Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Lenore” (Text-10), The Poets and Poetry of America (10th edition), 1850, p. 424, cols. 1-2


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[page 424, top of column 1:]

LENORE.

——

AH, broken is the golden bowl!

The spirit flown forever!

Let the bell toll!

A saintly soul

floats on the Stygian river;

And, GUY DE VERE,

Hast thou no tear?

Weep now or never more!

See! on yon drear

And rigid bier

Low lies thy love, LENORE!

Come, let the burial-rite be read —

The funeral-song be sung! —

An anthem for the queenliest dead

That ever died so young —

A dirge for her the doubly dead,

In that she died so young!

 

“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth,

And hated her for her pride;

And when she fell in feeble health,

Ye bless’d her — that she died!

How shall the ritual, then, be read?

The requiem how be sung

By you — by yours, the evil eye —

By yours, the slanderous tongue

That did to death the innocence

That died, and died so young?”

 

Peccavimus;

But rave not thus!

And let a sabbath song

Go up to God so solemnly, the dead may

feel no wrong!

The sweet LENORE

Hath “gone before,”

With Hope, that flew beside,

Leaving thee wild

For the dear child

That should have been thy bride —

For her, the fair

And debonair,

That now so lowly lies,

The life upon her yellow hair

But not within her eyes —

The life still there,

Upon her hair —

The death upon her eyes.

 

“Avaunt! to-night

My heart is light.

No dirge will I upraise,

But waft the angel on her flight

With a pæan of old days!

Let no bell toll! —

lest her sweet soul,

Amid its hallow’d mirth,

Should catch the note,

As it doth float —

Up from the damnéd earth.

To friends above, from fiends below,

The indignant ghost is riven —

From hell unto a high estate

Far up within the heaven — [column 2:]

From grief and groan,

To a golden throne,

Beside the King of Heaven.”

 


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Notes:

The varied nature of the line lengths was necessitated by the narrow columns of the book.

 

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[S:1 - PPA-10th, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Lenore [Text-10]