It seems to me that imagination and reasoning have reached magnificent heights with some writers, especially poets. Among them, I strongly believe, the highest ever was Edgar Allan Poe. With Baudelaire I state that "le poete est souverainement intelligent, qu'il est l'intelligence par excellence, -et que l'imagination est la plus scientifique des facultes, parce que seule elle comprend l'analogie universelle...". One of those poets was Edgar Allan Poe. I reproduce here "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" as a gesture against what Baudelaire called "la ferocite de l'hypocrisie bourgeoise", and what I personally call mediocrity, imbecility, and comprehensive intellectual dishonesty, all of which is presented as "realistic thinking". And, as we know, contemporary development studies are full of  "realistic thinking". So, let us learn something from Edgar Allan Poe!.  (Róbinson Rojas - 1996)
The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 1
Volume 1 of the Raven Edition  #6 in our series by Edgar Allan Poe
Volume V     Contents
Philosophy of Furniture
A Tale of Jerusalem
The Sphinx
Hop Frog
The Man of the Crowd
Never Bet the Devill Your Head
Thou Art the Man
Why the Little Frenchman Wears his Hand in a Sling
Some words with a Mummy
The Poetic Principle
Old English Poetry                              BACK TO MAIN INDEX
POEMS       Poems of Later Life
The Raven
The Bells
To Helen
Annabel Lee
A Valentine
An Enigma
To my Mother
For Annie
To F----
To Frances S. Osgood
A Dream within a Dream
To Marie Louise (Shew)
To the Same
The City in the Sea
The Sleeper
Bridal Ballad
Notes                                                                                                                BACK TO MAIN INDEX
POEMS         Poems of Manhood
To One in Paradise
The Coliseum
The Haunted Palace
The Conqueror Worm
To Zante
Scenes from "Politian"
Note                                                                                                                    BACK TO MAIN INDEX
POEMS       Poems of Youth
Introduction (1831)
Sonnet--To Science
Al Aaraaf
To Helen
The Valley of Unrest
To -- ("The Bowers Whereat, in Dreams I See")
To -- ("I Heed not That my Earthly Lot")
To the River --
A Dream
The Lake To--
"The Happiest Day"
Hymn. Translation from the Greek
"In Youth I Have Known One"
A Paean
Notes                                                                                                                BACK TO MAIN INDEX
Doubtful Poems
To Isadore
The Village Street
The Forest Reverie
Notes                                                                                                                 BACK TO MAIN INDEX
                                  "WEST POINT, 1831.
"DEAR B . . . . . . . . . Believing only a portion of my former volume to
be worthy a second edition-that small portion I thought it as well to
include in the present book as to republish by itself. I have therefore
herein combined 'Al Aaraaf' and 'Tamerlane' with other poems hitherto
unprinted. Nor have I hesitated to insert from the 'Minor Poems,' now
omitted, whole lines, and even passages, to the end that being placed in a
fairer light, and the trash shaken from them in which they were imbedded,
they may have some chance of being seen by posterity.
"It has been said that a good critique on a poem may be written by one who
is no poet himself. This, according to your idea and _mine _of poetry, I
feel to be false-the less poetical the critic, the less just the critique,
and the converse. On this account, and because there are but few B-'s in
the world, I would be as much ashamed of the world's good opinion as proud
of your own. Another than yourself might here observe, 'Shakespeare is in
possession of the world's good opinion, and yet Shakespeare is the
greatest of poets. It appears then that the world judge correctly, why
should you be ashamed of their favorable judgment?' The difficulty lies in
the interpretation of the word 'judgment' or 'opinion.' The opinion is the
world's, truly, but it may be called theirs as a man would call a book
his, having bought it; he did not write the book, but it is his; they did
not originate the opinion, but it is theirs. A fool, for example, thinks
Shakespeare a great poet-yet the fool has never read Shakespeare. But the
fool's neighbor, who is a step higher on the Andes of the mind, whose head
(that is to say, his more exalted thought) is too far above the fool to be
seen or understood, but whose feet (by which I mean his everyday actions)
are sufficiently near to be discerned, and by means of which that
superiority is ascertained, which but for them would never have been
discovered-this neighbor asserts that Shakespeare is a great poet--the
fool believes him, and it is henceforward his _opinion. _This neighbor's
own opinion has, in like manner, been adopted from one above him, and so,
ascendingly, to a few gifted individuals who kneel around the summit,
beholding, face to face, the master spirit who stands upon the pinnacle.
"You are aware of the great barrier in the path of an American writer. He
is read, if at all, in preference to the combined and established wit of
the world. I say established; for it is with literature as with law or
empire-an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in
possession. Besides, one might suppose that books, like their authors,
improve by travel-their having crossed the sea is, with us, so great a
distinction. Our antiquaries abandon time for distance; our very fops
glance from the binding to the bottom of the title-page, where the mystic
characters which spell London, Paris, or Genoa, are precisely so many
letters of recommendation.
