Last Update: Feb. 18, 2002 .Navigation:. Main Menu .. Poe's Criticisms
[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (and Sarah Anna Lewis), “[Sarah Anna Lewis],” "Young" manuscript fragments, 1849.]



 

[HEH: Fragment ?] [This fragment is closely trimmed at the top, with the first word beginning nearly all the way to the right margin. At the top right corner, is a pencilled “2” in a circle.]

In the passage which follows the heroine is introduced at a confessional:

[[the following portion is pasted in from a printed source:]]
 And wan the mournful Maiden now
     Across the balmy valley flies,
 The cold, damp dew upon her brow,
     The hot tears trickling from her eyes --
 The last that Fate can ever wring
 From her young boson’s troubled spring.
 Swiftly beneath the myrtle she
 Glides onward o’er the moonlit lea --
 By many a Mausoleum speeds,
 And tomb, amidst the tuneful reeds,
 Yet falters not — she feels no dread
 When in the presence of the dead --
 Alas ! what awe have sepulchres
 For hearts that have been dead for years --
 Dead unto all external things --
 Dead unto Hope’s sweet offerings,
 While with its lofty pinions furled,
 The Spirit floats in neither world.

 She gains at length the holy fane,
 Where death and solemn silence reign --
 Hurries along the shadowy aisles,
     Up to the altar where blest tapers
 Burn dimly, and the Virgin smiles,
     Midst rising clouds of incense vapors --
 There kneels by the Confession Chair,
 Where waits the Friar with fervent prayer,
 To soothe the Children of Despair.

 Her hands are clasped — her eyes upraised --
 Meek — beautiful — though coldly glazed,
       And her pale cheeks are paling faster;
 From under her simple hat of straw,
 Over her neck her tresses flow,
     Like threads of jet o’er alabaster, --
 From which the constant dews of night
 Have stolen half their glossy light.

[[End of printed source]]

[[HEH: Fragment ? Numbered in pencil “5". Lines 1-4 and lines 9-16 are marked with a pencil line on the left. Interestingly these are the same lines which appear in Female Poets of America, with lines 5-8 omitted, as suggested by the dots.]]

Fresh blows the breeze on TARICK'S2 burnished bay --
The silent sea-mews bend them through the spray --
The beauty-freighted barges bound afar
To the soft music of the gay guitar; [[dots inserted in pencil] . . .
And many a bark and gallant vessel sweep
Remorseless o’er the mournful Moslem’s sleep;3
And NELSON’S spirit hovers o’er the wave,4
Where bled the mighty and repose the brave.
The sentry peal salutes the setting sun,
The haven's hum and busy din are done,
And weary sailors roam along the strand,
Or stretch their brawny limbs upon the sand;
Feast, revel, game, engage in sage dispute,
Unthread the story, sound the tuneful lute ;
Or bumming some rude air that stirs the heart,
Clue up the sails, or spread them to depart.
The hero of the poem is thus introduced:
WHERE is their leader? On the rock-built height,
Standing, he feeds on vacancy his sight.
On his high brow and glossy locks of jet,
The cap that decks the noble Greek is set;
Folded his arms across his sable vest,
As if to keep the heart within his breast.
Lone are the thoughts that crowd upon his mind,
And vainly strive in speech a vent to find;
[There is a cut edge between these lines]]
They writhe, they chafe, against restraint rebel,
Then powerless shrink within their silent cell.
His bosom pines for what it never knew --
Some soft, fair being to its beating true --
A loveliness round which the Soul may cling,
When o’er it Life’s fierce storms are battering.
[There is a cut edge between these lines]]
As fades from Earth the last soft smile of Day,
He turns his melancholy steps away,
With eyes bent down, across the VEGA strides,
Nor notes the Fawn that tamely by him glides,
The Violets lifting up their azure eyes,
Like timid Virgins when Love's steps surprise;
His heavy heart forebodes some danger near,
And throbs alternately with joy and fear:
Night: --

[HEH: Fragment ?] [There is a pencilled number “3” replacing a number “8” in the top right corner. The lower half of a segment number “IX” appears just at the top edge of the page. This should follow “Night: --” from the previous fragment.]

