Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “The Valley of Unrest” (Text-A), ­Poems­ (1831), pp. 73-75


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­ [page 73:]

THE VALLEY NIS.

————

Far away — far away —

Far away — as far at least

Lies that valley as the day

Down within the golden east —

All things lovely — are not they

Far away — far away?

 

It is called the valley Nis.

And a Syriac tale there is

Thereabout which Time hath said

Shall not be interpreted.

Something about Satan’s dart —

Something about angel wings —

Much about a broken heart —

All about unhappy things: ­[page 74:]

But “the valley Nis” at best

Means “the valley of unrest.”

 

Once it smil’d a silent dell

Where the people did not dwell,

Having gone unto the wars —

And the sly, mysterious stars,

With a visage full of meaning,

O’er the unguarded flowers were leaning:

Or the sun ray dripp’d all red

Thro’ the tulips overhead,

Then grew paler as it fell

On the quiet Asphodel.

 

Now the unhappy shall confess

Nothing there is motionless:

Helen, like thy human eye

There th’ uneasy violets lie —

There the reedy grass doth wave

Over the old forgotten grave —

One by one from the tree top

There the eternal dews do drop —

There the vague and dreamy trees ­[page 75:]

Do roll like seas in northern breeze

Around the stormy Hebrides —

There the gorgeous clouds do fly,

Rustling everlastingly,

Through the terror-stricken sky,

Rolling like a waterfall

O’er th’ horizon’s fiery wall —

There the moon doth shine by night

With a most unsteady light —

There the sun doth reel by day

“Over the hills and far away.”


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Notes:

“Over the Hills and Far Away” is an ancient and very well-known Scottish folksong, with distant origins long lost.


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[S:1 - POEMS, 1831 (fac, 1936)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - The Valley of Unrest (Text-A)