"I mentioned just now a vulgar error as regards criticism. I think the
notion that no poet can form a correct estimate of his own writings is
another. I remarked before that in proportion to the poetical talent would
be the justice of a critique upon poetry. Therefore a bad poet would, I
grant, make a false critique, and his self-love would infallibly bias his
little judgment in his favor; but a poet, who is indeed a poet, could not,
I think, fail of making-a just critique; whatever should be deducted on
the score of self-love might be replaced on account of his intimate
acquaintance with the subject; in short, we have more instances of false
criticism than of just where one's own writings are the test, simply
because we have more bad poets than good. There are, of course, many
objections to what I say: Milton is a great example of the contrary; but
his opinion with respect to the 'Paradise Regained' is by no means fairly
ascertained. By what trivial circumstances men are often led to assert
what they do not really believe! Perhaps an inadvertent word has descended
to posterity. But, in fact, the 'Paradise Regained' is little, if at all,
inferior to the 'Paradise Lost,' and is only supposed so to be because men
do not like epics, whatever they may say to the contrary, and, reading
those of Milton in their natural order, are too much wearied with the
first to derive any pleasure from the second.
"I dare say Milton preferred 'Comus' to either-. if so-justly.
"As I am speaking of poetry, it will not be amiss to touch slightly upon
the most singular heresy in its modern history-the heresy of what is
called, very foolishly, the Lake School. Some years ago I might have been
induced, by an occasion like the present, to attempt a formal refutation
of their doctrine; at present it would be a work of supererogation. The
wise must bow to the wisdom of such men as Coleridge and Southey, but,
being wise, have laughed at poetical theories so prosaically exemplifled.
"Aristotle, with singular assurance, has declared poetry the most
philosophical of all writings*-but it required a Wordsworth to pronounce
it the most metaphysical. He seems to think that the end of poetry is, or
should be, instruction; yet it is a truism that the end of our existence
is happiness; if so, the end of every separate part of our existence,
everything connected with our existence, should be still happiness.
Therefore the end of instruction should be happiness; and happiness is
another name for pleasure;-therefore the end of instruction should be
pleasure: yet we see the above-mentioned opinion implies precisely the
"To proceed: _ceteris paribus, _be who pleases is of more importance to
his fellow-men than he who instructs, since utility is happiness, and
pleasure is the end already obtained which instruction is merely the means
of obtaining.
"I see no reason, then, why our metaphysical poets should plume themselves
so much on the utility of their works, unless indeed they refer to
instruction with eternity in view; in which case, sincere respect for
their piety would not allow me to express my contempt for their judgment;
contempt which it would be difficult to conceal, since their writings are
professedly to be understood by the few, and it is the many who stand in
need of salvation. In such case I should no doubt be tempted to think of
the devil in 'Melmoth.' who labors indefatigably, through three octavo
volumes, to accomplish the destruction of one or two souls, while any
common devil would have demolished one or two thousand.
"Against the subtleties which would make poetry a study-not a passion-it
becomes the metaphysician to reason-but the poet to protest. Yet
Wordsworth and Coleridge are men in years; the one imbued in contemplation
from his childhood; the other a giant in intellect and learning. The
diffidence, then, with which I venture to dispute their authority would be
overwhelming did I not feel, from the bottom of my heart, that learning
has little to do with the imagination-intellect with the passions-or age
with poetry.
"'Trifles, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below,'
are lines which have done much mischief. As regards the greater truths,
men oftener err by seeking them at the bottom than at the top; Truth lies
in the huge abysses where wisdom is sought-not in the palpable palaces
where she is found. The ancients were not always right in hiding -the
goddess in a well; witness the light which Bacon has thrown upon
philosophy; witness the principles of our divine faith -that moral
mechanism by which the simplicity of a child may overbalance the wisdom of
a man.
"We see an instance of Coleridge's liability to err, in his 'Biographia
Literaria'--professedly his literary life and opinions, but, in fact, a
treatise _de omni scibili et quibusdam aliis. _He goes wrong by reason of
his very profundity, and of his error we have a natural type in the
contemplation of a star. He who regards it directly and intensely sees, it
is true, the star, but it is the star without a ray-while he who surveys
it less inquisitively is conscious of all for which the star is useful to
us below-its brilliancy and its beauty.
"As to Wordsworth, I have no faith in him. That he had in youth the
feelings of a poet I believe-for there are glimpses of extreme delicacy in
his writings-(and delicacy is the poet's own kingdom-his _El Dorado)-but
they _have the appearance of a better day recollected; and glimpses, at
best, are little evidence of present poetic fire; we know that a few
straggling flowers spring up daily in the crevices of the glacier.