 
                                   [IX.]

 SLEEP6 chains the Earth: the bright stars glide on high,
 Filling with one effulgent smile the sky;
 And all is hushed so still, so silent there,
 That one might hear an Angel wing the air --
 And where is ZAMEN? are his slumbers sweet,
 Calm, renovating, in this fair retreat?
 Have Beauty’s smile, and tranquilizing light,
 Mute, moaning Melancholy put to flight,
 And changed his bosom from a murky Hell,
 To an abode where Love and Peace may dwell!
 Ah, no! it only shows the Ruin there,
 Like sunshine falling on a sepulchre!

Indifference: --
Ah, no! for there are times when the sick Soul
Lies calm amid the storms that round it roll,
Indifferent to Fate, or to what haven
By the terrific tempest it is driven.
Knowledge: --
MY mind, by Grief, was ripened ere its time,
And knowledge came spontaneous as a chime,
That flows into the Soul, unbid, unsought;
On Earth, and Air, and Heaven, I fed my thought --
On Ocean’s teaching ÆTNA’S lava tears --
Ruins and Wrecks — and nameless Sepulchres.
Delirium: --
AT last, I felt me borne as in a dream,
And wafted down some softly-gliding stream,
And heard the creaking cordage over head --
The Sailor’s merry song and nimble tread --
Then backward sank to mental night again --
Delirium’s World of fantasy and pain --
Where hung the fiery Moon — and Stars of blood --
And phantom Ships rolled on the rolling flood;
The Holy Land: --

[HEH: Fragment ?] [This apparently continues the previous fragment, which ends with marks of the wafers which originally held them together. The page is marked “4" in pencil in the top right corner]

OH GOD! it is a melancholy sight
To see that Land whence sprung all sacred light;
Delight of men, and most beloved of GOD;
Where, happy first, our primal parents trod;
[[There is a cut edge between these lines]]
With the dark pall of desolation hung!
Where HAGAR mourned, and JUDAH’S minstrel sung,
No band of warriors crowd the royal gate,
No suppliant millions in the temples wait,
No prophet-minstrel swells the tide of song,
No mighty seer enchains the breathless throng;
But from the Jordan to the AEgean tide,
From Ganges to Euphrates' fertile side,
From Mecca's plains to lofty Lebanon,
The ashes of departed worlds are strewn.
On Carmel's heights, on Pisgah's tops I stood,
And paced Epirus' savage solitude;
Before the sepulchre of Jesus knelt,
And by the Galilean waters dwelt;
Wandered among Assyria's ruins vast,
Feeding my mute thoughts on the silent past
Pride, splendor, glory, desolation, crime,
And the deep mystery of the birth of Time,

 Now, lovely girl, I leap the gulf of years,
 And scenes unfit for youthful maiden’s ears;
 The mortal miseries and debasing wiles,
 Bedimming Ocean’s pearl-encircles Isles --
 Those Edens of the soft Hesperian Sea --
 The Isles’ of Love, and Song, and Mutiny,
 Where Zephyr waxes weary with perfume,
 And Nature clothes the Earth in deathless bloom;
 The Maiden vested in her raven hair,
 Roams fresh and free as her own Mountain air.

[[End of printed source]]

Greece: --

[[The following is pasted from a printed source:]]

SHRINE of the Gods ! mine own eternal GREECE
When shall thy weeds be doffed -- thy mourning cease --
The Gyves that bind thy beauty rent in twain,
And thou be living -- breathing GREECE again?
Grave of the Mighty ! Hero -- Poet -- Sage --
Whose deeds are guiding Stars to every age !
Land unsurpassed in Glory and Despair,
Still, in thy desolation then art fair !
Low in sepulchral dust lies PALLAS' shrine --
Low in sepulchral dust thy Fanes divine --


[[HEH: Fragment, numbered in pencil “6":]]

[[The following is pasted from a printed source:]]

And all thy visible self – yet, o'er thy clay,
Soul, Beauty, linger, hallowing Decay.
Not all the ills that War entailed on thee --
Not all the blood that stained Thermopylae --
Not all the Desolation Traitors wrought --
Not all the Wo and Want Invaders brought; --
Not all the tears that Slavery could wring
From out thy heart of patient suffering --
Not all that drapes thy loveliness in Night,
Can quench thy Spirit's never-dying light;
But hovering o'er the dust of gods enshrined,
It beams a Beacon to the march of Mind --
An Oasis to Sage and Bard forlorn --
A guiding light to Centuries unborn.

