EDGAR ALLAN POE

                                      1849
                                  ANNABEL LEE
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

    It was many and many a year ago,
          In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
          By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
          Than to love and be loved by me.

    I was a child and she was a child,
          In this kingdom by the sea;
    But we loved with a love that was more than love-
          I and my Annabel Lee;
    With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
          Coveted her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
          In this kingdom by the sea,
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
          My beautiful Annabel Lee;
    So that her highborn kinsman came
          And bore her away from me,
    To shut her up in a sepulchre
          In this kingdom by the sea.

    The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
          Went envying her and me-
    Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
          In this kingdom by the sea)
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
          Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love
          Of those who were older than we-
          Of many far wiser than we-
    And neither the angels in heaven above,
          Nor the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
          In the sepulchre there by the sea,
          In her tomb by the sounding sea.


                      -THE END-
_______________________________________

                                      1849
                                  TO MY MOTHER
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

    Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
      The angels, whispering to one another,
    Can find, among their burning terms of love,
      None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
    Therefore by that dear name I long have called you-
      You who are more than mother unto me,
    And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
      In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
    My mother- my own mother, who died early,
      Was but the mother of myself; but you
    Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
      And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
    By that infinity with which my wife
      Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.


                     -THE END-
___________________________________
                                      1829
                                   FAIRY-LAND
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

          Dim vales- and shadowy floods-
          And cloudy-looking woods,
          Whose forms we can't discover
          For the tears that drip all over!
          Huge moons there wax and wane-
          Again- again- again-
          Every moment of the night-
          Forever changing places-
          And they put out the star-light
          With the breath from their pale faces.
          About twelve by the moon-dial,
          One more filmy than the rest
          (A kind which, upon trial,
          They have found to be the best)
          Comes down- still down- and down,
          With its centre on the crown
          Of a mountain's eminence,
          While its wide circumference
          In easy drapery falls
          Over hamlets, over halls,
          Wherever they may be-
          O'er the strange woods- o'er the sea-
          Over spirits on the wing-
          Over every drowsy thing-
          And buries them up quite
          In a labyrinth of light-
          And then, how deep!- O, deep!
          Is the passion of their sleep.
          In the morning they arise,
          And their moony covering
          Is soaring in the skies,
          With the tempests as they toss,
          Like- almost anything-
          Or a yellow Albatross.
          They use that moon no more
          For the same end as before-
          Videlicet, a tent-
          Which I think extravagant:
          Its atomies, however,
          Into a shower dissever,
          Of which those butterflies
          Of Earth, who seek the skies,
          And so come down again,
          (Never-contented things!)
          Have brought a specimen
          Upon their quivering wings.


                    -THE END-
__________________________________

              1831
                                    ISRAFEL
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

       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 enamored 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 the other listening things)
       That Israfeli's fire
       Is owing to that lyre
         By which he sits and sings-
       The trembling living wire
         Of those unusual strings.

       But the skies that angel trod,
         Where deep thoughts are a duty-
       Where Love's a grown-up God-
         Where the Houri glances are
       Imbued with all the beauty
         Which we worship in a star.

       Therefore thou art not wrong,
         Israfeli, who despisest
       An unimpassioned song;
       To thee the laurels belong,
         Best bard, because the wisest!
       Merrily live, and long!

       The ecstasies above
         With thy burning measures suit-
       Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
         With the fervor of thy lute-
         Well may the stars be mute!

       Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
         Is a world of sweets and sours;
         Our flowers are merely- flowers,
       And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
         Is the sunshine of ours.

       If I could dwell
       Where Israfel
         Hath dwelt, and he 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.


                 -THE END-
_____________________________
                                      1831
                              THE CITY IN THE SEA
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

      Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
      In a strange city lying alone
      Far down within the dim West,
      Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
      Have gone to their eternal rest.
      There shrines and palaces and towers
      (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
      Resemble nothing that is ours.
      Around, by lifting winds forgot,
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters he.

      No rays from the holy heaven come down
      On the long night-time of that town;
      But light from out the lurid sea
      Streams up the turrets silently-
      Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
      Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
      Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
      Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
      Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
      Up many and many a marvellous shrine
      Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
      The viol, the violet, and the vine.
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters lie.
      So blend the turrets and shadows there
      That all seem pendulous in air,
      While from a proud tower in the town
      Death looks gigantically down.

