| 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. —
ULALUME — A BALLAD.
|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]