Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Sonnet — Silence” (Text-03), Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, April 1840, 6:166


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[page 166, bottom:]

SILENCE. A SONNET

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BY EDGAR A. POE.

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[column 1:]

THERE are some qualities — some incorporate things

That have a double life — life aptly made,

The type of that twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

 

There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o’ergrown. Some solemn graces [column 2:]

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless — his name’s “No More.”

 

He is the corporate Silence — dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate — untimely lot!

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

Who haunteth the dim regions where hath trod

No foot of man) — commend thyself to God!

 


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Notes:

Poe uses the phrase “No More” in several other poems.

In the notes to his edition of Poe’s Poems (1965), Floyd Stovall erroneously shows a comma following “Some Solemn graces” in line 3 of the second stanza (see p. 257).


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[S:1 - BGM, 1840] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Sonnet — Silence [Text-03]