Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. Killis Campbell), “Tamerlane,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ginn and Company, 1917, pp. 1-21


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 1:]

THE POEMS OF

EDGAR ALLAN POE

TEXT OF THE POEMS

TAMERLANE

[[n]]

Kind solace in a dying hour!

[[n]]

Such, father, is not (now) my theme —

[[v]]

I will not madly deem that power

Of Earth may shrive me of the sin

[[n]]

5

Unearthly pride hath revell’d in —

I have no time to dote or dream: [page 2:]

[[n]]

You call it hope — that fire of fire!

It is but agony of desire:

[[n]]

If I can hope — Oh God! I can —

10

Its fount is holier — more divine —

I would not call thee fool, old man,

[[n]]

But such is not a gift of thine.

[[v]]

Know thou the secret of a spirit

Bow’d from its wild pride into shame.

15

O yearning heart! I did inherit

Thy withering portion with the fame,

The searing glory which hath shone

[[n]]

Amid the jewels of my throne,

Halo of Hell! and with a pain

20

Not Hell shall make me fear again —

[[n]]

O craving heart, for the lost flowers

And sunshine of my summer hours! [page 3:]

The undying voice of that dead time,

With its interminable chime,

25

[[n]]

Rings, in the spirit of a spell,

[[v]]

Upon thy emptiness — a knell.

I have not always been as now:

The fever’d diadem on my brow

I claim’d and won usurpingly —

30

[[v]]

Hath not the same fierce heirdom given

Rome to the Cæsar — this to me?

The heritage of a kingly mind,

And a proud spirit which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.

35

On mountain soil I first drew life:

The mists of the Taglay have shed

Nightly their dews upon my head,

And, I believe, the winged strife [page 4:]

[[n]]

And tumult of the headlong air

40

[[v]]

Have nestled in my very hair.

[[n]]

So late from Heaven — that dew — it fell

[[v]]

(’Mid dreams of an unholy night)

Upon me with the touch of Hell,

While the red flashing of the light

45

From clouds that hung, like banners, o’er,

[[v]]

Appeared to my half-closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy,

And the deep trumpet-thunder’s roar

Came hurriedly upon me, telling

50

[[v]]

Of human battle, where my voice,

My own voice, silly child! — was swelling

(O! how my spirit would rejoice,

And leap within me at the cry)

The battle-cry of Victory! [page 5:]

55

The rain came down upon my head

Unshelter’d — and the heavy wind

[[v]]

[[n]]

Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.

It was but man, I thought, who shed

[[n]]

Laurels upon me: and the rush —

60

The torrent of the chilly air

Gurgled within my ear the crush

Of empires — with the captive’s prayer —

The hum of suitors — and the tone

[[v]]

Of flattery ‘round a sovereign’s throne.

65

My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurp’d a tyranny which men [page 6:]

Have deem’d, since I have reach’d to power;

My innate nature — be it so:

But, father, there liv’d one who, then,

70

Then — in my boyhood — when their fire

[[n]]

Burn’d with a still intenser glow,

(For passion must, with youth, expire)

[[v]]

E’en then who knew this iron heart

[[v]]

In woman’s weakness had a part.

75

[[v]]

[[n]]

I have no words — alas! — to tell

The loveliness of loving well! [page 7:]

[[v]]

Nor would I now attempt to trace

The more than beauty of a face

Whose lineaments, upon my mind,

80

Are —— shadows on th’ unstable wind:

[[v]]

[[n]]

Thus I remember having dwelt

[[v]]

Some page of early lore upon,

With loitering eye, till I have felt

The letters — with their meaning — melt

85

To fantasies — with none.

[[v]]

O, she was worthy of all love!

Love — as in infancy was mine — [page 8:]

[[n]]

’T was such as angel minds above

Might envy; her young heart the shrine

90

On which my every hope and thought

Were incense — then a goodly gift,

For they were childish and upright —

[[n]]

Pure —— as her young example taught:

[[n]]

Why did I leave it, and, adrift,

95

Trust to the fire within, for light?

We grew in age — and love — together —

[[n]]

Roaming the forest, and the wild;

My breast her shield in wintry weather —

And, when the friendly sunshine smil’d,

100

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven — but in her eyes.