For thee I mourn -- thy blood is in my veins --
To thee by Consanguinity's strong chains
I'm, bound, and fain would die to make thee free --
But oh! there is no Liberty for thee!
Not all the wisdom of thy greatest one --
Not all the bravery of THETIS' Son --2
[[There is a cut edge between these lines]]
Not all the weight of mighty PHŒBUS' Ire-
Not all the magic of the Athenian's Lyre,3
Can ever bid thy tears or mourning cease,
Or rend one Gyve that binds thee, lovely GREECE!

[[End of printed source]]

Zamen and Mynera: --

[[The following is pasted from a printed source:]]
AND they were wed -- Love chased their tears away,
As mists are driven before the smile of Day,
Gave softer radiance to both Earth and Sky,
And made each lovelier in the other's eye.
No Discord roar to mar their Happiness; --
Each morning brought to them untasted Bliss;
No Pangs -- no Sorrows chine with varying years;
No cold distrust, no faithlessness, no tears, --
But hand in hand, as EVE told ADAM trod
EDEN, they walked beneath the smile of GOD.
At Morn they wandered through the dewy bowers,
Tended the birds, or trained the garden flowers; --
Or, weary of these health-inspiring Arts,
With Music and sweet song refreshed their hearts ;
Then all day seated in the Colonnade,
Or where the Myrtle made a genial shade,
[[Fragment]]

[HEH: Fragment ?] [Indented portions are extracts from pre-printed text of the poems. The paper to which the printed text is pasted is faintly ruled. There is a pencilled number “1" in a circle on the top right corner of the lined paper. ]

They pored above the tomes of other days --
CERVANTES’ Wit, and OSSIAN’S sounding Lays;
And DANTE’S Dreams, and PETRARCH’S deathless Love --
All that mad Tasso into numbers wove --
SHAKESPEARE’S deep harp, and MILTON’S loftier song --
From all creations of the minstrel throng --
Statues and busts by Grecian chisels wrought,
They drew the nutriment of Love and Thought. --
Then, moved by Genius, ZAMEN swept his Lyre,
And, like a meteor, flashed its latent fire
Upon the world; and thrilled its inmost heart --
All that his Soul had gleaned from Beauty — Art --
Love — Ruin — Melancholy — Anguish — Wrong --
Revenge — he wove into harmonious song, --
And to his Country, and to lasting Fame,
Bequeathed a cherished and a spotless name.
[[End of printed source]]

Sleep: --
 

[[The following is from a printed source:]]
                             the oblivious world of Sleep,
That rayless realm where Fancy never beams --
That nothingness beyond the Land of Dreams.
Oh! who could look upon those sons of Sin,


[HEH: Fragment ??. Marked in pencil “12,” circled, to the right of the title. This fragment is text from a printed source pasted onto pale blue, lined paper, with wafering evident. The word “his,” on the second line of the first stanza, appears to be underlined, and there is a faint mark at the end of that line.]

 
LAMENT OF LA VEGA.

    *----*

“O patria amada! á ti suspira y Ilora
  Está en su carcel alma peregrina,
  Llevada errando de uno, en otro instante.”
   *----*

                              I.

I AM a Captive on a hostile shore,
Caged, like the falcon from his native skies,
And doomed by agonizing grief to pour
In futile lamentations, tears, and sighs,
And feed the gaze of fools whom I despise.
Daily they taunt my heart with bitter sneers --
They prate of Liberty -- deeds great and wise,
And fill the air with patriotic cheers,
While human shackles clank around their listless ears.

[[End of printed source. Differences in the capitalization and punctuation show that this printed source is not Female Poets of America.]]