      There open fanes and gaping graves
      Yawn level with the luminous waves;
      But not the riches there that lie
      In each idol's diamond eye-
      Not the gaily-jewelled dead
      Tempt the waters from their bed;
      For no ripples curl, alas!
      Along that wilderness of glass-
      No swellings tell that winds may be
      Upon some far-off happier sea-
      No heavings hint that winds have been
      On seas less hideously serene.

      But lo, a stir is in the air!
      The wave- there is a movement there!
      As if the towers had thrust aside,
      In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
      As if their tops had feebly given
      A void within the filmy Heaven.
      The waves have now a redder glow-
      The hours are breathing faint and low-
      And when, amid no earthly moans,
      Down, down that town shall settle hence,
      Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
      Shall do it reverence.


              -THE END-
_____________________________

                                      1831
                                  THE SLEEPER
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

      At midnight, in the month of June,
      I stand beneath the mystic moon.
      An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
      Exhales from out her golden rim,
      And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
      Upon the quiet mountain top,
      Steals drowsily and musically
      Into the universal valley.
      The rosemary nods upon the grave;
      The lily lolls upon the wave;
      Wrapping the fog about its breast,
      The ruin molders into rest;
      Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
      A conscious slumber seems to take,
      And would not, for the world, awake.
      All Beauty sleeps!- and lo! where lies
      Irene, with her Destinies!

      O, lady bright! can it be right-
      This window open to the night?
      The wanton airs, from the tree-top,
      Laughingly through the lattice drop-
      The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,
      Flit through thy chamber in and out,
      And wave the curtain canopy
      So fitfully- so fearfully-
      Above the closed and fringed lid
      'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid,
      That, o'er the floor and down the wall,
      Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
      Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
      Why and what art thou dreaming here?
      Sure thou art come O'er far-off seas,
      A wonder to these garden trees!
      Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress,
      Strange, above all, thy length of tress,
      And this all solemn silentness!

      The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
      Which is enduring, so be deep!
      Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
      This chamber changed for one more holy,
      This bed for one more melancholy,
      I pray to God that she may lie
      For ever with unopened eye,
      While the pale sheeted ghosts go by!

      My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep
      As it is lasting, so be deep!
      Soft may the worms about her creep!
      Far in the forest, dim and old,
      For her may some tall vault unfold-
      Some vault that oft has flung its black
      And winged panels fluttering back,
      Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,
      Of her grand family funerals-
      Some sepulchre, remote, alone,
      Against whose portal she hath thrown,
      In childhood, many an idle stone-
      Some tomb from out whose sounding door
      She ne'er shall force an echo more,
      Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!
      It was the dead who groaned within.


                    -THE END-
________________________________
                                      1831
                                     LENORE
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

   Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
   Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
   And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
   See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
   Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
   An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
   A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

   "Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
   And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
   How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
   By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
   That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"

   Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
   Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
   The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside,
   Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy
        bride.
   For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
   The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
   The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

   "Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
   From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
   From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of
        Heaven!
   Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
   Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
   And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
   But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"


                             -THE END-
________________________________

                                      1831
                              THE VALLEY OF UNREST
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

       Once it smiled a silent dell
       Where the people did not dwell;
       They had gone unto the wars,
       Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
       Nightly, from their azure towers,
       To keep watch above the flowers,
       In the midst of which all day
       The red sunlight lazily lay.
       Now each visitor shall confess
       The sad valley's restlessness.
       Nothing there is motionless-
       Nothing save the airs that brood
       Over the magic solitude.
       Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
       That palpitate like the chill seas
       Around the misty Hebrides!
       Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
       That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
       Uneasily, from morn till even,
       Over the violets there that lie
       In myriad types of the human eye-
       Over the lilies there that wave
       And weep above a nameless grave!
       They wave:- from out their fragrant tops
       Eternal dews come down in drops.
       They weep:- from off their delicate stems
       Perennial tears descend in gems.


                     -THE END-
____________________________
                                      1833
                                  THE COLISEUM
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

       Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
       Of lofty contemplation left to Time
       By buried centuries of pomp and power!
       At length- at length- after so many days
       Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,
       (Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)
       I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
       Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
       My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!

       Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
       Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
       I feel ye now- I feel ye in your strength-
       O spells more sure than e'er Judaean king
       Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
       O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
       Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

       Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
       Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
       A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
       Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
       Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
       Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
       Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,
       Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
       The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

       But stay! these walls- these ivy-clad arcades-
       These moldering plinths- these sad and blackened shafts-
       These vague entablatures- this crumbling frieze-
       These shattered cornices- this wreck- this ruin-
       These stones- alas! these grey stones- are they all-
       All of the famed, and the colossal left
       By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

       "Not all"- the Echoes answer me- "not all!
       Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
       From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
       As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
       We rule the hearts of mightiest men- we rule
       With a despotic sway all giant minds.
       We are not impotent- we pallid stones.
       Not all our power is gone- not all our fame-
       Not all the magic of our high renown-
       Not all the wonder that encircles us-
       Not all the mysteries that in us lie-
       Not all the memories that hang upon
       And cling around about us as a garment,
       Clothing us in a robe of more than glory."


                      -THE END-
______________________________
                                      1844
                                   DREAMLAND
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

            By a route obscure and lonely,
            Haunted by ill angels only,
            Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
            On a black throne reigns upright,
            I have reached these lands but newly
            From an ultimate dim Thule-
            From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
               Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

            Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
            And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
            With forms that no man can discover
            For the tears that drip all over;
            Mountains toppling evermore
            Into seas without a shore;
            Seas that restlessly aspire,
            Surging, unto skies of fire;
            Lakes that endlessly outspread
            Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
            Their still waters- still and chilly
            With the snows of the lolling lily.

            By the lakes that thus outspread
            Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
            Their sad waters, sad and chilly
            With the snows of the lolling lily,-
            By the mountains- near the river
            Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
            By the grey woods,- by the swamp
            Where the toad and the newt encamp-
            By the dismal tarns and pools
               Where dwell the Ghouls,-
            By each spot the most unholy-
            In each nook most melancholy-
            There the traveller meets aghast
            Sheeted Memories of the Past-
            Shrouded forms that start and sigh
            As they pass the wanderer by-
            White-robed forms of friends long given,
            In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

            For the heart whose woes are legion
            'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
            For the spirit that walks in shadow
            'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
            But the traveller, travelling through it,
            May not- dare not openly view it!
            Never its mysteries are exposed
            To the weak human eye unclosed;
            So wills its King, who hath forbid
            The uplifting of the fringed lid;
            And thus the sad Soul that here passes
            Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

            By a route obscure and lonely,
            Haunted by ill angels only,
            Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
            On a black throne reigns upright,
            I have wandered home but newly
            From this ultimate dim Thule.


                     -THE END-
____________________________

                                      1845
                                   THE RAVEN
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
         Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
         Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
         This it is, and nothing more."

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

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no 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 soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
         'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with 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 this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
         Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
         With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further 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 fancy 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 lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
         She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls 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 word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
         Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
         Shall be lifted- nevermore!


                             -THE END-
___________________________________
                   1827
                             A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

          Take this kiss upon the brow!
          And, in parting from you now,
          Thus much let me avow-
          You are not wrong, who deem
          That my days have been a dream;
          Yet if hope has flown away
          In a night, or in a day,
          In a vision, or in none,
          Is it therefore the less gone?
          All that we see or seem
          Is but a dream within a dream.

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


                  -THE END-
___________________________
                                      1827
                              SPIRITS OF THE DEAD
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

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

      Be silent in that solitude,
        Which is not loneliness- for then
      The spirits of the dead, who stood
        In life before thee, are again
      In death around thee, and their will
      Shall overshadow thee; be still.

      The night, though clear, shall frown,
      And the stars shall not look down
      From their high thrones in the Heaven
      With light like hope to mortals given,
      But their red orbs, without beam,
      To thy weariness shall seem
      As a burning and a fever
      Which would cling to thee for ever.

      Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
      Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
      From thy spirit shall they pass
      No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

      The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
      And the mist upon the hill
      Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
      Is a symbol and a token.
      How it hangs upon the trees,
      A mystery of mysteries!


                 -THE END-
_____________________________
1830
                                     ALONE
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

        From childhood's hour I have not been
        As others were; I have not seen
        As others saw; I could not bring
        My passions from a common spring.
        From the same source I have not taken
        My sorrow; I could not awaken
        My heart to joy at the same tone;
        And all I loved, I loved alone.
        Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
        Of a most stormy life- was drawn
        From every depth of good and ill
        The mystery which binds me still:
        From the torrent, or the fountain,
        From the red cliff of the mountain,
        From the sun that round me rolled
        In its autumn tint of gold,
        From the lightning in the sky
        As it passed me flying by,
        From the thunder and the storm,
        And the cloud that took the form
        (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
        Of a demon in my view.


                   -THE END-
___________________________
                                      1843
                               THE CONQUEROR WORM
                               by Edgar Allan Poe

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

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

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

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

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


                    -THE END-