Text: Charles W. Kent (notes) Robert A. Stewart (variants) (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Notes to Tamerlane,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VII: Poems (1902), pp. 127-146


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[page 127:]

NOTES.

TAMERLANE.

Page 1.

1827, 1829, 1831, 1845.

Text, 1845.

The earliest form, being widely different from the text, is given below. See also Appendix, “Poe and John Neal.”

TAMERLANE.

I.

I HAVE sent for thee, holy friar;(1)

But ‘t was not with the drunken hope,

Which is but agony of desire

To shun the fate, with which to cope

Is more than crime may dare to dream,

That I have call’d thee at this hour:

Such, father, is not my theme —

Nor am I mad, to deem that power

Of earth may shrive me of the sin

Unearthly pride hath revell’d in —

I would not call thee fool, old man,

But hope is not a gift of thine;

If I can hope (O God! I can)

It falls from an eternal shrine.

II.

The gay wall of this gaudy tower

Grows dim around me — death is near. [page 128:]

I had not thought, until this hour

When passing from the earth, that car

Of any, were it not the shade

Of one whom in life I made

All mystery but a simple name,

Might know the secret of a spirit

Bow’d down in sorrow, and in shame. —

Shame, said’st thou?

 

Ay, I did inherit

That hated portion, with the fame,

The worldly glory, which has shown((1))

A demon-light around my throne,

Scorching my sear’d heart with a pain

Not Hell shall make me fear again.

III.

I have not always been as now —

The fever’d diadem on my brow

I claim’d and won usurpingly —

Ay — the same heritage hath given

Rome to the Cæsar — this to me;

The heirdom of a kingly mind —

And a proud spirit, which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.

 

In mountain air I first drew life;

The mists of the Taglay have shed(2)

Nightly their dews on my young head;

And my brain drank their venom then,

When after day of perilous strife

With chamois, I would seize his den

And slumber, in my pride of power,

The infant monarch of the hour —

For, with the mountain dew by night, [page 129:]

My soul imbibed unhallow’d feeling;

And I would feel its essence stealing

In dreams upon me — while the light

Flashing from cloud that hover’d o’er,

Would seem to my half closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy!

And the deep thunder’s echoing roar

Came hurriedly upon me, telling

Of war, and tumult, where my voice,

My own voice, silly child! was swelling

(O how would my wild heart rejoice

And leap within me at the cry)

The battle-cry of victory!

  · · · · · · · ·  

IV.

The rain came down upon my head

But barely shelter’d — and the wind

Pass’d quickly o’er me — but my mind

Was maddening — for ‘t was man that shed

Laurels upon me — and the rush,

The torrent of the chilly air

Gurgled in my pleased ear the crush

Of empires, with the captive’s prayer,

The hum of suitors, the mix’d tone

Of flattery round a sovereign’s throne.

 

The storm had ceased — and I awoke —

Its spirit cradled me to sleep,

And as it pass’d me by, there broke

Strange light upon me, tho’ it were

My soul in mystery to steep:

For I was not as I had been;

The child of Nature, without care,

Or thought, save of the passing scene. — [page 130:]

V.

My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurp’d a tyranny, which men

Have deem’d, since I have reach’d to power,

My innate nature — be it so:

But, father, there lived one who, then —

Then, in my boyhood, when their fire

Burn’d with a still intenser glow;

(For passion must with youth expire)

Even then, who deem’d this iron heart

In woman’s weakness had a part.

 

I have no words, alas! to tell

The loveliness of loving well!

Nor would I dare attempt to trace

The breathing beauty of a face,

Which even to my impassion’d mind,

Leaves not its memory behind.

In spring of life have ye ne’er 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 memory’s eye

One object — and but one — until

Its very form hath pass’d me by,

But left its influence with me still.

VI.

‘T is not to thee that I should name —

Thou canst not — wouldst not dare to think

The magic empire of a flame

Which even upon this perilous brink

Hath fix’d my soul, tho’ unforgiven,

By what it lost for passion — Heaven.

I loved — and O, how tenderly!

