Text: Dwayne Thorpe, “Poe and the Revision of “Tamerlane”,” Poe Studies, June 1985, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, 18:1-5


[page 1:]

Poe and the Revision of “Tamerlane”

Washington and Jefferson College

At some point between 1827 and 1829, Edgar Poe gave up the imitation of Lord Byron to begin the serious business of growing into himself, self-consciously telling John Allan, ‘‘I have long given up Byron as a model” (Letters, 1, 20). Poe was referring to changes in his personal behavior, but those changes were linked to profound alterations in his poetry, alterations which can be seen by comparing the 1827 “Tamerlane,” Poe’s first published poem, with its revised 1829 version.(1) The differences between these versions give “Tamerlane” an importance that goes far beyond its value as a poem, for they show Poe in the midst of a dramatic and crucial transition, discovering and coming to grips for the first time with a theme that was to return in much of his mature work, the conflict of mortality with the ideal.(2) Excising Byronic elements, Poe ceased to be a mere page trying on the emperor’s robes and began to trace his own lineaments. Moreover, on this occasion, he approached the theme with a sophistication critics have not always granted him. To examine the revision of “Tamerlane,” therefore, is to confront essential issues in the interpretation of Poe’s work.

In revising “Tamerlane,” Poe clearly say. that its failure lay in its slavish imitation of Byron. Byron had, of course, haunted his teenage imagination, and the first ‘‘Tamerlane” was filled with obvious cribbings from Manfred, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Do1u tna1u, and a number of minor pieces. T. O. Mabbott, tracing the Byronic influence through several pages of notes, wisely concludes that “even more parallels than those here noted could probably be found to Byron’s works” (Works, 1, 61). Some of Poe’s debts amount to outright theft (most spectacularly, “The sound of revelry by night”); others, such as Tamerlane’s opening denial that his confessor has the power to help him, imitate particular passages; and still others simply mimic Byron’s general manner. Moreover, the first version of the poem appropriates a Byronic subject, that of a world-weary conqueror who has lost his love by pursuing fame. In 1827, Poe was casting his loss of Sarah Elmira Royster in Byronic terms. But in 1829, he moved away from Byron’s influence, taking up a theme and mode which were to become his own. The 1827 “Tamerlane” had 406 [column 2:] lines, the revised version 213. But more than editing was involved. While Poe cut 229 lines, he also added nearly 70, substantially altering the poem’s meaning in three major ways: the story of the youth whose ambition cost him his beloved was all but erased; the character of the beloved was changed; and the relationship between mortality and the ideal became the new focal point of the work:

The first of these changes accounts for most of the material cut from the first version. By 1829 Poe had apparently ceased to think of his poem as a narrative, for he dropped so many narrative elements and discarded so many vital passages that what had been a clear story became something nearly baffling. Two discarded sections are particularly illustrative in this regard, for they were the dramatic climaxes of the 1827 version: in the first, a passage of twenty lines, Tamelane decides to leave his beloved in order to win fame and make her his queen; in the second, of nineteen lines, Tamerlane’s return and ironic discovery that Ada’s death has rendered his victories hollow are portrayed. In the revision, these passages simply disappear, leaving the reader to grope for connections. The revised version, in fact, is extremely vague about Ada’s fate. The final stanza of the 1827 version takes fifteen lines to make clear that she “was long dead” (I, 39). The revised version says only:

I reach‘d my home — my home no more —

For all had flown who made it so.

I pass‘d from out its mossy door,

And, tho’ my tread was soft and low,

A voice came from the threshold stone

Of one whom I had earlier known —

O, I defy thee, Hell, to show

On beds of fire that burn below,

An humbler heart — a deeper wo. (I, 60)

The reader may infer that Ada is dead, or simply ‘‘flown,” the victim of an unknown fate, or even that it is her voice speaking from the threshold. The new version similarly leaves the cause of Tamerlane’s final woe unspecified.

