The Death Of Edgar A. Poe.
(Written for the Memorial Committee; November, 1875.)
They have laid thee down to slumber where the sorrows
Such a wild and wayward heart as thine can never reach
For the radiant light of gladness never alternates with sadness,
Stinging gifted souls to madness, on that bright and blessed
Safely moored from sorrow's tempest, on that distant Aidenn
Rest thee, lost one, evermore.
Thou wert like a meteor glancing through a starry sky,
Thrilling, awing, wrapt beholders with the wondrous light it
But the meteor has descended, and the "nightly shadows
For the fever-dream is ended, and the fearful crisis o'er —
Yes, the wild unresting fever-dream of human life is o'er—
Thou art sleeping evermore.
Ocean, earth, and air could utter words that made thy spirit
Words that stirred the hidden fountain swelling in the
Stirred it till its wavelets, sighing, wakened to a wild
And in numbers never dying sung the heart's unwritten
Sung in wild, bewitching numbers, thy sad heart's unwritten
Now unwritten nevermore.
There was something sad and lonely in thy mystic songs that
Could have trembled from a spirit weary of the life it bore;
Something like the plaintive toning of a hidden streamlet
In its prismed darkness—moaning for the light it knew
For the fragrance and the sunlight that had gladdened it
Sighing, sighing, evermore.
To thy soul, for ever dreaming, came a strange effulgence,
Beaming, flashing from a region mortals never may explore;
Spirits lead thee in thy trances through a realm of gloomy
Giving spectres to thy glances man had never seen before —
Wondrous spectres such as human eye had never seen
Were around thee evermore.
Thou did'st see the sunlight quiver over many a fabled
Thou did'st wander with the shadows of the mighty dead of
And thy songs to us came ringing, like the wild, unearthly
Of the viewless spirits winging o'er the night's Plutonian
Of the weary spirits wandering by the gloomy Stygian
Sighing dirges evermore.
Thou did'st seem like one benighted—one whose hopes were
crushed and blighted—
Mourning for the lost and lovely that the world could not
But an endless rest is given to thy heart, so wrecked and
Thou hast met again in heaven with the lost and loved
With the "rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name
She will leave thee nevermore.
From the earth a star has faded, and the shrine of song has
And the Muses veil their faces, weeping sorrowful and sore;
But the harp, all rent and broken, left us many a thrilling
We shall hear its numbers spoken, and repeated o'er and o'er,
Till our hearts shall cease to tremble —we shall hear them
Sounding ever, evermore.
We shall hear them, like a fountain tinkling down a rugged
Like the wailing of the tempest mingling 'mid the ocean's
Like the winds of autumn sighing when the summer flowers
Like a spirit-voice replying from a dim and distant shore;
Like a wild, mysterious echo from a distant, shadowy shore,
We shall hear them evermore.
Nevermore wilt thou, undaunted, wander through the
Or the cypress vales Titanic, which thy spirit did explore;
Never hear the ghoul king, dwelling in the ancient steeple
With a slow and solemn knelling, losses human hearts
Telling in a sort of Runic rhyme the losses we deplore;
Tolling, tolling, evermore.
If a living human being ever had the gift of seeing
The grim and ghastly countenance its evil genius wore,
It was thou unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till thy song one burden
Till the dirges of thy hope the melancholy burden bore—
Of never, nevermore.