Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. Killis Campbell), “The Lake: To ——,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ginn and Company, 1917, pp. 32-33


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[page 32:]

THE LAKE: TO ——

In spring of youth it was my lot

To haunt of the wide earth a spot

The which I could not love the less —

So lovely was the loneliness

5

Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,

And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall

Upon that spot, as upon all,

And the mystic wind went by

10

Murmuring in melody —

Then — ah then I would awake

To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,

But a tremulous delight —

15

A feeling not the jewelled mine

Could teach or bribe me to define —

Nor Love — although the Love were thine. [page 33:]

Death was in that poisonous wave,

And in its gulf a fitting grave

20

For him who thence could solace bring

To his lone imagining —

Whose solitary soul could make

An Eden of that dim lake.

(1827)

 


[[Variants]]

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 32:]

Title The Lake (1827); omitted in 1831, the poem being incorporated in Tamerlane (after l. 74).

1 In spring of youth: In youth’s spring (1827, 1829, M. M.), For in those days (1831).

2 world: earth (1827).

6 tall: sultan-like (1831).

9 mystic wind went: wind would pass me (1827), black wind mumur’d (1829, 1831), ghastly wind went (M.M.).

10 Murmuring in: In its stilly, (1827), In a dirge of (1829, 1831), In a dirge-like (M.M.).

11 Then — ah, then, I: My infant spirit (1827, 1829, 1831).

12 the lone: that lone (1831, M. M.).

15 And a feeling undefin’d (1827).

16 Could teach or: Should ever (1829), Could ever (1831).

16, 17 Springing from a darken’d mind (1827).

17 were: be (1829); although the love: Ada! tho’ it (1831).

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 33:]

18 poisonous: poison’d (1827, 1829, M. M.).

18, 19 Omitted in 1831.

20 How could I from that water bring (1831).

21 lone: dark (1827) ; Solace to my imagining (1831).

22 Whose wild’ring thought could even make (1829); My solitary soul — how make (1831).

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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