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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works.
shadow neither of man nor God—­neither God of Greece, nor God of Chaldaea, nor any Egyptian God.  And the shadow rested upon the brazen doorway, and under the arch of the entablature of the door and moved not, nor spoke any word, but there became stationary and remained.  And the door whereupon the shadow rested was, if I remember aright, over against the feet of the young Zoilus enshrouded.  But we, the seven there assembled, having seen the shadow as it came out from among the draperies, dared not steadily behold it, but cast down our eyes, and gazed continually into the depths of the mirror of ebony.  And at length I, Oinos, speaking some low words, demanded of the shadow its dwelling and its appellation.  And the shadow answered, “I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal.”  And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast:  for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable, fell duskily upon our ears in the well remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.

* * * * *

SILENCE.—­A FABLE.

The mountain pinnacles slumber; valleys, crags, and caves are silent.

“LISTEN to me,” said the Demon, as he placed his hand upon my head.  “The region of which I speak is a dreary region in Libya, by the borders of the river Zaeire.  And there is no quiet there, nor silence.

“The waters of the river have a saffron and sickly hue; and they flow not onward to the sea, but palpitate forever and forever beneath the red eye of the sun with a tumultuous and convulsive motion.  For many miles on either side of the river’s oozy bed is a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies.  They sigh one unto the other in that solitude, and stretch towards the heaven their long and ghastly necks, and nod to and fro their everlasting heads.  And there is an indistinct murmur which cometh out from among them like the rushing of subterrene water.  And they sigh one unto the other.

“But there is a boundary to their realm—­the boundary of the dark, horrible, lofty forest.  There, like the waves about the Hebrides, the low underwood is agitated continually.  But there is no wind throughout the heaven.  And the tall primeval trees rock eternally hither and thither with a crashing and mighty sound.  And from their high summits, one by one, drop everlasting dews.  And at the roots, strange poisonous flowers lie writhing in perturbed slumber.  And overhead, with a rustling and loud noise, the gray clouds rush westwardly forever until they roll, a cataract, over the fiery wall of the horizon.  But there is no wind throughout the heaven.  And by the shores of the river Zaeire there is neither quiet nor silence.

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