[[n]]

Young Love’s first lesson is —— the heart:

[[n]]

For ’mid that sunshine, and those smiles, [page 9:]

When, from our little cares apart,

105

And laughing at her girlish wiles,

[[v]]

I’d throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears —

There was no need to speak the rest —

[[n]]

No need to quiet any fears

110

[[v]]

Of her — who ask’d no reason why,

[[n]]

But turn’d on me her quiet eye!

[[v]]

Yet more than worthy of the love

My spirit struggled with, and strove,

When, on the mountain peak, alone,

115

Ambition lent it a new tone — [page 10:]

[[n]]

I had no being — but in thee:

The world, and all it did contain

[[n]]

In the earth — the air — the sea —

[[v]]

Its joy — its little lot of pain

120

[[v]]

[[n]]

That was new pleasure —— the ideal,

[[n]]

Dim, vanities of dreams by night —

And dimmer nothings which were real —

[[n]]

(Shadows — and a more shadowy light!) [page 11:]

Parted upon their misty wings,

125

And, so, confusedly, became

Thine image, and — a name — a name!

Two separate — yet most intimate things.

[[v]]

I was ambitious — have you known

The passion, father? You have not: [page 12:]

130

A cottager, I mark’d a throne

Of half the world as all my own,

And murmur’d at such lowly lot —

[[n]]

But, just like any other dream,

Upon the vapor of the dew

135

My own had past, did not the beam

[[n]]

Of beauty which did while it thro’

The minute — the hour — the day — oppress

My mind with double loveliness.

[[n]]

We walk’d together on the crown

140

Of a high mountain which look’d down

Afar from its proud natural towers

Of rock and forest, on the hills —

The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers

And shouting with a thousand rills. [page 13:]

145

I spoke to her of power and pride,

But mystically — in such guise

That she might deem it nought beside

The moment’s converse; in her eyes

[[n]]

I read, perhaps too carelessly —

150

A mingled feeling with my own —

[[v]]

[[n]]

The flush on her bright cheek, to me

[[v]]

Seem’d to become a queenly throne

[[n]]

Too well that I should let it be

Light in the wilderness alone. [page 14:]

155

I wrapp’d myself in grandeur then,

[[n]]

And donn’d a visionary crown ——

Yet it was not that Fantasy

Had thrown her mantle over me —

But that, among the rabble — men,

160

Lion ambition is chain’d down —

And crouches to a keeper’s hand —

Not so in deserts where the grand —

The wild — the terrible conspire

[[v]]

With their own breath to fan his fire. [page 16:]

165

[[v]]

[[n]]

Look ‘round thee now on Samarcand! —

Is not she queen of Earth? her pride

Above all cities? in her hand

Their destinies? in all beside

Of glory which the world hath known

170

Stands she not nobly and alone?

Falling — her veriest stepping-stone

Shall form the pedestal of a throne — [page 17:]

And who her sovereign? Timour — he

Whom the astonished people saw

175

Striding o’er empires haughtily

A diadem’d outlaw!

O, human love! thou spirit given,

On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!

Which fall’st into the soul like rain

180

Upon the Siroc-wither’d plain,

[[v]]

And, failing in thy power to bless,

But leav’st the heart a wilderness!

Idea! which bindest life around

With music of so strange a sound

185

And beauty of so wild a birth —

Farewell! for I have won the Earth! [page 18:]

When Hope, the eagle that tower’d, could see

No cliff beyond him in the sky,

His pinions were bent droopingly —

190

And homeward turn’d his soften’d eye.

[[n]]

’Twas sunset: when the sun will part

There comes a sullenness of heart

To him who still would look upon

[[v]]

[[n]]

The glory of the summer sun.

195

That soul will hate the ev’ning mist

So often lovely, and will list

[[n]]

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken) as one

Who, in a dream of night, would fly

200

But cannot from a danger nigh. [page 19:]

[[n]]

What tho’ the moon — the white moon

[[v]]

[[n]]

Shed all the splendor of her noon,

[[n]]

Her smile is chilly — and her beam,

In that time of dreariness, will seem

205

(So like you gather in your breath)

A portrait taken after death.

