Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. James H. Whitty), “Notes and Variorum Text (Part 02),” The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, pp. 247-287


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 247, continued:]

TAMERLANE

1827, 1829, 1831, 1845.

Text, 1845.

Variations of 1829 and 1831 from the text: —

3. Deem; think.

1831.

26. Insert after: —

Despair, the fabled vampire bat,

Hath long upon my bosom sat,

[page 248:]

And I would rave, but that he flings

A calm from his unearthly wings.

1831.

30. Fierce: Omit.

1831.

40. Have: Hath.

1831.

57. Was giant-like — so thou my mind.

1829; 1831.

73. This iron heart; that as infinite.

1831.

74 My soul: so was the weakness in it.

1831.

Insert after: —

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,

And O! I have no words to tell.

1831.

77. Nor would I: I will not.

1831.

81. Thus I: I well.

1831.

82. Some page : page s.

1831.

[page 249:]

86. Oh, she was: Was she not.

1831.

l06. Throw me on her throbbing: lean upon her gentle.

1831.

110. Her: hers.

1831.

112-115. Omit.

1831.

119. Its joy — its little lot: of pleasure or.

1831.

120. That was new pleasure: The good, the bad.

1831.

128-138. Omit.

1831.

151. On her bright: upon her.

1831.

152. To become: fitted for.

1831.

164. His: its.

1831.

166-177.

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!

1831.

202. Splendor: beauty.

1831.

207-212. Omit.

For 213-221 substitute: —

I reach’d my home — what home? above

My home — my hope — my early love,

Lonely, like me, the desert rose,

Bow’d down with its own glory grows.

1831.

235. Unpolluted: undefiled.

1831.

243. Insert after: —

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! [page 250:]

My early hopes? no — they

Went gloriously away,

Like lightning from the sky —

Why in the battle did not I?

The first 1827 version follows: —

TAMERLANEI

I have sent for thee, holy friar; NOTE 1

But ‘t was not with the drunken hope,

Which is but agony of desire

To shun the fate, with which to cope

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

Unearthly pride hath revell’d in —

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

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

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?

Ay, I did inherit

That hated portion, with the fame,

[page 251:]

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.

III

I have not always been as now —

The fever’d diadem on my brow

I claim’d and won usurpingly —

Ay — the same heritage hath given

Rome to the Cæsar — this to me;

The heirdom of a kingly mind —

And a proud spirit, which hath striven

Triumphantly with human kind.

In mountain air I first drew life;

The mists of the Taglay have shed NOTE 2

Nightly their dews on my young head;

And my brain drank their venom then,

When after day of perilous strife

With chamois, I would seize his den

And slumber, in my pride of power,

The infant monarch of the hour —

For, with the mountain dew by night,

My soul imbibed unhallow’d feeling;

And I would feel its essence stealing

In dreams upon me — while the light

Flashing from cloud that hover’d o’er,

Would seem to my half closing eye

The page antry of monarchy!

And the deep thunder’s echoing roar

Came hurriedly upon me, telling

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 252:]

IV

The rain came down upon my head

But barely shelter’d — and the wind

Pass’d quickly o’er me — but my mind

Was maddening — for ‘t was man that shed

Laurels upon me — and the rush,

The torrent of the chilly air

Gurgled in my pleased ear the crush

Of empires, with the captive’s prayer,

The hum of suitors, the mix’d tone

Of flattery round a sovereign’s throne.

The storm had ceased — 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 steep:

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

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

My innate nature — be it so:

But, father, there lived one who, then —

Then in my boyhood, when their fire

Burn’d with a still intenser glow;

(For passion must with youth expire)

Even then, who deem’d this iron heart

In woman’s weakness had a part.

I have no words, alas! to tell

The loveliness of loving well!

Nor would I dare attempt to trace

The breathing beauty of a face, [page 253:]

Which even to my impassion’d mind,

Leaves not its memory behind.

In spring of life have ye ne’er dwelt

Some object of delight upon,

With steadfast eye, till ye have felt

The earth reel — and the vision gone?

And I have held to memory’s eye

One object — and but one — until

Its very form hath pass’d me by,

But left its influence with me still.

VI

‘T is not to thee that I should name —

Thou canst not — wouldst not dare to think

The magic empire of a flame

Which even upon this perilous brink

Hath fix’d my soul, tho’ unforgiven,

By what it lost for passion — Heaven.

I loved — and O, how tenderly!

Yes! she [was] worthy of all love!

Such as in infancy was mine,

Tho’ then its passion could not be:

‘T was such as angels’ minds above

Might envy — her young heart the shrine

On which my every hope and thought

Were incense — then a goodly gift —

For they were childish, without sin,

Pure as her young example taught;

Why did I leave it and adrift,

Trust to the fickle star within?