The 1829 version also alters the poem’s original subject, the conflict of love and ambition. The romantic episodes, for instance, originally a major part of the poem, are nearly gone, and the heroine becomes an anonymous “she.” Pride too fades. The original ninth stanza loses twenty-four lines on the relationship of pride to genius and the great man’s ability to foretell his destiny. Two stanzas later, Poe cut sixteen lines concerning Tamerlane’s decision to follow his “high fate“ — “To gain an empire, and throw down / As nuptial dowry — a queen’s crown” (I, 34) and ten lines on the tendency of ordinary men to deny greatness [page 2:] in others. Lost in this second cut was a lengthy footnote wherein the juvenile author first assures his readers that “Although Tamerlane speaks this, it is not the less true” (1, 34-35) and then delivers a brief disquisition on greatness. Indeed, Poe deleted the subject of ambition throughout the new version. For instance, he erased the entire twelfth stanza, in which Tamerlane imagines how sweet his victories would be to a surprised Ada:

I picmr‘d to my fancy’s eye

Her silent, deep astonishment,

When, a few fleeting years gone by,

(For short the rime my high hope lent

To its most desperate intent,)

She might recall in him, whom Fame

Had gilded with a conqueror’s name,

(With glory — such as might inspire

Perforce, a passing thought of one,

Whom she had deem‘d in his own fire

Wither‘d and blasted; who had gone

A traitor, violate of the truth

So plighted in his early youth,)

Her own Alexis, who should plight

The love he plighted the,‘ — again,

And raise his infancy’s delight,

The bride and queen of Tamerlane — (I, 35)

This passage had ironic value in the 1827 poem which, following Poe’s original intention, “endeavored to expose the folly of risking the best feelings of the heart at the shrine of Ambition” (I, 22). Gone as well is a part of the fifteenth stanza illustrating the hollowness of a fame which isolates its possessor from human sympathies, in which Tamerlane bitterly recalls winning “victory’ on victory”:

And now what has he? what! a name.

The sound of revelry by night

Comes o‘er me, with the mingled voice

Of many with a breast as light,

As if ‘twere not the dying hour

Of one, in whom they did rejoice —

As in a leader, haply — Power

Its venom secretly imparts;

Nothing have I with human hearts. (I, 37)

Finally, Poe dropped an additional four lines on “pomp and power:

My eyes were still on pomp and power,

My wilder‘d heart was far away,

In vallies of the wild Taglay,

In mine own Ada’s matted bower (I, 38)

Originally, of course, some of these passages had significant biographical overtones, and discretion alone may have recommended their deletion after the failure of Tamerlane and Other Poems either to win fame for Poe or to redeem his reputation. But he had reasons for cutting that were more literary than personal. He was reshaping elements retained from the original poem — the hero, the conquest, and the beloved woman — for a new purpose, the nature of which becomes clearer in the metamorphosis of Ada.

In the original poem, Ada was a passionate figure straight from the pages of Byron. Her love, Tamerlane says in the sixth stanza, was “Such as in infancy was mine,” save that in infancy “its passion could not be” (1, 30) Such passion, he insists, is holy. [column 2:]

Yes! she was worthy of all love!

Ev‘n such as from th’ accursed time

My spirit with tempest strove,

When on the mountain peak alone,

Ambition lenr ir a new tone,

And bade ir first to dream of crime,

My phrenzy to her bosom taught:

We still were young: no purer thought

Dwelt in a seraph’s breast than shine;

For passionate love is still divine. (I, 31)

The contortion of the sentence may be owing to its author’s inexperience, or, more likely, to his struggle with intractable material. While Byron was at ease with the combination of passion and holiness, Poe was not; he opposed such a mixture not only in his fully-developed aesthetic but as early as 1829 in “Al Aaraaf,” where the passionate angels, Angelo and Ianthe, fall because “Heaven to them no hope imparts / Who hear not for the beating of their hearts” (I, 115). Likewise in revising “Tamerlane,” Poe stripped all such corrupting elements from his heroine, making her instead a stranger to the passion of earth. A love scene, for instance, does an about-face in the 1829 version, turning from passion to serenity. In the original, Tamerlane throws himself on Ada’s “throbbing breast” as she looks up into his “wilder‘d eye” (I, 30-31); in the revision, she simply “turn‘d on me her quiet eye” (I, 57).

The original Ada was the direct, though unwitting, cause of the tragedy, for Tamerlane’s “proud spirit had been broken” by her “one upbraiding word or token” (I, 33), perhaps a careless reproach about Tamerlane’s low birth that stung him into his pursuit of fame. In the original, this was a fitting irony, love suggesting the ambition that would destroy it. But in the new poem, the deserted woman is canonized, no longer a representative of the conflict of love and ambition but a symbol of the opposition of heaven and earth:

O, human love! thou spirit given,

On earth, of all we hope in Heaven!

