Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “[[Al Aaraaf (excerpts)],” Saturday Museum (Philadelphia), March 4, 1843, p. 1, cols. 5-6


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­[page 1, column 5, continued:]

SPIRIT’S INVOCATION.

Spirit! that dwellest where,

In the deep sky,

The terrible and fair

In beauty vie!

Beyond the line of blue,

The boundary of the star,

That turneth in the view

Of thy barrier and thy bar —

Of the barrier overgone

By the comets, who were cast

From their pride and from their throne

To be drudges till the last —

To be carrier of fire,

(The red fire of their heart,)

With speed that may not tire,

And with pain that shall not part —

Who livest — that we know —

In Eternity — we feel —

But the shadow of whose brow

What spirit shall reveal.

——

[[. . .]]

’Neath blue-bell, or streamer,

Or tufted wild spray

That keeps from the dreamer

The moonbeam away —

Bright beings! that ponder,

With half-closing eyes,

On the stars which your wonder

Hath drawn from the skies,

Till they glance thro’ the shade,

And come down to your brow,

Like — eyes of the maiden

Who calls on you now —

Arise! from your dreaming

In violet bowers,

To duty beseeming

These star-litten hours!

And shake from your tresses,

Encumbered with dew,

The breath of those kisses

That cumber them, too —

(Oh! how without you, Love,

Could angels be blest?)

Those kisses of true love

That lulled you to rest.

Up! shake from your wings

All hindering things!

The dew of the night —

It will weigh down your flight,

And true love caresses

Oh, leave them apart;

They are light on the tresses,

But lead on the heart.

——

Ligeia! Ligeia!

My beautiful one,

Whose harshest idea

Will to melody run,

Say, is it thy will

On the breezes to toss,

Or, capriciously still,

Like the lone albatross,

Incumbent on night,

As she on the air,

To keep watch with delight

On the harmony there?

LIGEIA, wherever

Thine image shall be,

No magic shall sever

Thy music from thee.

Thou hast bound many eyes

In a deep dreamy sleep,

But the strains still arise

Which thy vigilance keep.

The sound of the rain

That leaps down to the flower,

And dances again

In the rhythm of the shower

The murmur that springs

From the growing of grass,

Are the music of things,

But are modelled, alas!

Away then, my dearest,

Oh! hie thee away

To springs that lie clearest

Beneath the moon-ray,

To lone lake that smiles,

In its dream of deep rest,

At the myriad star-isles

That enjewel its breast.

[[. . .]]

Ours is a world of words. Quiet we call

Silence, which is the veriest word of all.

Here Nature speaks, and even ideal things

Flap shadowy sound from visionary wings.

——

A dome, by linkéd light from Heaven let down,

Sat gently on these columns as a crown,

And rays from God shot down that meteor chain,

And hallow’d all the Beauty twice again,

Save, when between th’ Empyrean and that ring,

Some eager spirit flapp’d his dusky wing.

Within the centre of this hall, to breathe,

She paused and panted, Zanthe! all beneath

The brilliant light that kissed her golden hair,

And long’d to rest, yet could but sparkle there!

From the wild energy of wanton haste,

Her cheek was flushing, and her lips apart,

And zone, that clung about her gentle waist,

Had burst beneath the heaving of her heart.

Nyctanthes, too, as sacred as the light

She fears to perfume, perfuming the night; [column 6:]

And that aspiring flower that sprang on earth,

And died ere scarce exalted into birth,

Bursting its odorous heart, in spirit to wing

Its way to heaven from garden of a king;

And Valisnerian lotus thither flown,

From struggling with the waters of the Rhone;

And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante,

Isola d’oro! Fior di Levante!

And the Nelumbo bud that floats forever

With Indian Cupid down the Holy River.


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Notes:

This poem is quoted as part of a biographical article on Poe.

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[S:1 - PSM, 1843 (photocopy)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Al Aaraaf (excerpts)