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About this Poem 

From The Works of Edgar Allan Poe in Five Volumes: The Raven Edition (P.F. Collier, 1902)


To Marie Louise (Shew)

     NOT long ago, the writer of these lines,
     In the mad pride of intellectuality,
     Maintained “the power of words”—denied that ever
     A thought arose within the human brain
     Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
     And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
     Two words-two foreign soft dissyllables—
     Italian tones, made only to be murmured
     By angels dreaming in the moonlit “dew
     That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,”—
     Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
     Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
     Richer, far wider, far diviner visions
     Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,
     (Who has “the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures”)
     Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
     The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
     With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,
     I can not write-I can not speak or think—
     Alas, I can not feel; for ‘tis not feeling,
     This standing motionless upon the golden
     Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams,
     Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
     And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
     Upon the left, and all the way along,
     Amid empurpled vapors, far away
     To where the prospect terminates-thee only!

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Born in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe had a profound impact on American and international literature as an editor, poet, and critic.

by this poet

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace —
Radiant palace — reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion —
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This — all this
     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.

     At midnight in the month of June,
     I stand beneath the mystic moon.
     An opiate vapour, 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 univeral valley.
     The rosemary nods