[[v]]

And boyhood is a summer sun

Whose waning is the dreariest one —

[[n]]

For all we live to know is known

210

[[n]]

And all we seek to keep hath flown —

Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall

With the noon-day beauty — which is all.

[[v]]

[[n]]

I reach’d my home — my home no more —

For all had flown who made it so. [page 20:]

215

I pass’d from out its mossy door,

And, tho’ my tread was soft and low,

A voice came from the threshold stone

Of one whom I had earlier known —

O, I defy thee, Hell, to show

220

On beds of fire that burn below,

An humbler heart — a deeper wo.

Father, I firmly do believe —

I know — for Death who comes for me

From regions of the blest afar,

225

Where there is nothing to deceive,

Hath left his iron gate ajar,

And rays of truth you cannot see

Are flashing thro’ Eternity —

[[n]]

I do believe that Eblis hath

230

A snare in every human path —

Else how, when in the holy grove

I wandered of the idol, Love,

Who daily scents his snowy wings

With incense of burnt offerings [page 21:]

235

[[v]]

From the most unpolluted things,

Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven

Above with trellic’d rays from Heaven

No mote may shun — no tiniest fly

The light’ning of his eagle eye —

240

How was it that Ambition crept,

Unseen, amid the revels there,

Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt

[[v]]

[[n]]

In the tangles of Love’s very hair?

(1827)

 


[[Text of 1827]]

[page 1:]

The text of 1827, inasmuch as it exhibits radical variations from the text adopted here (that of 1845), is reproduced in the footnotes in its entirety. Following this the variants for the rest of the printed texts are given. Italics are used in the footnotes to indicate the verbal variations from the adopted text (except that in the case of variants already in italics, a heavy-faced type is used). A list of the different volumes and periodicals in which each of the poems originally appeared is given in the Notes at the end of the volume.

TEXT OF 1827.

I.

I have sent for thee, holy friar;

But ’twas not with the drunken hope,

Which is but agony of desire

To shun the fate, with which to cope

5

Is more than crime may dare to dream,

That I have call’d thee at this hour:

Such father is not my theme —

Nor am I mad, to deem that power

Of earth may shrive me of the sin

10

Unearthly pride hath revell’d in — [page 2:]

I would not call thee fool, old man,

But hope is not a gift of thine;

If I can hope (O God! I can)

It falls from an eternal shrine.

II.

15

The gay wall of this gaudy tower

Grows dim around me — death is near.

I had not thought, until this hour

When passing from the earth, that ear

Of any, were it not the shade

20

Of one whom in life I made

All mystery but a simple name,

Might know the secret of a spirit

Bow’d down in sorrow, and in shame. —

Shame said’st thou?

25

Aye I did inherit

That hatred [[hated]] portion, with the fame,

The worldly glory, which has shown

A demon-light around my throne,

Scorching my sear’d heart with a pain

Not Hell shall make me fear again. [page 3:]

III.

30

I have not always been as now —

The fever’d diadem on my brow

I claim’d and won usurpingly —

Aye — the same heritage hath giv’n

Rome to the Cæsar — this to me;

35

The heirdom of a kingly mind —

And a proud spirit, which hath striv’n

Triumphantly with human kind.

In mountain air I first drew life;

The mists of the Taglay have shed

40

Nightly their dews on my young head;

And my brain drank their venom then,

When after day of perilous strife [page 4:]

With chamois, I would seize his den

And slumber, in my pride of power,

45

The infant monarch of the hour —

For, with the mountain dew by night,

My soul imbib’d unhallow’d feeling;

And I would feel its essence stealing

In dreams upon me — while the light

50

Flashing from cloud that hover’d o’er,

Would seem to my half closing eye

The pageantry of monarchy!

And the deep thunder’s echoing roar

Came hurriedly upon me, telling

55

Of war, and tumult, where my voice

My own voice, silly child! was swelling

(O how would my wild heart rejoice

And leap within me at the cry)

The battle-cry of victory! [page 5:]

  · · · · · ·  

IV.