Yes! she [was] worthy of all love! [page 131:]

Such as in infancy was mine,

Tho’ then its passion could not be:

’T was such as angels’ minds above

Might envy — her young heart the shrine

On which my every hope and thought

Were incense — then a goodly gift —

For they were childish, without sin,

Pure as her young example taught;

Why did I leave it and adrift,

Trust to the fickle star within?

VII.

We grew in age and love together,

Roaming the forest and the wild;

My breast her shield in wintry weather,

And when the friendly sunshine smiled

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven but in her eyes —

Even childhood knows the human heart;

For when, in sunshine and in smiles,

From all our little cares apart,

Laughing at her half silly wiles,

I ‘d throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears,

She’d look up in my wilder’d eye —

There was no need to speak the rest —

No need to quiet her kind fears —

She did not ask the reason why.

 

The hallow’d memory of those years

Comes o’er me in these lonely hours,

And, with sweet loveliness, appears

As perfume of strange summer flowers;

Of flowers which we have known before

In infancy, which seen, recall

To mind — not flowers alone — but more,

Our earthly life, and love — and all. [page 132:]

VIII.

Yes! she was worthy of all love!

Even such as from the accursed time

My spirit with the tempest strove,

When on the mountain peak alone,

Ambition lent it a new tone,

And bade it first to dream of crime,

My frenzy to her bosom taught:

We still were young: no purer thought

Dwelt in a seraph’s breast than thine;(3)

For passionate love is still divine:

I loved her as an angel might

With ray of the all living light

Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine.(4)

It is not surely sin to name,

With such as mine — that mystic flame,

I had no being but in thee!

The world with all its train of bright

And happy beauty (for to me

All was an undefined delight),

The world — its joy — its share of pain

Which I felt not — its bodied forms

Of varied being, which contain

The bodiless spirits of the storms,

The sunshine, and the calm — the ideal

And fleeting vanities of dreams,

Fearfully beautiful! the real

Nothings of mid-day waking life —

Of an enchanted life, which seems,

Now as I look back, the strife

Of some ill demon, with a power

Which left me in an evil hour,

All that I felt, or saw, or thought,

Crowding, confused became

(With thine unearthly beauty fraught)

Thou — and the nothing of a name. [page 133:]

IX.

The passionate spirit which hath known,

And deeply felt the silent tone

Of its own self supremacy, —

(I speak thus openly to thee,

‘T were folly now to veil a thought

With which this aching breast is fraught)

The soul which feels its innate right —

The mystic empire and high power

Given by the energetic might

Of Genius, at its natal hour;

Which knows (believe me at this time,

When falsehood were a tenfold crime,

There is a power in the high spirit

To know the fate it will inherit)

The soul, which knows such power, will still

Find Pride the ruler of his will.

 

Yes! I was proud — and ye who know

The magic of that meaning word,

So oft perverted, will bestow

Your scorn, perhaps, when ye have heard

That the proud spirit had been broken,

The proud heart burst in agony

At one upbraiding word or token

Of her that heart’s idolatry —

I was ambitious — have ye known

Its fiery passion ? — ye have not —

A cottager, I mark’d a throne

Of half the world, as all my own,

And murmur’d at such lowly lot!

But it had pass’d me as a dream

Which, of light step, flies with the dew,

That kindling thought — did not the beam

Of Beauty, which did guide it through

The livelong summer day, oppress

My mind with double loveliness —

  · · · · · · · · [page 134:]

X.

We walk’d together on the crown

Of a high mountain, which look’d down

Afar from its proud natural towers

Of rock and forest, on the hills —

The dwindled hills, whence amid bowers

Her own fair hand had rear’d around,

Gush’d shoutingly a thousand rills,

Which as it were, in fairy bound

Embraced two hamlets — those our own —

Peacefully happy — yet alone —

  · · · · · · · ·  

I spoke to her of power and pride —

But mystically, in such guise,

That she might deem it nought beside

The moment’s converse; in her eyes

I read (perhaps too carelessly)

A mingled feeling with my own;

The flush on her bright cheek to me,

Seem’d to become a queenly throne

Too well, that I should let it be

A light in the dark wild, alone.

XI.