[The rest of the MS of the Lament of La Vega is given in the hand of Mrs. Lewis, beginning on a new page, which was at one time wafered with the other pages:]

 
                          II

Hark! hear ye not, mid those triumphal cries,
The clanking of the Ethiopian's chains?
His smothered curses from the rice-fields rise ?
The loud, indignant beating of his veins,
Stirred by the lava hell that in him reigns?
Hear'st him not writhe against the dark decree
That gyves the Soul – for it brute-rank maintains?
The impetuous rushings of his heart, when he
Watches the Eagle soar into the Heavens all free?

                          III

My Soul, appalled, shrinks from Hypocrisy,
And whatsoever bears Deception’s name --
Under thy banner – heaven-born Liberty !
The fiends of war, inflated with acclaim,
Revel in Crime and Virtue put to shame,
They slaughter babes and wives without a cause,
And holding up their reeking blades, exclaim --
"A Victory !" Demolish homes, rights, laws,
And o'er the wreck send up to Heaven their proud hurrahs.

                          IV

I am a Captive while my Country bleeds;
For Retribution loudly cries to Heaven,
And for the presence of her warriors pleads
Till from her far the ruthless foe is driven --
Oh God ! Oh God ! hast thou my Country given
To direful Fate ? Must I lie cooped up here,
While she by desecrating hands is riven;
The sobs of Age, and Beauty's shrieks of fear,
Like funeral knells afar are tolling in my ear?

                          V

And thou, ethereal one ! my Spirit's Bride,
My Star, my Sun, the never-fading Beam
That lit my youthful feet mid ways untried;

[[next page:]]

Within me woke each high ambitious scheme --
And here dost hover o'er me in my dream,
Pressing thy lips to mine until I feel
Our quick hearts ebbing into one soft stream
Of holy Love – Ah! who will guard thy weal,
And from thy breast avert the dark marauder's steel?

                          VI.

Oh, my distracted Country ! Child of Pain
And Anarchy ! – thee shall I see no more
Till thou art struggling in the Tyrant's chain,
Oppressed by Insult and by Sorrow sore,
And steeping in thy children's sacred gore ?
Must thy dim Star of Glory set for aye ?
Must thou become the Poet's Mecca ? Lore
For Antiquaries ? Temple of Decay ?
Wilt thou survive no more, my beautiful Monterey!

                          VII.

Spirit of Cortéz! Montezuma! rise !
Let not the foe your cherished land enslave,
Let her not fall a bloody sacrifice !
And thou, eternal Cid ! who from the grave
Didst wake to lead to victory the brave!*
Heroes who fell in Roncesvalles’ vale!
And ye who fought by Darro's golden wave, †
From the Red Vega‡ drove the Moslem pale,
Hear, in the Spirit-Land, my Country's doleful wail!
 

* Cid Campeador, after death, was dressed in his war apparel, placed on his righly [[richly]] caparisoned steed, and led forth from the walls of Valencia toward the Moorish camp; at the sight of whom, and the great number of his followers, the Moors, in <al>l sixty thousand, fled toward the sea. – Southey’s Chronicles of the Cid.

† The Darro is a small stream running through the city of Grenada, and containing in its bed particles of gold.

‡The plain surrounding Grenada, and the scene of action between the Moors and the Christians.


[Fragment ?]

[[an ink number appears in the middle of the left margin: “249"; and a pencil note appears at the top of the fragment: “E. A. Poe’s writing; he was a friend of Mrs. Lewis”.]]

    In summing up the authorial merits of Mrs. Lewis, all critical opinion must agree in assigning her a high, if not the very highest rank among the poetesses of her land. Her artistic ability is unusual; her command of language great; her acquirements numerous and thorough; her range of incident wide; her [[an ink mark, resembling an opening  square bracket appears here, perhaps an accident]] invention, generally, vigorous;  her fancy exuberant; and her imagination — that primary and most indispensible [[sic]] of all poetic requisites — richer, perhaps, than that of any of her female contemporaries. But as yet — er friends sincerely believe — she has given merely an earnest of her powers.

[[This all appears to be from a roll manuscript, but wider than usual, suggesting that he may not have planned it for a magazine, which usually have narrow columns. The paper is faintly lined.]]
 

