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Edgar Allan Poe


T o   O n e   i n   P a r a d i s e

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 in faery fruits and flowers
     And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dreams to bright to last.
     Starry hope that did arise
But to be o'er cast.
     A voice from out the future cries
On, on, but o'er the past.
     Dim gulf my spirit hovering lies,

Mute, Motionless, Aghast.
     For alas, alas, within me
The light of life is over.
     No more, no more, no more
Such language holds the solemn sea
     To the sands upon the shore.
Shall bloom the thunder blasted tree?
     Or the stricken eagle soar?

And all my days are trances,
     And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
     And where thy footstep gleams.
In what ethereal dances?
     By what eternal streams?



A   D r e a m   W i t h i n   A   D r e a m

Take this kiss upon the brow
And in parting from you now
Thus much, let me avow
You are not wrong to deem
That my days have been a dream
And 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

As I stand amid the roar
Of the surf-tormented shore
And I hold within my hands
Grains of the golden sand
How few, yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep
While I weep, while I weep
Oh God, can I not grasp them
With a tighter clasp
Oh God, can I not save
One from this pitiless wave
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream



F o r   A n n i e

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 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.

The moaning, the groaning,
     The sighing, the sobbing,
Are quieted now; with
     Horrible throbbing
At heart: O, that horrible,
     Horrible throbbing!

And ah! of all tortures
     That torture the worst
Has abated - the terrible
     Torture of thirst
For the naphthalene river
     Of Glory accurst -
I have drank of a water
     That quenches all thirst

Of a water that flows,
     With a lullaby sound,
From a fountain 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 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 love
     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 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 is brighter
     Than all of the many
Stars of the heaven
     For it sparkles with Annie -
It glows with the fire
     Of the love of my Annie -
With the thought of the light
     Of the eyes of my Annie.



A l o n e

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 scource 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 clif 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.



T h e   R a v e n

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 visiter," 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 visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door--
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door--
Darkness there and nothing more.

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

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

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door--
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door--
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then the 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 that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its 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 Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by Horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore--
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

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

"Be that 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 has 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 shadows on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted--nevermore!


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