There — in that hour — a thought came o’er

My mind, it had not known before —

To leave her while we both were young, —

To follow my high fate among

The strife of nations, and redeem

The idle words, which, as a dream

Now sounded to her heedless ear —

I held no doubt — I knew no fear

Of peril in my wild career;

To gain an empire, and throw down

As nuptial dowry — a queen’s crown,

The only feeling which possest,

With her own image, my fond breast — [page 135:]

Who, that had known the secret thought

Of a young peasant’s bosom then,

Had deem’d him, in compassion, aught

But one, whom fantasy had led

Astray from reason — Among men

Ambition is chain’d down — nor fed

(As in the desert, where the grand,

The wild, the beautiful, conspire

With their own breath to fan its fire)

With thoughts such feeling can command

Uncheck’d by sarcasm, and scorn

Of those, who hardly will conceive

That any should become “great,” born(5)

In their own sphere — will not believe

That they shall stoop in life to one

Whom daily they are wont to see

Familiarly — whom Fortune’s sun

Hath ne’er shone dazzlingly upon,

Lowly — and of their own degree —

XII.

I pictured to my fancy’s eye

Her silent, deep astonishment,

When, a few fleeting years gone by,

(For short the time 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(6)

The love he plighted then — again,

And raise his infancy’s delight,

The bride and queen of Tamerlane. — [page 136:]

XIII.

One noon of a bright summer’s day

I pass’d from out the matted bower

Where in a deep, still slumber lay

My Ada. In that peaceful hour,

A silent gaze was my farewell.

I had no other solace — then

To awake her, and a falsehood tell

Of a feign’d journey, were again

To trust the weakness of my heart

To her soft thrilling voice: To part

Thus, haply, while in sleep she dream’d

Of long delight, nor yet had deem’d

Awake, that I had held a thought

Of parting, were with madness fraught;

I knew not woman’s heart, alas!

Tho’ loved, and loving — let it pass. —

XIV.

I went from out the matted bower,

And hurried madly on my way:

And felt, with every flying hour,

That bore me from my home, more gay;

There is of earth an agony

Which, ideal, still may be

The worst ill of mortality.

‘T is bliss, in its own reality,

Too real, to his breast who lives

Not within himself but gives

A portion of his willing soul

To God, and to the great whole —

To him, whose loving spirit will dwell

With Nature, in her wild paths; tell

Of her wondrous ways, and telling bless

Her overpowering loveliness!

A more than agony to him

Whose failing sight will grow dim

With its own living gaze upon

That loveliness around: the sun —

The blue sky — the misty light

Of the pale cloud therein, whose hue

Is grace to its heavenly bed of blue;

Dim! tho’ looking on all bright!

O God! when the thoughts that may not

Will burst upon him, and alas!

For the flight on Earth to Fancy given,

There are no words — unless of Heaven.

XV.

  · · · · · · · ·  

Look round thee now on Samarcand,(7)

Is she not queen of earth? her pride

Above all cities? in her hand

Their destinies? with all beside

Of glory, which the world hath known?

Stands she not proudly and alone?

And who her sovereign? Timur, he(8)

Whom the astonish’d earth hath seen,

With victory, on victory,

Redoubling age! and more, I ween,

The Zinghis’ yet re-echoing fame.(9)

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 ‘t were 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.

XVI.

When Fortune mark’d me for her own,

And my proud hopes had reach’d a throne [page 138:]

(It boots me not, good friar, to tell

A tale the world but knows too well,

How by what hidden deeds of might,

I clamber’d to the tottering height,)

I still was young; and well I ween

My spirit what it e’er had been.

My eyes were still on pomp and power,

My wilder’d heart was far away

In the valleys of the wild Taglay,

In mine own Ada’s matted bower.

I dwelt not long in Samarcand

Ere, in a peasant’s lowly guise,

I sought my long-abandon’d land;

By sunset did its mountains rise

In dusky grandeur to my eyes:

But as I wander’d on the way

My heart sunk with the sun’s ray.

To him, who still would gaze upon

The glory of the summer sun,

There comes, when that sun will from him part,

A sullen hopelessness of heart.

That soul will hate the evening mist

So often lovely, and will list

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken)(10) as one

Who in a dream of night would fly,

But cannot, from a danger nigh.

What though the moon — the silvery moon —

Shine on his path, in her high noon;

Her smile is chilly, and her beam

In that time of dreariness will seem

As the portrait of one after death;

A likeness taken when the breath

Of young life, and the fire o’ the eye,

Had lately been, but had pass’d by.