[[Three other fragments, all in the hand of Mrs. Lewis, appear to be wafered and therefore part of the original manuscript. These may have been suggested poems which Griswold chose not to use.]]

MY STUDY

I.

This is my World — my Angel-guarded Shrine,
Which I have made to suite my heart’s great need,
When Sorrow dooms it overmuch to bleed;
Or, when aweary and athirst I pine
For genial showers, and sustenance divine;
When soft illusive Hopes my heart deceive,
And I would sit me down alone to grieve --
My Mind to sad, or studious mood resign,
Here oft upon the stream of thought I lie,
Floating whichever way the waves are flowing --
Sometimes along the Banks of Childhood going,
Where all is bud, and bloom, and melody;
Or, wafted by some stronger current, glide
Where darker frown the Steeps and deeper flows the Tide.

II.

Yes, ‘tis my Cáabá — The Shrine below,
Where my Soul sits within its house of Clay,
Listing the steps of Angles come and go --
Sweet missioned Heralds from the realms of Day,
One brings me rays from Regions of the Sun,
One comes to warn me of some secret dart,
One brings a laurel leaf for work well done,
Another whispers from a kindred Heart --
Oh! This I would not change for all the gold
That lies beneath the sacramento’s waves,
For all the Jewels Indian Coffers hold,
For all the Pearls in Oman’s starry caves --
The lessons of all Pedagogues are naught
To those I leave within this holy Fane of Thought.

III.

Here blind old Homer teaches lofty song,
The Lesbian sings of cupid’s pinions furled,

[[next fragment]]

And how the heart is withered up by Wrong;
Dante depictures an infernal world,
Wide opening many a purgatorial aisle;
Tarquato rings the woes of Palestine,
Alphonso’s rage, and Leonora’s smile --
Love, Beauty, Genuis, Virtue all divine;
Milon depeincts [[sic]] the bliss of Paradise,
Then flings apart the ponderous gates of Hell,
Where Satan on the fiery billow lies,
“With head uplife” above his army fell --
And Avon’s Bard, surpassing all in Art,
Unlocks the portals of the Human Heart

IV.

To My Guitar

So dear a Friend as thou I never knew --
Such truth, and faith, and love, and sympathy
From evanescent hearts I never drew,
As I have drum from thy Soul melody --
When I am sad thou chant’st some Paynin Story
Until my wo is lost in woes of Eld;
When I am glad thou sing’st of Knightly Glory
Till heart and brain in magic spell are held;
And here, all day, thy voice my Spirit drinks,
While reeling Rapture steals along my Veins,
Till every Pulse inebriated sinks
Beneath the Power of thy delicious strains --
And softly beatific Harp-notes roll --
And seraphs sing around that Altars of my Soul.
 

V.

To the Genius of Art.
(a little Statue on the Mantle in my Study)

Thy little foot uplifted on thy knee.

[[next fragment]]

Thine eyes intently bent upon thy book,
As in a transcendental Revery,
Ne’er deigning round my Study-room to look,
There thou dost mutely sit from day to day,
Lost in the dreamy realm of Phantasy;
Yet o’er my heart thou holdst a mighty sway,
And sagest lessons dost impart to me
Of art, and Beauty, and the wealth of Lore;
Th’ unfathomable seas of Mind and Love;
The meed for lofty effort held in store,
Till Aspiration lifts my Soul above,
And I am drunk on intellectual Joy --
My charming, beautiful, mute, marble Boy.

VI.

To the Genius of Art.

(a little Statue on the Mantle in my Study)

Thou art a bean from God, the brightest Ray,
That Heaven hath earthward sent to cheer the Soul,
And animate it in its house of clay
With dreams of light, and life, and Glory’s goal;
And mute, with pulses hushed, I gaze on thee,
Till nascent halos circle round thy brow,
And from the portals of Eternity
The laureled Dead returning, round thee bow.
There, bent o’er Farnarina’s sainted face,
Feeding his Soul, eternal Raphael kneels,
As if in its pale hues he still can trace
Beauty surpassing all that Heaven reveals --
Angels — Titian — all th’ immortal Great
Glide in, and at thy feet for inspiration wait.


~~~ End of Text ~~~

[S:0]