Which fall’st inro the soul like rain

Upon the Siroc-wither‘d plain,

And, failing in thy power to bless,

But leav’st the heart a wilderness!

Idea! which bindest life around

With music of so strange a sound

And beauty of so wild a birth —

Farewell! for I have won the Earth. (I, 59)

Here Ada is the visible representative of a Platonic Idea, superior to human beings, encircling, binding, and nourishing life itself. The “human love” she embodies is so explicitly identified as heavenly that such conquest of the earth as Tamerlane’s inevitably entails its loss. Although not yet using the word, Poe later calls the quality she represents the supernal. The embodiment of a love “such as angel minds above / might envy” (I, 56), who inhabits a “holy grove” (I, 60) and is perfumed with the “incense of burnt offerings” (I, 61) — all 1829 additions to the poem — is clearly the subject of religious adoration. Poe continued to develop and expand this idea of the ideal maiden in a number of settings, poetic and otherwise, until his fullest expression of it late in his career in “The Poetic Principle,” where he drew the distinction between that “Poetic Sentiment” which is the excitement of the soul and “Passion, [page 3:] which is the excitement of the heart” (Complete Works, XIV, 275).

The transcendence of Poe’s heroine is the clear point of the revised fifth stanza. Both versions of the stanza begin by proclaiming the limits of language: ‘‘I have no words, alas! to tell / The loveliness of loving well” (I, 29, 56). But they soon part company. The 1827 version reads,

Nor would I dare attempt to trace

The breathing beauty of a face,

Which ev‘n to my impassion‘d mind

Leaves not its memory behind.

In spring of life have ye neter dwelt

Some object of delight upon,

With steadfast eye, till ye have felt

The earth reel — and the vision gone?

And I have held to mem‘ry’s eye

One object — and but one — until

Its very form hath pass‘d me by,

But left its influence with me still. (I, 29-30)

The 1829 version is rarified:

Nor would I now atempt to trace

The more than beauty of a face

Whose lineaments, upon my mind,

Are — shadows on th’ unstable wind:

Thus I remember having dwelt

Some page of carly lore upon,

With loitering eye, till I have felt

The letters — with their meaning — melt

To fantasies — with none. (I, 56)

The magnitude of the change is signalled by the distance between “the breathing beauty” and “the more than beauty,” between the human and the superhuman. The first kind of beauty can be expressed by the allegorical name, Ada; the second (as the heroine’s anonymity in the revised version suggests) eludes words. The first is apparently part of everyone’s youthful experience; the second is mystic, evanescent, incommunicable. The first has simply been forgotten, though leaving behind a rather Wordsworthian “influence”; but the second defies description even at the moment of experience. Appropriately, the stanza’s new metaphors — shadows, wind, the letters of rational language which melt to become supra-rational fantasies — anticipate “that Loveliness whose very elements, perhaps, appertain to eternity alone” of ‘‘The Poetic Principle.” (Complete Works, XIV, 274).

As the nature of the lost woman alters from 1827 to 1829, so does the responsibility for her loss, shifting from Tamerlane to something beyond his control. Edward H. Davidson, commenting on the 1827 version, concludes that “Tamerlane” is about the growth of a mind which is “wholly self-directed . . . The poem becomes a set of allegorical stances whereby the young Tamerlane bends all exterior reality to his will.“(4) But the description does not apply to the 1829 version, where Tamerlane is overwhelmed by reality. The point of the 1827 poem was that Tamerlane had made the wrong choice; the central irony of the 1829 version is that the choices of even a world conqueror count for little. The revised poem is founded on the paradox that Tamerlane’s intention to exalt his love ends in the loss of it.

Irony and paradox are, of course, hallmarks of Poe’s mature method, but the effects are noted more frequently than the concept that generates them. That concept, around [column 2:] which Poe’s themes crystallize, is that the world, though the theatre of man’s quest, does not contain the object of that quest; in the 1829 poem, Tamerlane’s desires yield an inevitable failure because both love and fame are hollow proxies for what he really wants. The revisions enforcing this point are numerous and take two forms: first, a new insistence on the role of time in weaving Tamerlane’s fate; second, a sophisticated view of the way the supernal acts on human beings.