"He was to blame in wearing away his youth in contemplation with the end
of poetizing in his manhood. With the increase of his judgment the light
which should make it apparent has faded away. His judgment consequently is
too correct. This may not be understood-but the old Goths of Germany would
have understood it, who used to debate matters of importance to their
State twice, once when drunk, and once when sober-sober that they might
not be deficient in formality--drunk lest they should be destitute of
"The long wordy discussions by which he tries to reason us into admiration
of his poetry, speak very little in his favor: they are full of such
assertions as this (I have opened one of his volumes at random) -"Of
genius the only proof is the act of doing well what is worthy to be done,
and what was never done before;'-indeed? then it follows that in doing
what is unworthy to be done, or what _has _been done before, no genius can
be evinced; yet the picking of pockets is an unw orthy act, pockets have
been picked time immemorial, and Barrington, the pickpocket, in point of
genius, would have thought hard of a comparison with William Wordsworth,
the poet.
"Again, in estimating the merit of certain poems, whether they be Ossian's
or Macpherson's can surely be of little consequence, yet, in order to
prove their worthlessness, Mr. W. has expended many pages in the
controversy. _Tantaene animis? _Can great minds descend to such absurdity?
But worse still: that he may bear down every argument in favor of these
poems, he triumphantly drags forward a passage, in his abomination with
which he expects the reader to sympathize. It is the beginning of the epic
poem 'Temora.' 'The blue waves of Ullin roll in light; the green hills are
covered with day; trees shake their dusty heads in the breeze.' And this
this gorgeous, yet simple imagery, where all is alive and panting with
immortality-this, William Wordsworth, the author of 'Peter Bell,' has
_selected _for his contempt. We shall see what better he, in his own
person, has to offer. Imprimis:
"'And now she's at the pony's tail,
And now she's at the pony's head,
On that side now, and now on this;
And, almost stifled with her bliss,
A few sad tears does Betty shed. . . .
She pats the pony, where or when
She knows not . . . . happy Betty Foy!
Oh, Johnny, never mind the doctor!'
"'The dew was falling fast, the-stars began to blink;
I heard a voice: it said-"Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, be-fore me I espied
A snow-white mountain lamb, with a-maiden at its side.
No other sheep was near,--the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was-tether'd to a stone.'
"Now, we have no doubt this is all true: we will believe it, indeed we
will, Mr. W. Is it sympathy for the sheep you wish to excite? I love a
sheep from the bottom of my heart.
"But there are occasions, dear B-, there are occasions when even
Wordsworth is reasonable. Even Stamboul, it is said, shall have an end,
and the most unlucky blunders must come to a conclusion. Here is an
extract from his preface :-
"'Those who have been accustomed to the phraseology of modem writers, if
they persist in reading this book to a conclusion _(impossible!) will, _no
doubt, have to struggle with feelings of awkwardness; (ha! ha! ha!) they
will look round for poetry (ha! ha! ha! ha!), and will be induced to
inquire by what species of courtesy these attempts have been permitted to
assume that title.' Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
"Yet, let not Mr. W. despair; he has given immortality to a wagon, and the
bee Sophocles has transmitted to eternity a sore toe, and dignified a
tragedy with a chorus of turkeys.
"Of Coleridge, I can not speak but with reverence. His towering intellect!
his gigantic power! To use an author quoted by himself, _'Tai trouvé
souvent que la plupart des sectes ont raison dans une bonne partie de ce
qu'elles avancent, mais non pas en ce qu'elles nient , ' and _to employ
his own language, he has imprisoned his own conceptions by the barrier he
has erected against those of others. It is lamentable to think that such a
mind should be buried in metaphysics, and, like the Nyctanthes, waste its
perfume upon the night alone. In reading that man's poetry, I tremble like
one who stands upon a volcano, conscious from the very darkness bursting
from the crater, of the fire and the light that are weltering below.
"What is poetry?-Poetry! that Proteus-like idea, with as many appellations
as the nine-titled Corcyra! 'Give me,' I demanded of a scholar some time
ago, 'give me a definition of poetry.' _'Trèsvolontiers;' _and he
proceeded to his library, brought me a Dr. Johnson, and overwhelmed me
with a definition. Shade of the immortal Shakespeare! I imagine to myself
the scowl of your spiritual eye upon the profanity of that scurrilous Ursa
Major. Think of poetry, dear B-, think of poetry, and then think of Dr.
Samuel Johnson! Think of all that is airy and fairy-like, and then of all
that is hideous and unwieldy; think of his huge bulk, the Elephant! and
then-and then think of the 'Tempest' -the 'Midsummer-Night's Dream'-
Prospero Oberon-and Titania!