60

The rain came down upon my head

But barely shelter’d — and the wind

Pass’d quickly o’er me — but my mind

Was mad’ning — for ’twas man that shed

Laurels upon me — and the rush,

65

The torrent of the chilly air

Gurgled in my pleas’d ear the crash

Of empires, with the captive’s prayer,

The hum of suitors, the mix’d tone

Of flatt’ry round a sov’reign’s throne.

70

The storm had ceas’d — and I awoke —

Its spirit cradled me to sleep,

And as it pass’d me by, there broke

Strange light upon me, tho’ it were

My soul in mystery to sleep [[steep]]:

75

For I was not as I had been;

The child of Nature, without care,

Or thought, save of the passing scene. —

V.

My passions, from that hapless hour,

Usurp’d a tyranny, which men [page 6:]

80

Have deem’d, since I have reach’d to power

My innate nature — be it so:

But, father, there liv’d one who, then —

Then, in my boyhood, when their fire

Burn’d with a still intenser glow;

85

(For passion must with youth expire)

Ev’n then, who deem’d this iron heart

In woman’s weakness had a part.

I have no words, alas! to tell

The lovliness of loving well! [page 7:]

90

Nor would I dare attempt to trace

The breathing beauty of a face,

Which ev’n to my impassion’d mind,

Leaves not its memory behind.

In spring of life have ye ne’er dwelt

95

Some object of delight upon,

With steadfast eye, till ye have felt

The earth reel — and the vision gone?

And I have held to mem’ry’s eye

One object — and but one — until

100

Its very form hath pass’d me by,

But left its influence with me still.

VI.

’Tis not to thee that I should name —

Thou can’st not — would’st not dare to think

The magic empire of a flame

105

Which ev’n upon this perilous brink

Hath fix’d my soul, tho’ unforgiv’n

By what it lost for passion — Heav’n.

I lov’d — and O, how tenderly!

Yes! she [[was]] worthy of all love!

110

Such as in infancy was mine [page 8:]

Tho’ then its passion could not be:

’T was such as angel minds above

Might envy — her young heart the shrine

On which my ev’ry hope and thought

115

Were incense — then a goodly gift —

For they were childish, without sin,

Pure as her young examples taught;

Why did I leave it and adrift,

Trust to the fickle star within [[?]]

VII.

120

We grew in age, and love together,

Roaming the forest and the wild;

My breast her shield in wintry weather,

And when the friendly sunshine smil’d

And she would mark the op’ning skies,

125

I saw no Heav’n, but in her eyes —

Ev’n childhood knows the human heart;

For when, in sunshine and in smiles, [page 9:]

From all our little cares apart,

Laughing at her half silly wiles,

130

I’d throw me on her throbbing breast,

And pour my spirit out in tears,

She’d look up in my wilder’d eye —

There was no need to speak the rest —

No need to quiet her kind fears —

135

She did not ask the reason why.

The hallow’d mem’ry of those years

Comes o’er me in these lonely hours,

And, with sweet lovliness, appears

As perfume of strange summer flow’rs;

140

Of flow’rs which we have known before

In infancy, which seen, recall

To mind — not flow’rs alone — but more

Our earthly life, and love — and all.

VIII.

Yes! she was worthy of all love!

145

Ev’n such as from th’ accursed time

My spirit with the tempest strove,

When on the mountain peak alone,

Ambition lent it a new tone, [page 10:]

And bade it first to dream of crime,

150

My phrenzy [[frenzy]] to her bosom taught:

We still were young: no purer thought

Dwell [[Dwelt]] in a seraph’s breast than thine;

For passionate love is still divine:

I lov’d her as an angel might

155

With ray of the all living light

Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine.

It is not surely sin to name,

With such as mine — that mystic flame,

I had no being but in thee!

160

The world with all its train of bright

And happy beauty (for to me

All was an undefin’d delight)

The world — its joy — its share of pain

Which I felt not — its bodied forms

165

Of varied being, which contain

The bodiless spirits of the storms,

The sunshine, and the calm — the ideal

And fleeting vanities of dreams,

Fearfully beautiful! the real

170

Nothings of mid-day waking life —

Of an enchanted life, which seems,

Now as I look back, the strife

Of some ill demon, with a power

Which left me in an evil hour,

175

All that I felt, or saw, or thought, [page 11:]

Crowding, confused became

(With thine unearthly beauty fraught)

Thou — and the nothing of a name.

