Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. Killis Campbell), “Fairy-Land,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ginn and Company, 1917, pp. 53-56


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[page 53:]

FAIRY-LAND

Dim vales — and shadowy floods —

And cloudy-looking woods,

Whose forms we can’t discover

For the tears that drip all over [page 54:]

5

Huge moons there wax and wane —

Again — again — again —

Every moment of the night —

Forever changing places —

And they put out the star-light

10

With the breath from their pale faces.

About twelve by the moon-dial, [page 55:]

One more filmy than the rest

(A kind which, upon trial,

They have found to be the best)

15

Comes down — still down — and down

With its centre on the crown

Of a mountain’s eminence,

While its wide circumference

In easy drapery falls

20

Over hamlets, over halls,

Wherever they may be —

O’er the strange woods — o’er the sea —

Over spirits on the wing —

Over every drowsy thing —

25

And buries them up quite

In a labyrinth of light —

And then, how deep! — O, deep!

Is the passion of their sleep.

In the morning they arise,

30

And their moony covering

Is soaring in the skies,

With the tempests as they toss,

Like —— almost any thing —

Or a yellow Albatross.

35

They use that moon no more

For the same end as before —

Videlicet a tent —

Which I think extravagant:

Its atomies, however,

40

Into a shower dissever,

Of which those butterflies,

Of Earth, who seek the skies, [page 56:]

And so come down again

(Never-contented things!)

45

Have brought a specimen

Upon their quivering wings.

(1829)

 


[[Variants]]

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 53:]

1 In 1831 the following forty lines are prefixed to Fairy-Land:

Sit down beside me, Isabel,

Here, dearest, where the moonbeam fell

Just now so fairy-like and well.

Now thou art dress’d for paradise!

I am star-stricken with thine eyes!

My soul is lolling on thy sighs!

Thy hair is lifted by the moon

Like flowers by the low breath of June!

Sit down, sit down — how came we here?

Or is it all but a dream, my dear?

You know that most enormous flower —

That rose — that what d’ye call it — that hung

Up like a dog-star in this bower —

To-day (the wind blew, and) it swung

So impudently in my face,

So like a thing alive you know,

I tore it from its pride of place

And shook it into pieces — so

Be all ingratitude requited.

The winds ran off with it delighted,

And, thro’ the opening left, as soon

As she threw off her cloak, yon moon

Has sent a ray down with a tune.

And this ray is a fairy ray —

Did you not say so, Isabel?

How fantastically it fell

With a spiral twist and a swell,

And over the wet grass rippled away

With a tinkling like a bell!

In my own country all the way

We can discover a moon ray

Which thro’ some tatter’d curtain pries

Into the darkness of a room,

Is by (the very source of gloom)

The motes, and dust, and flies,

On which it trembles and lies

Like joy upon sorrow!

O, when will come the morrow?

Isabel! do you not fear

The night and the wonders here?

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 54:]

5 there: see! (1831).

9 And: How (1831).

11-29 For these lines, 1831 substitutes the following:

Lo! one is coming down

With its centre on the crown

Of a mountain’s eminence!

Down — still down —   and down —

Now deep shall be — O deep!

The passion of our sleep!

For that wide circumference

In easy drapery falls

Drowsily over halls —

Over ruin’d walls —

Over waterfalls,

(Silent waterfalls!)

O’re the strange woods — o’er the sea —

Alas! over the sea!

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 55:]

13 kind: sort (1829, B. G. M.).

20 over: and rich (1829, B. G. M.).

29-46 Omitted in 1831.

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 56:]

44 Never-contented: The unbelieving (1829, B. G. M.).

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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