"A poem, in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having, for its
_immediate _object, pleasure, not truth; to romance, by having, for its
object, an _indefinite _instead of a _definite _pleasure, being a poem
only so far as this object is attained; romance presenting perceptible
images with definite, poetry with indefinite sensations, to which end
music is an _essential, since _the comprehension of sweet sound is our
most indefinite conception. Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea,
is poetry; music, without the idea, is simply music; the idea, wi thout
the music, is prose, from its very definitiveness.
"What was meant by the invective against him who had no music in his soul?
"To sum up this long rigmarole, I have, dear B-, what you, no doubt,
perceive, for the metaphysical poets as poets, the most sovereign
contempt. That they have followers proves nothing-
"'No Indian prince has to his palace
More followers than a thief to the gallows.
* GJL*4@J"J@< 6"4 N48@F@M46@J"J@< (,<@.
~~~~~~ End of Introduction ~~~~~~
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 thous not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
    The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
~~~ End of Text ~~~
         AL AARAAF*
                         PART I.
O !  NOTHING earthly save the ray
(Thrown back from flowers) of Beauty's eye,
As in those gardens where the day
Springs from the gems of Circassy -
O ! nothing earthly save the thrill
Of melody in woodland rill -
Or (music of the passion-hearted)
Joy's voice so peacefully departed
That like the murmur in the shell,
Its echo dwelleth and will dwell -
Oh, nothing of the dross of ours -
Yet all the beauty - all the flowers
That list our Love, and deck our bowers -
Adorn yon world afar, afar -
The wandering star.
   'Twas a sweet time for Nesace - for there
Her world lay lolling on the golden air,
Near four bright suns - a temporary rest -
An oasis in desert of the blest.
    * A star was discovered by Tycho Brahe which appeared suddenly in the
heavens - attained, in a few days, a brilliancy surpassing that of Jupiter
- then as suddenly disappeared, and has never been seen since.
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 favour'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 look'd 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,
Uprear'd its purple stem around her knees :
    * On Santa Maura - olim Deucadia.           † Sappho.
*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 fled,
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 :
    * This flower is much noticed by Lewenhoeck and Tournefort. The bee,
feeding upon its blossom, becomes intoxicated.
    † Clytia - The Chrysanthemum Peruvianum, or, to employ a better-known
term, the turnsol - which continually turns towards the sun, covers
itself, like Peru, the country from which it comes, with dewy clouds which
cool and refresh its flowers during the most violent heat of the day. -
_B. de St. Pierre_.
    ‡ There is cultivated in the king's garden at Paris, a species of
serpentine aloes without prickles, whose large and beautiful flower
exhales a strong odour of the vanilla, during the time of its expansion,
which is very short. It does not blow till towards the month of July - you
then perceive it gradually open its petals - expand them - fade and die. -
_St. Pierre_.
*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 -
     * There is found, in the Rhone, a beautiful lily of the Valisnerian
kind. Its stem will stretch to the length of three or four feet  - thus
preserving its head above water in the swellings of the river.
    † The Hyacinth.
    ‡ It is a fiction of the Indians, that Cupid was first seen floating
in one of these down the river Ganges - and that he still loves the cradle
of his childhood.
    § And golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints.
- _Rev. St. John_.
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, Oh, 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 -
    * The Humanitarians held that God was to be understood as having a
really human form. - _Vide Clarke's Sermons_, vol. 1, page 26, fol. edit.
    The drift of Milton's argument, leads him to employ language which
would appear, at first sight, to verge upon their doctrine ;  but it will
be seen immediately, that he guards himself against the charge of having
adopted one of the most ignorant errors of the dark ages of the church. -
_Dr. Sumner's Notes on Milton's Christian Doctrine_.
    This opinion, in spite of many testimonies to the contrary, could
never have been very general. Andeus, a Syrian of Mesopotamia, was
condemned for the opinion, as heretical. He lived in the beginning of the
fourth century. His disciples were called Anthropmorphites. - _Vide Du
    Among Milton's poems are these lines: -
                Dicite sacrorum præsides nemorum Deæ, &c.
                Quis ille primus cujus ex imagine
                Natura solers finxit humanum genus ?
                Eternus, incorruptus, æquævus polo,
                Unusque et universus exemplar Dei. - And afterwards,
                Non cui profundum Cæcitas lumen dedit
                Dircæus augur vidit hunc alto sinu, &c.
*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 fervour 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,
Link'd 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,
            * Seltsamen Tochter Jovis
               Seinem Schosskinde
               Der Phantasie. - _Göethe_.
    † Sightless - too small to be seen - _Legge_.
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 mountain and dim plain
†Her way - but left not yet her Therasæan reign.
    * I have often noticed a peculiar movement of the fire-flies ; - they
will collect in a body and fly off, from a common centre, into innumerable
    † Therasæa, or Therasea, the island mentioned by Seneca, which, in a
moment, arose from the sea to the eyes of astonished mariners.