IX.

The passionate spirit which hath known,

180

And deeply felt the silent tone

Of its own self supremacy, —

(I speak thus openly to thee,

’Twere folly now to veil a thought

With which this aching, breast is fraught)

185

The soul which feels its innate right —

The mystic empire and high power

Giv’n by the energetic might

Of Genius, at its natal hour;

Which knows [believe me at this time,

190

When falsehood were a ten-fold crime,

There is a power in the high spirit

To know the fate it will inherit]

The soul, which knows such power, will still

Find Pride the ruler of its will.

195

Yes! I was proud — and ye who know

The magic of that meaning word,

So oft perverted, will bestow

Your scorn, perhaps, when ye have heard

That the proud spirit had been broken,

200

The proud heart burst in agony

At one upbraiding word or token

Of her that heart’s idolatry —

I was ambitious — have ye known

Its fiery passion? — ye have not — [page 12:]

205

A cottager, I mark’d a throne

Of half the world, as all my own,

And murmur’d at such lowly lot!

But it had pass’d me as a dream

Which, of light step, flies with the dew,

210

That kindling thought — did not the beam

Of Beauty, which did guide it through

The livelong summer day, oppress

My mind with double loveliness —

  · · · · · ·  

X.

We walk’d together on the crown

215

Of a high mountain, which look’d down

Afar from its proud natural towers

Of rock and forest, on the hills —

The dwindled hills, whence amid bowers

Her own fair hand had rear’d around,

220

Gush’d shoutingly a thousand rills,

Which as it were, in fairy bound

Embrac’d two hamlets — those our own —

Peacefully happy — yet alone —

  · · · · · ·   [page 13:]

I spoke to her of power and pride —

225

But mystically, in such guise,

That she might deem it naught beside

The moment’s converse, in her eyes

I read [perhaps too carelessly]

A mingled feeling with my own;

230

The flush on her bright cheek, to me,

Seem’d to become a queenly throne

Too well, that I should let it be

A light in the dark wild, alone.  

XI.

There — in that hour — a thought came o’er

235

My mind, it had not known before —

To leave her while we both were young, —

To follow my high fate among

The strife of nations, and redeem

The idle words, which, as a dream

240

Now sounded to her heedless ear —

I held no doubt — I knew no fear

Of peril in my wild career;

To gain an empire, and throw down

As nuptial dowry — a queen’s crown,

245

The only feeling which possest,

With her own image, my fond breast — [page 14:]

Who, that had known the secret thought

Of a young peasant’s bosom then,

Had deem’d him, in compassion, aught

250

But one, whom phantasy had led

Astray from reason — Among men

Ambition is chain’d down — nor fed

[As in the desert, where the grand,

The wild, the beautiful, conspire

255

With their own breath to fan its fire]

With thoughts such feeling can command;

Uncheck’d by sarcasm, and scorn

[[n]]

Of those, who hardly will conceive

That any should become “great,” born

260

In their own sphere — will not believe

That they shall stoop in life to one

Whom daily they are wont to see

Familiarly — whom Fortune’s sun

Hath ne’er shone dazzlingly upon

265

Lowly — and of their own degree —

XII.

I pictur’d to my fancy’s eye

Her silent, deep astonishment,

When, a few fleeting years gone by,

(For short the time my high hope lent

270

To its most desperate intent,)

She might recall in him, whom Fame

Had gilded with a conquerer’s name, [page 15:]

(With glory — such as might inspire

Perforce, a passing thought of one,

275

Whom she had deem’d in his own fire

Wither’d and blasted; who had gone

A traitor, violate of the truth

So plighted in his early youth,)

[[n]]

Her own Alexis, who should plight

280

The love he plighted then — again,

And raise his infancy’s delight,

The bride and queen of Tamerlane —

XIII.

One noon of a bright summer’s day

I pass’d from out the matted bow’r

285

Where in a deep, still slumber lay

My Ada. In that peaceful hour,

A silent gaze was my farewell.

