
For that the power of thought attends the latter
My friend, the beau, hath made a settled matter,
And spite of all dogmas, current in all ages,
One settled fact is better than ten sages.

For he does think, though I am oft in doubt
If I can tell exactly what about.
Ah, yes! his little foot and ankle trim,
'Tis there the seat of reason lies in him,
A wise philosopher would shake his head,
He then, of course, must shake his foot instead.
At me, in vengeance, shall that foot be shaken -
Another proof of thought, I'm not mistaken -
Because to his cat's eyes I hold a glass,
And let him see himself, a proper ass!
I think he'll take this likeness to himself,
But if he won't, he shall, a stupid elf,
And, lest the guessing throw the fool in fits,
I close the portrait with the name of PITTS.


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A Pćan.

How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead,
That ever died so young?

Her friends are gazing on her,
And on her gaudy bier,
And weep! - oh! to dishonor
Her beauty with a tear!

They loved her for her wealth -
And they hated her for her pride -
But she grew in feeble health,
And they love her - that she died.

They tell me (while they speak
Of her "costly broider'd pall")
That my voice is growing weak -
That I should not sing at all -

Or that my tone should be
Tun'd to such solemn song
So mournfully - so mournfully,
That the dead may feel no wrong.

But she is gone above,
With young Hope at her side,
And I am drunk with love
Of the dead, who is my bride.

Of the dead - dead - who lies
All motionless,
With the death upon her eyes,
And the life upon each tress.

In June she died - in June
Of life - beloved, and fair;
But she did not die too soon,
Nor with too calm an air.

From more than fiends on earth,
Helen, thy soul is riven,
To join the all-hallowed mirth
Of more than thrones in heaven -

Therefore, to thee this night
I will no requiem raise,
But waft thee on thy flight,
With a Pćan of old days.


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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 mortal
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 mein of lord or lady, perched
above my chamber door--
Perched upon my 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 blessed 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 farther 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
sad soul 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
lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the
lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser,
perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls
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 Tempest 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 of parting, bird
or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the
Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that
lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! --quit the
bust above my door!
Take 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 lamp-light 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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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 parakeet
Hath been- a 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.

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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 dies
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 mountains [mountain's] crown
The wearied light is lying down :
The 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 to night 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.


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Silence

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


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The Sleeper

At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapour, 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 moulders 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
(Her casement open to the skies)
Irene, with her Destinies!

Oh, 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
Forever with unopened eye,
While the dim 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 hath flung its black
And winged pannels 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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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.


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Song of Triumph

Who is king but Epiphanes?
Say do you know?
Who is God but Epiphanes?
Say do you know?
There is none but Epiphanes
No - there is none:
So tear down the temples
And put out the sun!


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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?


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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!"


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Spirits of the Dead

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

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!


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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?


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To _ _

Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained "the power of words"- denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
Two words- two foreign soft dissyllables-
Italian tones, made only to be murmured
By angels dreaming in the moonlit "dew
That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,"
Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions
Than even seraph harper, Israfel,
(Who has "the sweetest voice of all God's creatures,")
Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,
I cannot write- I cannot speak or think-
Alas, I cannot feel; for 'tis not feeling,
This standing motionless upon the golden
Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams.
Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
Upon the left, and all the way along,
Amid empurpled vapors, far away
To where the prospect terminates- thee only.


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To _ _

The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,
Are lips- and all thy melody
Of lip-begotten words-
Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined,
Then desolately fall,
O God! on my funereal mind
Like starlight on a pall-
Thy heart- thy heart!- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy-
Of the baubles that it may.


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To _ _

Sleep on, sleep on, another hour -
I would not break so calm a sleep,
To wake to sunshine and to show'r,
To smile and weep.

Sleep on, sleep on, like sculptured thing,
Majestic, beautiful art thou;
Sure seraph shields thee with his wing
And fans thy brow -

We would not deem thee child of earth,
For, O, angelic, is thy form!
But, that in heav'n thou had'st thy birth,
Where comes no storm

To mar the bright, the perfect flow'r,
But all is beautiful and still -
And golden sands proclaim the hour
Which brings no ill.

Sleep on, sleep on, some fairy dream
Perchance is woven in thy sleep -
But, O, thy spirit, calm, serene,
Must wake to weep.


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To F _ _

Beloved! amid the earnest woes
That crowd around my earthly path-
(Drear 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.
And thus thy memory is to me
Like some enchanted far-off isle
In some tumultuous sea-
Some ocean throbbing far and free
With storms- but where meanwhile
Serenest skies continually
Just o'er that one bright island smile.


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To F-s S. O-d

Thou wouldst be loved?- then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love- a simple duty.


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To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfum'd sea,
The weary way-worn 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 beauty of fair Greece,
And the grandeur of old Rome.