’Tis thus when the lovely summer sun

Of our boyhood, his course hath run:

For all we live to know — is known; [page 139:]

And all we seek to keep — hath flown;

With the noon-day beauty, which is all.

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

The transient, passionate day-flower,(11)

Withering at the evening hour.

XVII.

I reach’d my home — my home no more —

For all was flown that made it so —

I pass’d from out its mossy door,

In vacant idleness of woe.

There met me on its threshold stone

A mountain hunter, I had known

In childhood, but he knew me not.

Something he spoke of the old cot:

It had seen better days, he said;

There rose a fountain once, and there

Full many a fair flower raised its head:

But she who rear’d them was long dead,

And in such follies had no part,

What was there left me now? despair —

A kingdom for a broken — heart.

————

POE’S NOTES TO THE EDITION OF 1827.

NOTE 1, page 127.

I have sent for thee, holy friar.

OF the history of Tamerlane little is known; and with that little I have taken the full liberty of a poet. — That he was descended from the family of Zinghis Khan is more than probable — but he is vulgarly supposed to have been the son of a shepherd, and to have raised himself to the throne by his own address. He died in the year 1405, in the time of Pope Innocent VII.

How I shall account for giving him “a friar” as a [page 140:] death-bed confessor — I cannot exactly determine. He wanted some one to listen to his tale — and why not a friar? It does not pass the bounds of possibility — quite sufficient for my purpose — and I have at least good authority on my side for such innovations.

NOTE 2, page 128.

The mists of the Taglay have shed, &c.

The mountains of Belur Taglay are a branch of the Imaus, in the southern part of Independent Tartary. They are celebrated for the singular wildness and beauty of their valleys.

NOTE 3, page 132.

No purer thought

Dwelt in seraph’s breast than thine.

I must beg the reader’s pardon for making Tamerlane, a Tartar of the fourteenth century, speak in the same language as a Boston gentleman of the nineteenth; but of the Tartar mythology we have little information.

NOTE 4, page 132.

Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine.

A deity presiding over virtuous love, upon whose imaginary altar a sacred fire was continually blazing.

NOTE 5, page 135.

—— Tho hardly will conceive

That any should become “great,” born

In their own sphere

Although Tamerlane speaks this, it is not the less true. It is a matter of the greatest difficulty to make the generality of mankind believe that one with whom they are upon terms of intimacy shall be called, in the [page 141:] world, a “great man.” The reason is evident. There are few great men. Their actions are consequently viewed by the mass of the people through the medium of distance. The prominent parts of their characters are alone noted; and those properties, which are minute and common to every one, not being observed, seem to have no connection with a great character.

Who ever read the private memorials, correspondence, &c., which have become so common in our time, without wondering that “great men” should act and think “ so abominably”?

NOTE 6, page 135.

Her own Alexis, who should plight, &c.

That Tamerlane acquired his renown under a feigned name is not entirely a fiction.

NOTE 7, page 137.

Look round thee now on Samarcand,

I believe it was after the battle of Angora that Tamerlane made Samarcand his residence. It became for a time the seat of learning and the arts.

NOTE 8, page 137.

And who her sovereign? Timur, &c.

He was called Timur Bek as well as Tamerlane.

NOTE 9, page 137.

The Zinghis” yet re-echoing fame.

The conquests of Tamerlane far exceeded those of Zinghis Khan. He boasted to have two-thirds of the world at his command. [page 142:]

NOTE 10, page 138.

The sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken).

I have often fancied that I could distinctly hear the sound of the darkness, as it steals over the horizon — a foolish fancy, perhaps, but not more unintelligible than to see music —

”The mind the music breathing from her face.”

NOTE 11, page 139.

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

There is a flower (I have never known its botanic name), vulgarly called the day-flower. It blooms beautifully in the daylight, but withers towards evening, and by night its leaves appear totally shrivelled and dead. I have forgotten, however, to mention in the text, that it lives again in the morning. If it will not flourish in Tartary, I must be forgiven for carrying it thither.

VARIATIONS.

The following are the variations of 1829 from the text.