I had no other solace — then

T’awake her, and a falsehood tell

290

Of a feign’d journey, were again

To trust the weakness of my heart

To her soft thrilling voice:  To part

Thus, haply, while in sleep she dream’d

Of long delight, nor yet had deem’d

295

Awake, that I had held a thought

Of parting, were with madness fraught;

I knew not woman’s heart, alas!

Tho’ lov’d, and loving — let it pass. —

XIV.

I went from out the matted bow’r,

300

And hurried madly on my way:

And felt, with ev’ry flying hour,

That bore me from my home, more gay;

There is of earth an agony

[[n]]

Which, ideal, still may be

305

The worst ill of mortality,

’Tis bliss, in its own reality,

Too real, to his breast who lives

Not within himself but gives

A portion of his willing soul

310

[[n]]

To God, and to the great whole —

To him, whose loving spirit will dwell

With Nature, in her wild paths; tell [page 16:]

Of her wond’rous ways, and telling bless

Her overpow’ring loveliness!

315

A more than agony to him

Whose failing sight will grow dim

With its own living gaze upon

That loveliness around: the sun —

The blue sky — the misty light

320

Of the pale cloud therein, whose hue

Is grace to its heav’nly bed of blue;

Dim! tho’ looking on all bright!

O God! when the thoughts that may not pass

Will burst upon him, and alas!

325

For the flight on Earth to Fancy giv’n,

There are no words —— unless of Heav’n.

XV.

  · · · · · ·  

[[n]]

Look ‘round thee now on Samarcand,

Is she not queen of earth? her pride

Above all cities? in her hand

330

Their destinies? with all beside

Of glory, which the world hath known?

Stands she not proudly and alone? [page 17:]

[[n]]

And who her sov’reign? Timur he

Whom th’ astonish’d earth hath seen,

335

With victory, on victory,

Redoubling age! and more, I ween,

[[n]]

The Zinghis’ yet re-echoing fame.

And now what has he? what! a name.

[[n]]

The sound of revelry by night

340

Comes o’er me, with the mingled voice

Of many with a breast as light,

As if ’twere not the dying hour

Of one, in whom they did rejoice —

As in a leader, haply — Power

345

Its venom secretly imparts;

Nothing have I with human hearts.

XVI.

When Fortune mark’d me for her own,

And my proud hopes had reach’d a throne

[It boots me not, good friar, to tell

350

A tale the world but knows too well,

How by what hidden deeds of might,

I clamber’d to the tottering height,] [page 18:]

I still was young; and well I ween

My spirit what it e’er had been.

355

My eyes were still on pomp and power,

My wilder’d heart was far away,

In vallies of the wild Taglay,

In mine own Ada’s matted bow’r.

I dwelt not long in Samarcand

360

Ere, in a peasant’s lowly guise,

I sought my long-abandon’d land,

By sunset did its mountains rise

In dusky grandeur to my eyes:

But as I wander’d on the way

365

My heart sunk with the sun’s ray.

To him, who still would gaze upon

The glory of the summer sun,

There comes, when that sun will from him part,

A sullen hopelessness of heart.

370

That soul will hate the ev’ning mist

[[n]]

So often lovely, and will lisp

[[n]]

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hark’n)  as one 

Who in a dream of night would fly

375

But cannot from a danger nigh. [page 19:]

What though the moon — the silvery moon

Shine on his path, in her high noon;

Her smile is chilly, and her beam

In that time of dreariness will seem

380

As the portrait of one after death;

A likeness taken when the breath

Of young life, and the fire o’ the eye

Had lately been but had pass’d by.

’Tis thus when the lovely summer sun

385

Of our boyhood, his course hath run:

For all we live to know — is known;

And all we seek to keep — hath flown;

With the noon-day beauty, which is all.

[[n]]

Let life, then, as the day-flow’r, fall —

390

The trancient, passionate day-flow’r,

Withering at the ev’ning hour.

XVII.

I reach’d my home — my home no more —

For all was flown that made it so — [page 20:]

I pass’d from out its mossy door,

395

In vacant idleness of woe.

There met me on its threshold stone

A mountain hunter, I had known

In childhood but he knew me not.