VII

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 smiled

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven but in her eyes —

[page 254:]

Even childhood knows the human heart;

For when, in sunshine and in smiles,

From all our little cares apart,

Laughing at her half silly wiles,

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 —

She did not ask the reason why.

The hallow’d memory of those years

Comes o’er me in these lonely hours,

And, with sweet loveliness, appears

As perfume of strange summer flowers;

Of flowers which we have known before

In infancy, which seen, recall

To mind — not flowers alone — but more.

Our earthly life, and love — and all.

VIII

Yes! she was worthy of all love!

Even such as from the accursed time

My spirit with the tempest strove,

When on the mountain peak alone,

Ambition lent it a new tone,

And bade it first to dream of crime,

My frenzy to her bosom taught:

We still were young: no purer thought

Dwelt in a seraph’s breast than thine; NOTE 3

For passionate love is still divine:

I loved her as an angel might

With ray of the all living light

Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine. NOTE 4

It is not surely sin to name,

With such as mine — that mystic flame,

I had no being but in thee!

The world with all its train of bright

And happy beauty (for to me [page 255:]

All was an undefined delight),

The world — its joy — its share of pain

Which I felt not — its bodied forms

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

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,

All that I felt, or saw, or thought,

Crowding, confused became

(With thine unearthly beauty fraught)

Thou — and the nothing of a name.

IX

The passionate spirit which hath known,

And deeply felt the silent tone

Of its own self supremacy, —

(I speak thus openly to thee,

‘T were folly now to veil a thought

With which this aching breast is fraught)

The soul which feels its innate right —

The mystic empire and high power

Given by the energetic might

Of Genius, at its natal hour;

Which knows (believe me at this time,

When falsehood were a tenfold 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 his will.

Yes! I was proud — and ye who know

The magic of that meaning word, [page 256:]

So oft perverted, will bestow

Your scorn, perhaps, when ye have heard

That the proud spirit had been broken,

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 —

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,

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

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,

Gush’d shoutingly a thousand rills,

Which as it were, in fairy bound

Embraced two hamlets — those our own —

Peacefully happy — yet alone —

. . . . . . . . .

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

I read (perhaps too carelessly)

A mingled feeling with my own;

The flush on her bright cheek to me,

Seem’d to become a queenly throne

[page 257:]

Too well, that I should let it he

A light in the dark wild, alone.

XI

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

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

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,

The only feeling which possest,

With her own image, my fond breast —

Who, that had known the secret thought

Of a young peasant’s bosom then,

Had deem’d him, in compassion, aught

But one, whom fantasy 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

With their own breath to fan its fire)

With thoughts such feeling can command;

Uncheck’d by sarcasm, and scorn

Of those, who hardly will conceive

That any should become “great,” born NOTE 5

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,

Lowly — and of their own degree —

[page 258:]

XII

I pictured to my fancy’s eye

Her silent, deep astonishment,

When, a few fleeting years gone by,

(For short the time my high hope lent

To its most desperate intent,)

She might recall in him, whom Fame

Had glided with a conqueror’s name

(With glory — such as might inspire

Perforce, a passing thought of one,

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,)

Her own Alexis, who should plight NOTE 6

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 bower

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

To awake her, and a falsehood tell

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

Awake, that I had held a thought

Of parting, were with madness fraught;

I knew not woman’s heart, alas!

Tho’ loved, and loving — let it pass. — [page 259:]

XIV

I went from out the matted bower

And hurried madly on my way:

And felt, with every flying hour,

That bore me from my home, more gay;

There is of earth an agony

Which, ideal, still may be

The worst ill of mortality.

‘T is bliss, in its own reality,

Too real, to his breast who lives

Not within himself but gives

A portion of his willing soul

To God, and to the great whole —

To him, whose loving spirit will dwell

With Nature, in her wild paths; tell

Of her wondrous ways, and telling bless

Her overpowering loveliness!

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

Of the pale cloud therein, whose hue

Is grace to its heavenly bed of blue;

Dim! tho’ looking on all bright!

O God! when the thoughts that may not pass

Will burst upon him, and alas!

For the flight on Earth to Fancy given,

There are no words — unless of Heaven.

XV

Look round thee now on Samarcand, NOTE 7

Is she not queen of earth? her pride

Above all cities? in her hand

Their destinies? with all beside

Of glory, which the world hath known?

Stands she not proudly and alone? [page 260:]

And who her sovereign? Timur, he NOTE 8

Whom the astonish’d earth hath seen,

With victory, on victory,

Redoubling age! and more, I ween,

The Zinghis’ yet re-echoing fame. NOTE 9

And now what has he ? what! a name.