In the revised poem, time exerts its power everywhere, even molding Tamerlane’s feelings. For instance, the second stanza of the original version presents a simple contrast between Tamerlane’s young ambition and his later failure. He had thought that only Ada

Might know the secret of a spirit

Bow‘d down in sorrow, and in shame —

Shame, said’st thou?

Aye, I did inhetit

That hated portion, with the fame. (I, 27)

The point rests in the ironic rhyming of “shame” with “fame,” embodying the wretched outcome of ambition. In the revision the subject is shifted — slightly but significantly:

Know thou the secret of a spirit

Bow‘d from its wild pride into shame.

O yearning heart! I did inherit

Thy withering portion with the fame. (1, 54)

This version is both more complex and more subtle. Tamerlane’s “secret” is no longer that he is both famous and ashamed, but rather that his shame springs from a yearning heart. Apparent fulfillment, he has discovered, is wedded to yearning: a truth he has learned through the failure of victory to end yearning. That failure reveals the real source of the heart’s yearning, in lines new in the 1829 version:

O craving heart, for the lost flowers

And sunshine of my summer hours!

The undying voice of that dead time,

With its interminable chime,

Rings, in the spirit of a spell,

Upon the emptiness — a knell. (I, 54)

What Tamerlane craves, and of course cannot have, ;s perpetual youth. The figure is, in fact, wholly entangled hy the paradoxes of a “dead time” whose voice is strangely undying, which marks a terminus and yet is “interminable,” which sounds a perpetual funeral knell for the loss of the “sunshine” of his “summer hours.” Time, not Tamerlane. is the real conqueror. But since time operates independent of Tamerlane’s will, even in opposition to it, this new perception changes the fundamental point of the poem. Whether Tamerlane had clung to love or gone to war, the result would have been the same: time would have changed things utterly, leaving him with a heart which craves more than earth can give. And Tamerlane knows this. Describing the intensity of his early passion, he recognizes that “passion must, with youth, expire” (I, 56). The first version of the poem could not have contained that line, for its point was that Tamerlane’s love would not have died if he had stayed where he belonged. But in the revised version, which is pervaded with images of noon and night, sun and moon, blossoms and withered flowers, [page 4:] time makes it impossible for him to stay off loss. Time is revealed as the weaver of Tamerlane’s fate near the end of the new version, when he returns home by moonlight, all youthful energy gone:

And boyhood is a summer sun

Whose waning is the dreariest one.

For all we live to know is known,

And all we seek to keep hath flown.

Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall

With the noon-day beauty — which is all. (I, 60)

Richard Wilbur believes that these lines contain the central theme of the poem:

Actually, the villain of thc piece is not Ambition but Time. . . . Time has inevirably cstransed him from his boyhood and from the visionary capacity to possess, through Psyche, “the world, and all it did contain.” The fundamcnral contrast is between two kinds of power: the despotic imaginative power Of the child, and the adult’s struggle for actual worldly power. The first is judged ideal or “holy,” the second earrbly or evil.(5)

Wilbur’s reading is essentially bipolar, locating the supernal vision represented by the Ada-figure at one extreme, earth and time at the other. But Poe’s actual handling of the matter, I believe, is more cotnplex and paradoxical. Although one might well expect the ideal to be an antidote to earthly ills, for Tamerlane it acts instead as an exquisite poison, the supernal seeming to mimic the infernal. Why these two poles should so resemble each other in their human effects was a question Poe could not yet answer and one that would absorb much of the remainder of his career. But as the revision of “Tamerlane” shows, he was certain of their likeness. Tamerlane is not pulled between the attractions of earthly elements and holy vision; instead, he is tormented by something masquerading as hope, something which is actually “agony of desire” (I, 54). On three separate occasions, each a critical moment in Tamerlane’s development, Poe names heaven, not earth, as the source of his hero’s suffering.

The first is Tamerlane’s vision, less holy than strange, which generates his quest for fame. In the 1827 version, that quest was brought about by “venom‘’ which Tamerlane’s brain “drank” from the mysterious mists of Taglay (I, 28). Thus poisoned, he saw, in the midst of a thunderstorm, an armed conflict and earthly victories making him a conqueror. This false vision, of course, drew him away from Ada and brought about his tragedy. But the 1829 version offers a very different vision in which mists and thunder acquire a new meaning:

On mountain soil I first drew life:

The mists of the Taglay have shed

Nightly their dews upon my head,

And, I believe, the winged strife

And tumult of the headlong air

Have nestled in my very hair.

