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Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works.

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

1838.

* * * * *

THE CONQUEROR WORM.

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

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

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

  But see, amid the mimic rout
    A crawling shape intrude! 
  A blood-red thing that writhes from out
    The scenic solitude! 
  It writhes!—­it writhes!—­with mortal pangs
    The mimes become its food,
  And the angels sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued.

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

1838

* * * * *

SILENCE.

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

1840

* * * * *

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