Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “The Conqueror Worm” (comparative text)


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Texts Compared:

  • 1843-A - Graham’s Magazine (January 1843)
  • 1843-B1 - Saturday Museum (February 28, 1843)
  • 1843-B2 - Saturday Museum (February 28, 1843)
  • 1845-C - New World (February 15, 1845)
  • 1845-D - Broadway Journal (May 24, 1845)
  • 1845-F - RAOP (1845)
  • 1847-H - The Poets and Poetry of America (1847)
  • 1849-J - RAOP-JLG (1849)

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THE CONQUEROR WORM.

{{1843-A:

————

BY EDGAR A. POE.

————

}}

Line-001:  LO! {{1843-A: ’t is // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2 // 1845-C // 1845-D // 1845-F // 1847-H // 1849-J: ’tis }} a gala night

Line-002:  [[indent-2]] Within the lonesome latter years {{1843-A:// 1843-B1 // 1843-B2 // 1845-C // 1845-D // 1845-F // 1847-H // 1849-J: ! }}

Line-003:  {{1843-A // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2: A mystic // 1845-C: An angel 1843-A // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2: A mystic // 1845-C: An angel }} throng, {{1843-A: bewinged // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2: bewing’d }} , bedight

Line-004:  [[indent-2]] In veils and {{1843-A: drowned // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2 // 1845-C: drown’d }} in tears,

Line-005:  Sit in a theatre to see

Line-006:  [[indent-2]] A play of hopes and fears,

Line-007:  While the orchestra breathes fitfully

Line-008:  [[indent-2]] The music of the spheres.

 

Line-009:  Mimes, in the form of God on high,

Line-010:  [[indent-2]] Mutter and mumble low,

Line-011:  And hither and thither fly —

Line-012:  [[indent-2]] Mere puppets they, who come and go

Line-013:  At bidding of vast {{1843-A: shadowy // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2 // 1845-C // 1845-D // 1845-F // 1847-H // 1849-J: formless }} things

Line-014:  [[indent-2]] That shift the scenery to and fro,

Line-015:  Flapping from out their Condor wings

Line-016:  [[indent-2]] Invisible Wo!

 

Line-017:  That motley drama — oh, be sure

Line-018:  [[indent-2]] It {{1843-A: shall // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2: shall }} not be forgot!

Line-019:  With its {{1843-A: Phantom // 1843-B1: phantom // 1843-B2: Phantom }} chased forevermore,

Line-020:  [[indent-2]] By a crowd that seize it not,

Line-021:  Through a circle that ever returneth in

Line-022:  [[indent-2]] To the self-same spot,

Line-023:  And much of Madness and more of Sin,

Line-024:  [[indent-2]] And Horror the soul of the plot.

 

Line-025:  But see, amid the mimic rout,

Line-026:  [[indent-2]] A crawling shape intrude!

Line-027:  A blood-red thing that writhes from out

Line-028:  [[indent-2]] The scenic solitude!

Line-029:  It writhes! — it writhes! — with mortal pangs

Line-030:  [[indent-2]] The mimes become its food,

Line-031:  And the angels sob at vermin fangs

Line-032:  [[indent-2]] In human gore imbued!

 

Line-033:  Out — out are the lights — out all!

Line-034:  [[indent-2]] And, over each {{1843-A: dying // 1843-B1 // 1843-B2 // 1845-C // 1845-D // 1845-F // 1847-H // 1849-J: quivering }} form,

Line-035:  The curtain, a funeral pall,

Line-036:  [[indent-2]] Comes down with the rush of a storm,

Line-037:  And the seraphs, all haggard and wan,

Line-038:  [[indent-2]] Uprising, unveiling, affirm

Line-039:  That the play is the tragedy “Man,”

Line-040:  [[indent-2]] Its hero the Conqueror Worm.

 


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Notes:

For an explanation of the formatting used in this comparative text, see editorial policies and methods. This format is very much an experiment, particularly for poetry.


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