So late from Heaven — that dew — it fell

(‘Mid dreams of an unholy night)

Upon me with the touch of Hell. (I, 54, 55)

Now Tamerlane’s vision is not poison imbibed from earth but a distillation that falls from heaven. Moreover, the tumult which will characterize his life has its counterpart in the air; and heaven and hell are so mixed that he is [column 2:] unable to distinguish between them. Perhaps most important of all, this image of a tumultuous heaven nestling in Tamerlane’s hair is careful preparation for the poem’s revised ending, where the image is repeated and made the focal point of Tamerlane’s meditation on the paradoxical nature of the divine vision.

The second occasion involves the relationship between the nameless maiden and earthly ambition. In the poem’s first version, maiden and ambition were treated as antithetical forces, true to Poe’s announced theme. But in the revision they merge. The ‘‘more than beauty” of the divine face ceases to conflict with Tamerlane’s quest for fame and becomes the cause of it. The woman’s image and the vision of fame are “Two separate — yet most intimate things” (I, 57); and their intimacy is defined in new lines which show that Tamerlane’s ambition, born during the mountain storm, would have passed away as easily as the “vanities of dreams by night‘’ (I, 57) had it not been nourished by divine beauty:

A cottager, I mark‘d a throne

Of half the world as all my own,

And murmur‘d at such lovely lot —

But, just like any other dream,

Upon the vapor of the dew

My own had past, did not the beam

Of beauty which did while it thro’

The minute — the hour — the day — oppress

My mind with double loveliness. (1, 57-58)

Between 1827 and 1829, Poe discovered this new, more sophisticated theme that time would not be the destructive element it is, and earth would not torment the spirit so, were it not for man’s heaven-sent desire to possess more than earth can give. That desire, which falls on Tamerlane’s head “from Heaven . . . with the touch of Hell,” is the connection between his craving for ‘‘double loveliness” and his conquest of half the world. In that desire, in the “yearning heart,” is the source of suffering.

This new theme is reinforced in the poem’s final addition, its new concluding lines. Here, Tamerlane has one of those visions of truth granted only to dying men:

Father, I firmly do believe

I know — for Death who comes for me

From regions of the blest afar,

Where there is nothing to deceive,

Hath left his iron gate ajar,

And rays of light you cannot sec

Are flashing thro’ Eternity —

I do believe that Eblis hath

A snare in every human path —

Else how, when in the holy grove

I wandered of the idol, Love

Who daily scents his snowy wings

With incense of burnt offerings

From the most unpolluted things,

Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven

Above with trellic‘d rays from Heaven

No mote may shun — no finest fly —

The light‘ning of his eagle eye —

How was it that Ambition crept,

Unseen, amid the revels there,

Till growing bold. he laughed and leapt

In the tangles of Love’s very hair? (I, 60-61)

Why ambition should infiltrate love, Tamerlane cannot say, but he does suggest that a demonic power controls [page 5:] human lives. If thee, which takes away the sun of boyhood, is man’s enemy, then supernal beauty, the ambassador of eternity, should be his ally. But it is not, being instead allied to the very things which make time destructive. Tamerlane’s final vision in the revised poem, then, a vision validated by his glimpse of eternity, is not a bitter perception that he has acted wrongly but a baffled questioning of cosmic paradox. I do not mean that Tamerlane has attained wisdom, for he remains mystified. But in the two years between this first poem and its revision, Tamerlane’s author had learned something and, in the process, gone far toward finding his mature voice and subject. Exactly how far may be seen by noting how much the new Tamerlane sounds like the later baffled narrators of “William Wilson,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Imp of the Perverse,” each of whom tries to explain the paradox of his fate by blaming a mysterious, infernal power. One can almost hear Tamerlane blaming his ambition on perverseness, the ‘‘unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself” (III, 852).