                         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,
        * Some star which, from the ruin'd roof
           Of shak'd Olympus, by mischance, did fall. - _Milton._
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 for Beauty's grave
Lurk'd in each cornice, round each architrave -
And every sculptur'd cherub thereabout
That from his marble dwelling peeréd 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
    * Voltaire, in speaking of Persepolis, says, "Je connois bien
l'admiration qu'inspirent ces ruines - mais un palais erigé au pied d'une
chaine des rochers sterils - peut il être un chef d'œvure des arts !"
[_Voila les arguments de M. Voltaire_.]
    † "Oh ! the wave" - Ula Degusi is the Turkish appellation; but, on its
own shores, it is called Bahar Loth, or Almotanah. There were undoubtedly
more than two cities engluphed in the "dead sea." In the valley of Siddim
were five - Adrah, Zeboin, Zoar, Sodom and Gomorrah. Stephen of Byzantium
mentions eight, and Strabo thirteeen, (engulphed) - but the last is out of
all reason.
    It is said, (Tacitus, Strabo, Josephus, Daniel of St. Saba, Nau,
Maundrell, Troilo, D'Arvieux) that after an excessive drought, the
vestiges of columns, walls, &c. are seen above the surface. At _any_
season, such remains may be discovered by looking down into the
transparent lake, and at such distances as would argue the existence of
many settlements in the space now usurped by the 'Asphaltites.'
*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 paus'd 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 :
    * Eyraco - Chaldea.
    † I have often thought I could distinctly hear the sound of the
darkness as it stole over the horizon.
    ‡ Fairies use flowers for their charactery. - _Merry Wives of
Windsor_.  [William Shakespeare]
      " 'Neath 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,                   [in the original, this
line is slightly out of alignment]
      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 !
    * In Scripture is this passage - "The sun shall not harm thee by day,
nor the moon by night." It is perhaps not generally known that the moon,
in Egypt, has the effect of producing blindness to those who sleep with
the face exposed to its rays, to which circumstance the passage evidently
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 Albatross,
Incumbent on night
    (As she on the air)
To keep watch with delight
    On the harmony there ?
Ligeia !  whatever
    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
    * The Albatross is said to sleep on the wing.
    † I met with this idea in an old English tale, which I am now unable
to obtain and quote from memory : - "The verie essence and, as it were,
springe-heade, and origine of all musiche is the verie pleasaunte sounde
which the trees of the forest do make when they growe."
Are the music of things -
    But are modell'd, alas ! -
Away, then my dearest,
    O !  hie thee away
To 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,
The musical number
    They slumber'd to hear -
For what can awaken
    An angel so soon
    * The wild bee will not sleep in the shade if there be moonlight.
    The rhyme in this verse, as in one about sixty lines before, has an
appearance of affectation. It is, however, imitated from Sir W. Scott, or
rather from Claud Halcro - in whose mouth I admired its effect :
                O !  were there an island,
                    Tho' ever so wild
                Where woman might smile, and
                    No man be beguil'd, &c.
Whose sleep hath been taken
    Beneath the cold moon,
As the spell which no slumber
    Of witchery may test,
The rythmical 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 - ev'n 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 ecstacy 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 !
    * With the Arabians there is a medium between Heaven and Hell, where
men suffer no punishment, but yet do not attain that tranquil and even
happiness which they suppose to be characteristic of heavenly enjoyment.
            Un no rompido sueno -
            Un dia puro - allegre - libre
            Quiera -
            Libre de amor - de zelo -
            De odio - de esperanza - de rezelo.  -  _Luis Ponce de Leon_.
    Sorrow is not excluded from "Al Aaraaf," but it is that sorrow which
the living love to cherish for the dead, and which, in some minds,
resembles the delirium of opium. The passionate excitement of Love and the
buoyancy of spirit attendant upon intoxication are its less holy pleasures
- the price of which, to those souls who make choice of "Al Aaraaf" as
their residence after life, is final death and annihilation.
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 wo)
   Upon a mountain crag, young Angelo -
   Beetling it bends athwart the solemn sky,
   And scowls on starry worlds that down beneath it lie.
   Here sate 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.
   "Iante, dearest, see !  how dim that ray !
   How lovely 'tis to look so far away !
* There be tears of perfect moan
    Wept for thee in Helicon.- _Milton._
   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 eye-lids - 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 it 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 -
    * It was entire in 1687 - the most elevated spot in Athens.
    † Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows
       Than have the white breasts of the Queen of Love. - _Marlowe._
   And greener fields than in yon world above,
   And women'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 Dædalion 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,
* Pennon - for pinion. - _Milton_.
   We paus'd 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.

~~~ End of Text ~~~
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!