Something he spoke of the old cot:

400

It had seen better days, he said;

There rose a fountain once, and there

Full many a fair flow’r rais’d its head:

But she who rear’d them was long dead,

And in such follies had no part,

405

What was there left me now? despair —

A kingdom for a broken — heart.

 


[[Variants]]

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 1:]

3 deem: think (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 2:]

13 Know: Hear (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 3:]

26 After this line, 1831 inserts:

Despair, the fabled vampire bat,

Hath long upon my bosom sat,

And I would rave, but that he flings

A calm from his unearthly wings.

30 fierce: Omitted in 1831.

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 4:]

40 Have: hath (Yankee, 1831).

42 an: one (Yankee).

46 Appeared: Seem’d (Yankee).

50 where my voice: near me swelling (Yankee).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 5:]

57 Was giantlike — so thou, my mind! (Yankee, 1829, 1831).

64 sovereign’s throne: sovereign-throne (Yankee).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 6:]

73 this iron heart: that as infinite (1831).

74 My soul — so was the weakness in it (1831). After this line, 1831 inserts the following (subsequently used as a part of The Lake: To ——):

For in those days it was my lot

To haunt of the wide world a spot

The which I could not love the less.

So lovely was the loneliness

Of a wild lake with black rock bound,

And the sultan-like pines that tower’d around!

But when the night had thrown her pall

Upon that spot as upon all,

And the black wind murmur’d by,

In a dirge of melody;

My infant spirit would awake

To the terror of that lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright —

But a tremulous delight —

A feeling not the jewell’d mine

Could ever bribe me to define,

Nor love, Ada! tho’ it were thine.

How could I from that water bring

Solace to my imagining?

My solitary soul — how make

An Eden of that dim lake?

But then a gentler, calmer spell,

like moonlight on my spirit fell,

75 And O! I have no words to tell (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 7:]

77 Nor would I: I will not (1831).

81 Thus I: I well (1831).

82 Some page: Pages (1831).

86 O, she was: Was she not (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 9:]

106 throw me on her throbbing: lean upon her gentle (1831).

110 her: hers (1831).

112-115 Omitted in 1831.

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 10:]

119 Of pleasure or of pain (1831).

120 The good, the bad, the ideal (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 11:]

128-138 Omitted in 1831.

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 13:]

151 on her bright: upon her (1831).

152 to become: fitted for (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 14:]

164 his: its (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 16:]

165-176 For these lines, 1831 substitutes the following:

Say, holy father, breathes there yet

A rebel or a Bajazet?

How now! why tremble, man of gloom,

As if my words were the Simoom!

Why do the people bow the knee,

To the young Tamerlane — to me!

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 17:]

181 in: of (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 18:]

194 the: that (1831).

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 19:]

202 splendor: beauty (1831).

207-212 Omitted in 1831.

213-221 For these lines, 1831 substitutes the following:

I reach’d my home — what hone? above,

My home — my hope — my early love,

Lonely, like me, the desert rose,

Bow’d down with its own glory grows.

[The following variant appears at the bottom of page 21:]

235 unpolluted: undefiled (Yankee, 1831).

243 very: brilliant (Yankee). After this line, 1831 adds the following lines (which are an imperfect draft of A Dream within a Dream):

If my peace hath flown away

In a night — or in a day —

In a vision — or in none —

Is it, therefore, the less gone?

I was standing ’mid the roar

Of a wind-beaten shore,

And I held within my hand

Some particles of sand —

How bright! and yet to creep

Thro’ my fingers to the deep!

My early hopes? no — they

Went gloriously away,

Like lightning from the sky —

Why in the battle did not I?

 


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

In the original printing, the presentation of this poem is quite complicated by the fact that the main text (using the version of 1845), appearing on the upper half of the page, is supplemented by the full text of 1827, appearing on the lower half. The selection of text on each page is intended to show the roughly correlating passages from each version (with alterations of italics, as indicated in the introductory note). In an attempt to emulate this relationship in the current presentation, the respective page numbers are linked to each other. (Page 15 contains only a section of the 1827 text, and thus no link has been provided for that page.) In addition, there are also footnotes, which refer to the 1845 text.

 

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:0 - KCP, 1917] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tamerlane (ed. K. Campbell, 1917)