Line 1 hour! (! —) 2 (now) ([now]) 15 O (O!) 18 Jewels (jewels) 21 O (O!) 21 heart, (!) 23 The (Th’) 40 nestled (nestl’d) 42 (. . .)([. . .]) 43 me (me —) 45 o’er (o’er,) 52-53 (. . .) ([. . .]) 57 Rendered . . . blind (Was giant-like — so Thou, my mind! —) 67 power, (;) 70 boyhood (boy-hood) 72 (. . .) ([. . .]) 86 O, (!) 89 envy; (,) 90 every (ev’ry) 92 and (— and) 123 (. . .)([. . .]) 136 beauty (cap.) 177 O, (O!) 180 Siroc-wither’d (o. h.) 181 And, (o. c.) 181 bless, (o. c.) 191 (begins XX stanza in 1829) 197198 (. . .)([. . .]) 205 (. . .) ([. . .]) 219 O, (!) 237 trellic’d (trelliced) 238 fly — (fly).

Variations of 1831 from the text.

Line 2 theme! (:) 3 deem (think) 4 Earth (earth) 8 desire: (—) 9 can (n. i.) 9 — Oh ((O) 9 can — ()) 13 Know (Hear) 15 / ((I) 18 Jewels (jewels) 20 again — ()) 21 heart, (o. c.) 25 Rings, (o. c.) 26 — a (, —). After 26 insert: —

Despair, the fabled vampire bat,

Hath long upon my bosom sat,

And I would rave, but that he flings

A calm from his unearthly wings.

30 Hath (i.) 30 fierce (o.) 32 mind, (o. c.) 35 life: (—) 38 , I believe, (o. c.) 40 Have (Hath) 42 ‘Mid (Mid) 46 Appeared (Appear’ d) 48 trumpet-thunder’s (o. h.) 51 own (i.) 51 child! — (,) 52 O! (O) 52 rejoice, (o. c.) 53 cry (cry!) 54 battle-cry (o. h.) 54 Victory (s. 1.) 55 head (head,) 56 — and (,) 57 Rendered . . . blind (Was giant-like — so thou, my mind!) 59 me: (—) 59 rush — (,) 60 air (air,) 62 empires — (,) 62 prayer — (,) 63 suitors — (,) 64 ‘round (, round) 65 , from (o. c.) 65 hour, (o. c.) 69 , then, (then —) 70 — in (in) 70 — when (when) 71 glow (glow,) 72 , with youth, (o. c.) 73 E’en (Ev’n) 73 then (n. i.) 73 this iron heart (that as infinite) 74 In . . . part (My soul — so was the weakness in it). After ll. 74 insert : —

For in those days it was my lot

To haunt of the wide world a spot

The which I could not love the less.

So lovely was the loneliness

Of a wild lake with black rock bound,

And the sultan-like pines that tower’d around!

But when the night had thrown her pall

Upon that spot as upon all,

And the black wind murmur’d by,

In a dirge of melody;

My infant spirit would awake

To the terror of that lone lake. [page 144:]

Yet that terror was not fright —

But a tremulous delight —

A feeling not the jewell’d mine

Could ever bribe me to define,

Nor love, Ada! tho’ it were thine.

How could I from that water bring

Solace to my imagining ?

My solitary soul — how make

An Eden of that dim lake ?