Th' 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
    Was giantlike - so thou, my mind! -
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 suiters - 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 ev'ry 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 chain'd 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 wo -
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 ev'ry 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 trelliced rays from Heaven
No mote may shun - no tiniest fly
The light'ning 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?

~~~ End of Text ~~~
HELEN, thy beauty is to me
    Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed 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 glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo ! in yon brilliant window-niche
    How statue-like I me thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
    Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
    Are Holy-land !
~~~ End of Text ~~~
_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 sun-light lazily lay.
_Now_ each visiter 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.

~~~ End of Text ~~~
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 enamoured moon
Blushes with love,
    While, to listen, the red levin
    (With the rapid Pleiads, even,
    Which were seven,)
    Pauses in Heaven
And they say (the starry choir
    And all the 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.
* And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lut, and who has the
sweetest voice of all God's creatures. - KORAN.
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 unimpassion'd song:
To thee the laurels belong
    Best bard, because the wisest!
Merrily live, and long!
The extacies above
    With thy burning measures suit -
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
    With the fervor of thy lute -
    Well may the stars be mute!
Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
    Is a world of sweets and sours;
    Our flowers are merely - flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
    Is the sunshine of ours.
If I could dwell
Where Israfel
    Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
    A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
    From my lyre within the sky.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
      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 enshrin'd
    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 truth that gold can never buy -
    Of the trifles that it may.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
TO ---
I HEED not that my earthly lot
    Hath-little of Earth in it--
That years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute:--
I mourn not that the desolate
    Are happier, sweet, than I,
But that you sorrow for my fate
Who am a passer-by.
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 my heart, as in thy stream,
    Her image deeply lies -
His heart which trembles at the beam
    Of her soul-searching eyes.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
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.

~~~ End of Text ~~~
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 then overshadow thee: be still.
For the night - tho' clear - shall frown -
And the stars shall look not 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! -

~~~ End of Text ~~~
       A DREAM
In visions of the dark night
    I have dreamed of joy departed --
But a waking dreams 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 Truths day-star ?
~~~ End of Text ~~~
ROMANCE, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been - a most familiar bird -
Taught me my alphabet to say -
To lisp my 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 thy 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.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
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 any thing -
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.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
THE LAKE -- TO ----
IN spring of youth 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 mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody --
Then -- ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight --
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define --
Nor Love -- although the Love were thine.
Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining --
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
'TWAS noontide of summer,
   And midtime of night,
And stars, in their orbits,
   Shone pale, through 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 passed, 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.
~~~~~~ End of Text ~~~~~~
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 feet 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 wing was dark alloy
And as it fluttered-fell
An essence-powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
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 my spirit;
Those thoughts I would control
As a spell upon his soul:
For that bright hope at last
And that light time have past,
And my worldly rest hath gone
With a sigh as it pass'd on
I care not tho' it perish
With a thought I then did cherish.

~~~ End of Text ~~~
_Translation from the Greek_
WREATHED in myrtle, my sword I'll conceal
Like those champions devoted and brave,
When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,
And to Athens deliverance gave.
Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam
In the joy breathing isles of the blest;
Where the mighty of old have their home
Where Achilles and Diomed rest
In fresh myrtle my blade I'll entwine,
Like Harmodius, the gallant and good,
When he made at the tutelar shrine
A libation of Tyranny's blood.
Ye deliverers of Athens from shame!
Ye avengers of Liberty's wrongs!
Endless ages shall cherish your fame,
Embalmed in their echoing songs!
~~~ End of Text ~~~
Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awak'ning, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow:
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
'Twere better than the dull reality
Of waking life to him whose heart shall be,
And hath been ever, on the chilly 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
In the summer sky; in dreamy fields of light,
And left unheedingly my very heart
In climes of mine imagining - apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought - what more could I have seen?
'Twas once & _only_ once & the wild hour
From my rememberance shall not pass - some power
Or spell had bound me - 'twas the chilly wind
Came o'er me in the night & 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' but in a dream
I have been happy - & I love the theme -
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life -
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality which brings
To the delirious eye more lovely things
Of Paradise & Love - & all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

{From an earlier MS. Than in the book -ED.}
~~~ End of Text ~~~
_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!_
I                       I
IN youth I have known one with whom the Earth
    In secret communing held-as he with it,
In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth:
    Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit
From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
    A passionate light such for his spirit was fit
And yet that spirit knew-not in the hour
    Of its own fervor-what had o'er it power.
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?
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
    T' awake us--'Tis a symbol and a token
Of what in other worlds shall be--and given
    In beauty by our God, to those alone
Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven
    Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,
That high tone of the spirit which hath striven
    Though not with Faith-with godliness--whose throne
With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;
    Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.
* Query "fervor"?--ED.
        A PÆAN.
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
    Dead 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 perfum'd there,
With the death upon her eyes,
    And the life upon her hair.
