Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Spirits of the Dead” (Text-C), ­Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems­ (1829), pp. 65-66


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­ [page 65:]

6.

SPIRITS OF THE DEAD.

 

1

 

Thy soul shall find itself alone

‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone —

Not one, of all the crowd, to pry

Into thine hour of secrecy:

 

2

 

Be silent in that solitude

Which is not loneliness — for then

The spirits of the dead who stood

In life before thee are again ­[page 66:]

In death around thee — and their will

Shall then overshadow thee: be still.

 

3

 

For the night — tho’ clear — shall frown —

And the stars shall look not down,

From their high thrones in the Heaven,

With light like Hope to mortals given —

But their red orbs, without beam,

To thy weariness shall seem

As a burning and a fever

Which would cling to thee for ever:

 

4

 

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish —

Now are visions ne’er to vanish —

From thy spirit shall they pass

No more — like dew-drop from the grass:

 

5

 

The breeze — the breath of God — is still —

And the mist upon the hill

Shadowy — shadowy — yet unbroken,

Is a symbol and a token —

How it hangs upon the trees,

A mystery of mysteries! —


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Notes:

Only the second stanza has any indentation. In previous versions, there is no indentation at all.


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[S:1 - ATMP, 1829 (fac 1933)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Spirits of the Dead (Text-C)