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Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "The Valley Nis," Southern Literary Messenger, February 1836, 2:154, col. 2

[column 2:]



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
One and all, too 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:
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 th’ unguarded flowers were leaning,
Or the sun-ray dripp’d all red
Thro’ tall tulips overhead,
Then grew paler as it fell
On the quiet Asphodel.

Now each visiter shall confess
Nothing there is motionless:
Nothing save the airs that brood
O’er the enchanted solitude,
Save the airs with pinions furled
That slumber o’er that valley-world.
No wind in Heaven, and lo! the trees
Do roll like seas, in Northern breeze,
Around the stormy Hebrides —
No wind in Heaven, and clouds do fly,
Rustling everlastingly,
Thro’ the terror-stricken sky,
Rolling, like a waterfall,
O’er thi’ horizon’s fiery wall —
And Helen, like thy human eye,
Low crouched on Earth, some violets lie,
And, nearer Heaven, some lilies wave
All banner-like, above a grave.
And one by one, from out their tops
Eternal dews come down in drops,
Ah, one by one, from off their stems
Eternal dews come down in gems!



[S:1 - SLM, 1836]