Thus on the coffin loud and long
    I strike - the murmur sent
Through the grey chambers to my song,
    Shall be the accompaniment.
Thou died'st in thy life's June -
    But thou did'st not die too fair:
Thou did'st not die too soon,
    Nor with too calm an air.
From more than fiends on earth,
    Thy life and love are riven,
To join the untainted 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 Pæan of old days.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
30. On the "Poems written in Youth" little comment is needed. This section
includes the pieces printed for first volume of 1827 (which was
subsequently suppressed), such poems from the first and second published
volumes of 1829 and 1831 as have not already been given in their revised
versions, and a few others collected from various sources. "Al Aaraaf"
first appeared, with the sonnet "To Silence" prefixed to it, in 1829, and
is, substantially, as originally issued. In the edition for 1831, however,
this poem, its author's longest, was introduced by the following
twenty-nine lines, which have been omitted in -all subsequent collections:
Mysterious star!
Thou wert my dream
All a long summer night--
Be now my theme!
By this clear stream,
Of thee will I write;
Meantime from afar
Bathe me in light I
Thy world has not the dross of ours,
Yet all the beauty-all the flowers
That list our love or deck our bowers
In dreamy gardens, where do lie
Dreamy maidens all the day;
While the silver winds of Circassy
On violet couches faint away.
Little---oh I little dwells in thee11
Like unto what on earth we see:
Beauty's eye is here the bluest
In the falsest and untruest--On the sweetest
air doth float
The most sad and solemn note--
If with thee be broken hearts,
Joy so peacefully departs,
That its echo still doth dwell,
Like the murmur in the shell.
Thou! thy truest type of grief
Is the gently falling leafThou!
Thy framing is so holy
Sorrow is not melancholy.
31. The earliest version of "Tamerlane" was included in the suppressed
volume of 1827, but differs very considerably from the poem as now
published. The present draft, besides innumerable verbal alterations and
improvements upon the original, is more carefully punctuated, and, the
lines being indented, presents a more pleasing appearance, to the eye at
32. "To Helen" first appeared in the 1831 volume, as did also "The Valley
of Unrest" (as "The Valley Nis"), "Israfel," and one or two others of the
youthful pieces. The poem styled "Romance," constituted the Preface of the
1829 volume, but with the addition of the following lines:
Succeeding years, too wild for song,
Then rolled like tropic storms along,
Where, through the garish lights that fly
Dying along the troubled sky,
Lay bare, through vistas thunder-riven,
The blackness of the general Heaven,
That very blackness yet doth Ring
Light on the lightning's silver wing.
For being an idle boy lang syne;
Who read Anacreon and drank wine,
I early found Anacreon rhymes
Were almost passionate sometimes--
And by strange alchemy of brain
His pleasures always turned to pain--
His naiveté to wild desire--
His wit to love-his wine to fire--
And so, being young and dipt in folly,
I fell in love with melancholy,
And used to throw my earthly rest
And quiet all away in jest--
I could not love except where Death
Was mingling his with Beauty's breath--
Or Hymen, Time, and Destiny,
Were stalking between her and me.
. . . . . . . . . .
But now my soul hath too much room--
Gone are the glory and the gloom--
The black hath mellow'd into gray,
And all the fires are fading away.
My draught of passion hath been deep--
I revell'd, and I now would sleep
And after drunkenness of soul
Succeeds the glories of the bowl
An idle longing night and day
To dream my very life away.
But dreams--of those who dream as I,
Aspiringly, are damned, and die:
Yet should I swear I mean alone,
By notes so very shrilly blown,
To break upon Time's monotone,
While yet my vapid joy and grief
Are tintless of the yellow leaf--
Why not an imp the graybeard hath,
Will shake his shadow in my path--
And e'en the graybeard will o'erlook
Connivingly my dreaming-book.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
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 lov'd - _I_ lov'd alone -
_Then_ - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev'ry 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 roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold -
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd 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 -

~~~ End of Text ~~~
{This poem is no longer considered doubtful as it was in 1903. Liberty has
been taken to replace the book version with an earlier, perhaps more
original manuscript version --Ed}
BENEATH the vine-clad eaves,
    Whose shadows fall before
    Thy lowly cottage door
Under the lilac's tremulous leaves--
Within thy snowy claspeèd 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 I 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 I
IN these rapid, restless shadows,
    Once I walked at eventide,
When a gentle, silent maiden,
    Wal    ked in beauty at my side
She alone there walked beside me
    All in beauty, like a bride.
Pallidly the moon was shining
    On the dewy meadows nigh;
On the silvery, silent rivers,
    On the mountains far and high
On the ocean's star-lit waters,
    Where the winds a-weary die.
