poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

occasions

About this Poem 

“Spirits of the Dead” by Edgar Allan Poe was initially titled “Visits of the Dead" when it was first published in Poe’s collection Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827).

Spirits of the Dead

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!

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

poem
     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
poem
                     1

     The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
         The wantonest singing birds
     Are lips—and all thy melody
         Of lip-begotten words—

                      2

     Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrin’d
         Then desolately fall,
     O! God! on my
poem
     Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
     With drowsy head and folded wing,
     Among the green leaves as they shake
     Far down within some shadowy lake,
     To me a painted paroquet
     Hath been—a most familiar bird—
     Taught me my alphabet to say—
     To lisp my very earliest