Lo ! in that little window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand!
The folded scroll within thy hand -
A Psyche from the regions which
Are Holy land !


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To Helen (Sarah Helen Whitman)

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' odours
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 Isadore

Beneath the vine-clad eaves,
Whose shadows fall before
Thy lowly cottage door
Under the lilac's tremulous leaves-
Within thy snowy claspečd hand
The purple flowers it bore.
Last eve in dreams, I saw thee stand,
Like queenly nymphs from Fairy-land-
Enchantress of the flowery wand,
Most beauteous Isadore!

And when I bade the dream
Upon thy spirit flee,
Thy violet eyes to me
Upturned, did overflowing seem
With the deep, untold delight
Of Love's serenity;
Thy classic brow, like lilies white
And pale as the Imperial Night
Upon her throne, with stars bedight,
Enthralled my soul to thee!

Ah! ever I behold
Thy dreamy, passionate eyes,
Blue as the languid skies
Hung with the sunset's fringe of gold;
Now strangely clear thine image grows,
And olden memories
Are startled from their long repose
Like shadows on the silent snows
When suddenly the night-wind blows
Where quiet moonlight ties.

Like music heard in dreams,
Like strains of harps unknown,
Of birds forever flown
Audible as the voice of streams
That murmur in some leafy dell,
I hear thy gentlest tone,
And Silence cometh with her spell
Like that which on my tongue doth dwell,
When tremulous in dreams I tell
My love to thee alone!

In every valley heard,
Floating from tree to tree,
Less beautiful to, me,
The music of the radiant bird,
Than artless accents such as thine
Whose echoes never flee!
Ah! how for thy sweet voice I pine:-
For uttered in thy tones benign
(Enchantress!) this rude name of mine
Doth seem a melody!


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To M

O! I care not that my earthly lot
Hath little of Earth in it,
That years of love have been forgot
In the fever of a minute:

I heed not that the desolate
Are happier, sweet, than I,
But that you meddle with my fate
Who am a passer by.

It is not that my founts of bliss
Are gushing - strange! with tears-
Or that the thrill of a single kiss
Hath palsied many years-

'Tis not that the flowers of twenty springs
Which have wither'd as they rose
Lie dead on my heart-strings
With the weight of an age of snows.

Not that the grass- O! may it thrive!
On my grave is growing or grown-
But that, while I am dead yet alive
I cannot be, lady, alone.


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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.

* Mrs. Marie Louise Shew.


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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 The River

Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty- the unhidden heart-
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto's daughter;

But when within thy wave she looks-
Which glistens then, and trembles-
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in his heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies-
His heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.


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To One in Paradise

Thou wast that all 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
"Onward!" -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 thunder-blasted tree,
Or the stricken eagle soar!

Now all my hours are trances;
And all my nightly dreams
Are where the dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams,
In what ethereal dances,
By what Italian streams.

Alas! for that accursed time
They bore thee o'er the billow,
For Love to titled age and crime,
And an unholy pillow -
From me, and from our misty clime,
Where weeps the silver willow!


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Ulalume

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

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

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

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

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

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

I replied--"This is nothing but dreaming.
Let us on, by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybillic splendor is beaming
With Hope and in Beauty to-night--
See!--it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming
And be sure it will lead us aright--
We surely may trust to a gleaming
That cannot but guide us aright
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."

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

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

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


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Untitled

A wilder'd being from my birth
My spirit spurn'd control,
But now, abroad on the wide earth,
Where wand'rest thou my soul?

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

And what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turn'd back upon the past?

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

What tho' that light, thro' misty night
So dimly shone afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day - star ?


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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 synonum for Truth -- Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.


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The Valley Nis

Far away - far away -
Far away - as far at least
Lies that valley as the day
Down within the golden east -
All things lovely - are not they
Far away - far away ?

It is called the valley Nis.
And a Syriac tale there is
Thereabout which Time hath said
Shall not be interpreted.
Something about Satan's dart -
Something about angel wings -
Much about a broken heart -
All about unhappy things:
But "the valley Nis" at best
Means "the valley of unrest."

Once it smil'd a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell,
Having gone unto the wars -
And the sly, mysterious stars,
With a visage full of meaning,
O'er the unguarded flowers were leaning:
Or the sun ray dripp'd all red
Thro' the tulips overhead,
Then grew paler as it fell
On the quiet Asphodel.

Now the unhappy shall confess
Nothing there is motionless:
Helen, like thy human eye
There th' uneasy violets lie -
There the reedy grass doth wave
Over the old forgotten grave -
One by one from the tree top
There the eternal dews do drop -
There the vague and dreamy trees

Do roll like seas in northern breeze
Around the stormy Hebrides -
There the gorgeous clouds do fly,
Rustling everlastingly,


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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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2010 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community