Slowly, silently we wandered
From the open cottage door,
Underneath the elm's long branches
To the pavement bending o'er;
Underneath the mossy willow
And the dying sycamore.
With the myriad stars in beauty
All bedight, the heavens were seen,
Radiant hopes were bright around me,
Like the light of stars serene;
Like the mellow midnight splendor
Of the Night's irradiate queen.
Audibly the elm-leaves whispered
    Peaceful, pleasant melodies,
Like the distant murmured music
    Of unquiet, lovely seas:
While the winds were hushed in slumber
    In the fragrant flowers and trees.
Wondrous and unwonted beauty
    Still adorning all did seem,
While I told my love in fables
    'Neath the willows by the stream;
Would the heart have kept unspoken
    Love that was its rarest dream!
Instantly away we wandered
    In the shadowy twilight tide,
She, the silent, scornful maiden,
    Walking calmly at my side,
With a step serene and stately,
    All in beauty, all in pride.
Vacantly I walked beside her.
    On the earth mine eyes were cast;
Swift and keen there came unto me
    Ritter memories of the past
On me, like the rain in Autumn
    On the dead leaves, cold and fast.
Underneath the elms we parted,
    By the lowly cottage door;
One brief word alone was uttered
    Never on our lips before;
And away I walked forlornly,
    Broken-hearted evermore.
Slowly, silently I loitered,
    Homeward, in the night, alone;
Sudden anguish bound my spirit,
    That my youth had never known;
Wild unrest, like that which cometh
    When the Night's first dream hath flown.
Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper
    Mad, discordant melodies,
And keen melodies like shadows
    Haunt the moaning willow trees,
And the sycamores with laughter
    Mock me in the nightly breeze.
Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
    Through the sighing foliage streams;
And each morning, midnight shadow,
    Shadow of my sorrow seems;
Strive, 0 heart, forget thine idol!
    And, 0 soul, forget thy dreams !
'Tis said that when
The hands of men
Tamed this primeval wood,
And hoary trees with groans of woe,
Like warriors by an unknown foe,
Were in their strength subdued,
The virgin Earth Gave instant birth
To springs that ne'er did flow
That in the sun Did rivulets run,
And all around rare flowers did blow
The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale
And the queenly lily adown the dale
(Whom the sun and the dew
And the winds did woo),
With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.
So when in tears
The love of years
Is wasted like the snow,
And the fine fibrils of its life
By the rude wrong of instant strife
Are broken at a blow
Within the heart
Do springs upstart
Of which it doth now know,
And strange, sweet dreams,
Like silent streams
That from new fountains overflow,
With the earlier tide
Of rivers glide
Deep in the heart whose hope has died--
Quenching the fires its ashes hide,--
Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
Sweet flowers, ere long,
The rare and radiant flowers of song!
Of the many verses from time to time ascribed to the pen of Edgar Poe, and
not included among his known writings, the lines entitled "Alone" have the
chief claim to our notice. _Fac-simile _copies of this piece had been in
possession of the present editor some time previous to its publication in
"Scribner's Magazine" for September, 1875; but as proofs of the authorship
claimed for it were not forthcoming, he refrained from publishing it as
requested. The desired proofs have not yet been adduced, and there is, at
present, nothing but internal evidence to guide us. "Alone" is stated to
have been written by Poe in the album of a Baltimore lady (Mrs.
Balderstone?), on March 17th, 1829, and the fac-simile given in
"Scribner's"s alleged to be of his handwriting. If the caligraphy be
Poe's, it is different in all essential respects from all the many
specimens known to us, and strongly resembles that of the writer of the
heading and dating of the manuscript, both of which the contributor of the
poem acknowledges to have been recently added. The lines, however, if not
by Poe, are the most successful imitation of his early mannerisms yet made
public, and, in the opinion of one well qualified to speak, "are not
unworthy on the whole of the parentage claimed for them."
While Edgar Poe was editor of the "Broadway journal," some lines "To
Isadore" appeared therein, and, like several of his known pieces, bore no
signature. They were at once ascribed to Poe, and in order to satisfy
questioners, an editorial paragraph subsequently appeared saying they were
by "A. Ide, junior." Two previous poems had appeared in the "Broadway
journal" over the signature of "A. M. Ide," and whoever wrote them was
also the author of the lines "To Isadore." In order, doubtless, to give a
show of variety, Poe was then publishing some of his known works in his
journal over _noms de plume, _and as no other writings whatever can be
traced to any person bearing the name of "A. M. Ide," it is not impossible
that the poems now republished in this collection may be by the author of
"The Raven." Having been published without his usual elaborate revision,
Poe may have wished to _hide _his hasty work under an assumed name. The
three pieces are included in the present collection, so the reader can
judge for himself what pretensions they possess to be by the author of
"The Raven."

End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 5
End of the Works of Edgar Allan Poe [Raven Edition]