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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "Ulalume," Portland Transcript (Portland, Maine), September 8, 1849, p. 5, col. 1.]

  We think our readers will agree with us that the following unique and felicitious [[felicitous]] piece of word-painting, which recently appeared in the American Review, could come from no pen but that of the Author of the "Raven" Edgar A. Poe. It is a most exquisite exercise of skill in the use of language. ED. TRANSCRIPT.


  The skies were ashen and sober ; 
    The leaves they were crisped and sere  
    The leaves they were withering and sere ; 
It was night in the lonesome October 
    Of my most immemorial year ; 
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, 
    In the misty mid region of Weir  
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, 
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir. 
Here once, through an alley Titanic, 
    Of cypress, I roamed with my soul  
    Of cypress [[,]] with Psyche, my Soul. 
These were days when my heart was volcanic 
    As the scoriac rivers that roll : 
    As the lavas that restlessly roll 
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek 
    In the ultimate climes of the pole  
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek 
    In the realms of the boreal pole.
Our talk had been serious and sober, 
    But our thoughts they were palsied and sere  
    Our memories were treacherous and sere  
For we knew not the month was October, 
    And we marked not the night of the year  
    (Ah, night of all nights in the year !) 
We noted not the dim lake of Auber  
    (Though once we had journeyed down here)  
We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber, 
    Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
And now, as the night was senescent 
    And star-dials pointed to morn  
    As the star[[-]]dials hinted of morn  
At the end of our path a liquescent 
    And nebulous lustre was born, 
Out of which a miraculous crescent 
    Arose with a duplicate horn  
Astarte's bediamonded crescent 
    Distinct with its duplicate horn.
And I said "She is warmer than Dian : 
    She rolls through an ether of sighs  
    She revels in a region of sighs ; 
She has seen that the tears are not dry on 
    Those cheeks, where the worm never dies, 
And has come past the stars of the Lion, 
    To point us the path of the skies  
Come up, in despite of the Lion, 
    To shine on us with her bright eyes  
Come up through the lair of the Lion, 
    With Love in her luminous eyes."
But Psyche, uplifting her finger, 
    Said "Sadly this star I mistrust  
    Her pallor I strangely mistrust  
Oh, hasten ! oh, let us not linger ! 
    Oh, fly ! let us fly ! for we must." 
In terror she spoke, letting sink her 
    Wings till they trailed in the dust  
In agony sobbed, letting sink her 
    Plumes till they trailed in the dust  
    Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.
I replied "This is nothing but dreaming. 
    Let us on by this tremulous light ! 
    Let us bathe in this crystalline light ! 
Its Sybilic splendor is beaming 
    With Hope and in Beauty to-night  
    See ! it flickers up the sky through the night : 
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming, 
    And be sure it will lead us aright  
We safely may trust to a gleaming 
    That cannot but guide us aright, 
    Since it flickers up to Heaven thro' the night !"
Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her, 
    And tempted her out of her gloom  
    And conquered her scruples and gloom ; 
And we passed to the end of the vista, 
    But were stopped by the door of a tomb  
    By the door of a legended iomb [[tomb]] ; 
And I said "What is written, sweet sister, 
    On the door of this legended tomb ?" 
She replied [["]]Ulalume Ulalume  
'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume !"
Then my heart it grew ashen and sober 
    As the leaves that were crisped and sere  
    As the leaves that were withering and sere, 
And I cried "It was surley [[surely]] October 
    On this very night of last year 
    That I journeyed I journeyed down here  
    That I brought a dead [[dread]] burden down here  
    On this night of all nights in the year. 
    Oh, what demon has tempted me here ? 
Well, I know now, this dim lake of Auber  
    This misty mid region of Weir  
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber, 
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."
Said we then the two, then "Ah, can it 
    Have been that the woodlandish ghouls  
    The pitiful, the merciful ghouls  
To bar up our way and to ban it 
    From the secret that lies in these wolds  
    From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds  
Had drawn up the spectre of a planet 
    From the limbo of lunary souls  
This sinfully scintillant planet 
    From the Hell of the planetary souls ?"

[This poem may have been submitted to the Transcript by Poe's friend George W. Eveleth, incorporating the text from the Home Journal, with changes by the author. For a discussion of this printing, see Jeffrey A. Savoye, "An Unnoticed Printing of 'Ulalume'," The Edgar Allan Poe Review, vol. I, no. 2 (Fall 2000), pp. 34-44.]

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[S:0 - PT, 1849]