Clearly the revised poem contains many elements which resemble Poe’s later work. The lost, ideal love who would later be named Lenore, Eleonora, or Ligeia, first appears here. The Eastern locale and enclosed, enchanted place of love are also familiar elements, as is the analogy drawn between heaven and a woman’s eyes. Even the language used to describe transcendent love in this first poem resembles that in Poe’s last; while Tamerlane and his maiden share a love “such as angel minds above / Might envy” (I, 56), the later narrator and Annabel Lee love “With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven / Coveted her and me” (I, 479). More significant are the thematic parallels. The story of a man pursuing a dream of destiny, spurred on by a vision of supernal beauty until he discovers to his horror that he has lost everything, recurs throughout Poe’s career. In the process, he depicted not just the human struggle with time as in “The Pit and the Pendulum” but the dark ideal itself, the holy vision tranformed to nightmare as in “Ligeia,” ‘‘The Masque of the Red Death,” “Ulalume,” “The Fall of the House of Usher.” At his utmost point of development, Poe saw the clash between human consciousness of time and the longing for the supernal as the origin point of poetry itself. In “The Poetic Principle,‘’ he describes the poet’s ‘‘wild effort to reach the Beauty above,” an effort which produces inspiration, struggle, occasional glimpses of something more than mortal, but most of all a “certain taint of sadness . . .

inseparably connected with all the higher manifestations of true Beauty” (Complete Works, XIV, 279). Like Tamerlane, driven by a vague desire for double loveliness only to become conscious of time and loss, Poe sees the soul as seeking immortal beauty but finding in the process ‘‘a [column 2:] certain, petulant, impatient sorrow” (Complete Works, XIV, 274).

In 1829, such fully matured ideas lay well in Poe’s future. But in his revision of ‘‘Tamerlane,” Poe began to perceive the inherently paradoxical character of human longing. He thus identified an issue he would return to, to explore again and again, for the rest of his career.(6)



1 - The 1829 version of “Tamerlane” was not the last. Poe printed two other revisions, in 1831 and 181u5. However, the 1845 version, with the exception of two slight changes in lines 40 and 57, simply reproduced the 1829 text, discarding a number of attempts made in 1831 to incorporate some of the shorter 1827 poems into the body of “Tamerlane.‘’ For all practical purposes, the 1829 and 1845 versions are identical. Similarly, Poe’s interest in Byron .iid n‘ut cncl in 1829. Byronism has often been the focus of Poe’s critics. Most recently, George H. Soule, “Byronism in Poe’s ‘Metzengerstein’ and ‘William Wilson,‘” ESQ, 24 (1978), 152-162, has analyzed the continuation of Byronic elements in Poe’s fiction, though it should be noted that Poe’s attitude toward Byronism in these two tales as well as others is distinctly negative and even satirical.

2 - ‘‘There have been five earlier significant analyses of the poem. Fulward H. Davidson, Poe. A Critical Study (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap of Harvard Univ. Press, 1957), pp. 4-10, sees it as the first step in Poe’s creation of the self as symbol — a step which failed because the poem’s solipsism kept Poe from attaining the necessary distance for a creation. David Halliburton, Edgar Allan Poe: A Phemomenological View (Princeton, N.J.: 1973), pp. 5068, thinks the poem presents a character wino is alienated because he constantly negates himself by orienting himself toward some distant, transcendental power rather than toward his actual circumstances. Robert D. Jacobs, “The Self and the World: Poe” Early Poems,‘‘Georgia Review 31 (1977), 638-668, chronicles Poe’s attempts to grow away from both Byronism and the confessional mode, pointing to the creation, in “Tamerlane,” of something Poe handled more successfully in the short tale, a character whose narrative is an attempt to understand his own failure. Arthur Hobson Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography (New York: Appleton Century-Crofts, 1941), pp. 122-126, views the poem as a treatment of the struggle to preserve spiritual integrity, a recurrent motif in Poe’s work. Richard Wilbur, Poe (New York: Dell, 1959), pp. 118-119, treats the conflict of spiritual vision and earthly power in the poem.

3 - Given Poe’s later use of untrustworthy narrators, this discarded footnote is interesting for it clearly demonstrates that, from the beginning, Poe was aware of a significant distinction between author and narrator.

4 - Davidson, pp. 7-8.

5 - Wilbur, p. 118.

6 - G. R. Thompson’s Circumscribed Eden of Dreams: Dreamvision and Nightmare in Poe’s Early Poetry (Baltimore: The Poe Society and Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1984), which appeared while this essay was in press — eds.


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[S:0 - PSDR, 1980]