But then a gentler, calmer spell,

Like moonlight on my spirit fell,

75 I have . . . tell (And O! I have no words to tell) 77 Nor would I (I will not) 79 lineaments, (o. c.) 79 mind, (o. c.) 80 Are — (Are) 80 th’ (the) 80 wind: (.) 81 Thus I (I well) 81 dwelt (dwelt,) 82 Some page (Pages) 83 eye, (o. c.) 84 letters — (o. d.) 84 meaning — (o. d.) 85 — with (with —) 86 Oh, she was (Was she not) 86 love! (?) 87 Love — (o. d.) 89 envy; (—) 90 every (ev’ry) 91 gift, (—) 94 , and, (o. c.) 94 adrift, (o. c.) 95 with, (o. c.) 96 — and (o. d.) 96 lowe — (o. d.) 96 together — (,) 97 forest, (o. c.) 97 wild; (,) 98 weather, (-) 99 And, (o. c.) 101 Heaven — (o. d.) 103 ‘mid (mid) 103 sunshine, (o. c.) 104 When, (o. c.) 106 throw me . . . throbbing (lean upon her gentle) 107 tears — (,) 108 rest — (,) 110 her (hers) 111 eye! (.) 112-115 (omit, 1831) 116 being — (o. d.) 117 world, (o. c.) 117 contain (contain,) 118 sea — (,) 119 Its joy — its little lot (of pleasure or) 119 pain (pain —) 120 that . . . pleasure — (The good, the bad,) 121 Dim, (o. c.) 121 night — (,) 122 real- (,) 123 Shadows — (o. d.) 123 light! (light) 125 And, (o. c.) 126 and — (o. d.) 127 separate — (o. d.) 128-138 (omit 1831) 142 forest, (o. c.) 146 mystically — (,) 148 converse; (—) 149 read, (—) 151 on her bright (upon her) 151 cheek, (o. c.) 151 me (me,) 152 to become (fitted for) 152 throne (throne,) 153 be (be,) 158 me — (,) 159 that, [page 145:] (o. c.) 159 rabble — (o. d.) 160 down — (,) 161 hand — (,) 162 grand — (,) 163 wild — (,) 163 terrible (terrible,) 164 his (its). Asterisks after 164.

For 165-176 substitute: —

Say, holy father, breathes there yet

A rebel or a Bajazet?

How now! why tremble, man of gloom,

As if my words were the Simoom!

Why do the people bow the knee,

To the young Tamerlane — to me!

177 given, (o. c.) 178 Earth (s. l.) 178 , of (o. c,) 179 fall’st (fallest) 181 And, (o. c.) 181 in (of) 182 leav’st (leavest) 183 Idea! (Idea) 183 around (around,) 184 sound (sound,) 186 Earth (s. l.) 187 Hope (s. l.) 189 droopingly — (,). After 190 begins stanza XX preceded by asterisks, in 1831. 191 part (part,) 194 the (that) 195 ev’ning (evening) 195 mist (mist,) 199 Who, (o.c.) 199 night, (o. c.) 199 would (n. i.) 199 fly (fly,) 200 cannot (n. i.) 201 moon (moon —) 202 splendor (beauty) 203 Her (n. i.) 203 — and (,) 203 her (n. i.) 203 beam, (o. c.) 204 , wall (o. c). Asterisks follow 206

207-212 omit.

For 213-221 substitute : —

I reach’d my home — what home? above

My home — my hope — my early love,

Lonely, like me, the desert rose,

Bow’d down with its own glory grows.

223 Death (death,) 227 see (see,) 228 Eternity (s. 1.) 231 how, (o.c.) 231 grove (grove,) 232 wandered (wander’d) 234 offerings (offerings,) 235 unpolluted (undefiled) 235 things, (;) 237 trellic’d (trelliced) 237 Heaven (Heaven,) 238 fly — (fly) 239 light’ning (lightning) 241 Unseen, (o. c.) 242 laughed (laugh’d) 243 Love’s (Loves). [page 146:]

After 243 insert : —

If my peace hath flown away

In a night — or in a day —

In a vision — or in none —

Is it, therefore, the less gone?

I was standing ‘mid the roar

Of a wind-beaten shore,

And I held within my hand

Some particles of sand —

How bright! And yet to creep

Thro’ my fingers to the deep!

My early hopes? no — they

Went gloriously away,

Like lightning from the sky —

Why in the battle did not I?

EDITORS NOTE.

A child of nature strengthened by exposure to her forces is ardently in love with a maiden, but, seized with ambition, becomes a world-conqueror and returns for his bride. She is dead and he has won — a kingdom but lost a heart. Ambition has overcome love.

This passionate story of a happy past and a present miserable because of hopeless loss is not autobiographic in any other sense than that it describes the poet’s mood in so many of his early poems. There is no clue to the date except that the poem is unusually mature for a youth and therefore should be put as late as possible. Moreover it is distinctly under Byronic influence.

The poem in its earliest form — the 1827 edition — consists of seventeen parts of prevailing iambic movement, with varying rime order.

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 128:]

1.  Shone?


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Notes to Tamerlane)