The sound of revelry by night

Comes o’er me, with the mingled voice

Of many with a breast as light

As if ‘t were not the dying hour

Of one, in whom they did rejoice —

As in a leader, haply — Power

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

A tale the world but knows too well,

How by what hidden deeds of might,

I clamber’d to the tottering height,)

I still was young; and well I ween

My spirit what it e’er had been.

My eyes were still on pomp and power,

My wilder’d heart was far away

In the valleys of the wild Taglay,

In mine own Ada’s matted bower.

I dwelt not long in Samarcand

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

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.

[page 261:]

That soul will hate the evening mist

So often lovely, and will list

To the sound of the coming darkness (known

To those whose spirits hearken) NOTE 10 as one

Who in a dream of night would fly,

But cannot, from a danger nigh.

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

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.

‘T is thus when the lovely summer sun

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.

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

The transient, passionate day-flower, NOTE 11

Withering at the evening hour.

XVII

I reach’d my home — my home no more —

For all was flown that made it so —

I pass’d from out its mossy door,

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:

It had seen better days, he said;

There rose a fountain once, and there

Full many a fair flower raised its head:

But she who rear’d them was long dead,

And in such follies had no part,

What was there left me now? despair —

A kingdom for a broken — heart. [page 262:]

Variations in Poe’ s MS. from above follows: —

IV.

9. The mixed tone: and the tone.

13. Dare attempt: now attempt.

V.

14. Breathing: more than.

15. My: this.

21. And have: so have I.

VIII.

2. Such as I taught her from the time.

7-10. There were no holier thoughts than thine.

11. Her: thee.

21. Which I felt not: Unheeded then,

30. Some: an.

33. Confused: confusedly.

IX.

4-10. Omit.

11. Me at this time: for now on me.

12. Truth flashes thro eternity.

15. Knows: feels.

26. Its: The.

X.

6. Own fair: magic.

8-10.

Encircling with a glittering bound

Of diamond sunshine and sweet spray

Two mossy huts of the Taglay.

XI.

12-13.

The undying hope which now opprest

A spirit ne’er to be at rest.

14. Secret: silent.

17. Led: thrown.

18. Astray from reason: Her mantle over.

19. Ambition: Lion Ambition: nor fed. Omit.

Insert: —

And crouches to a keeper’s hand.

20. As in the desert: Not so in deserts.

21. Beautifies: terrible.

22. Its: his.

XV.

6. Proudly: nobly.

8. Earth hath seen: people saw. [page 263:]

9-11.

Striding o’er empires haughtily,

A diademed outlaw,

More than the Zinghis in his fame.

12. What: even.

16. The dying: their parting.

17. Of: From.

20. Nothing have I: And I have naught.

POE’S NOTES TO THE EDITION OF 1827

[page 265:]

SONNET TO SCIENCE

1829; Philadelphia Casket, 1830, 1831; Southern Literary Messenger, May, 1836; Graham’s Magazine (“The Island of the Fay,” 1841); 1845; Broadway Journal, II, 4.

Text, 1845.

Variations from the text:

1. True: meet.

1829; P. C.; 1831; S. L. M.

2. Peering: piercing.

P. C.

3. The: they.

P. C.

5. Should: shall.

P. C.

8. Soared: soar.

S. L. M.

Insert after l0: —

Hast thou not spoilt a story in each star?

Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood?

[page 266:]

The elfin from the grass? — the dainty fay

The witch, the sprite, the goblin — where are they?

Anon. G. M.

11. A: for.

P. C.

12. The gentle Naiad from her fountain flood.

1829; S. L. M. Her. the.

P. C.

13. Grass: wood.

P. C.

14. Tamarind tree: shrubbery.

1831; S. L.M.; P. C. Summer: summers.

P. C.

AL AARAAF

1829, Poe MS., 1829; 1831, 1845; I. lines 66-67, 70-79, 82-101, 126-129; II. 20-21, 24-27, 52-59, 68-135 appeared in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843.

Text, 1845.

Variations from the text:

1-15.

Mysterious star!

Thou wert my dream

All a long summer night —

Be now my theme!

By this clear stream,

Of thee will I write;

Meantime from afar

Bathe me in light!

Thy world has not the dross of ours,

Yet all the beauty — all the flowers

That list our love, or deck our bowers

In dreamy gardens, where do lie

Dreamy maidens all the day,

While the silver winds of Circassy

On violet couches faint away.

Little — oh! little dwells in thee

Like unto what on earth we see:

Beauty’s eye is here the bluest

In the falsest and untruest —

On the sweetest air doth float

The most sad and solemn note —

[page 267:]

If with thee be broken hearts,

Joy so peacefully departs,

That its echo still doth dwell

Like the murmur in the shell.

Thou! thy truest type of grief

Is the gently falling leaf —

Thou! thy framing is so holy

Sorrow is not melancholy.

1831.

11. Oh: With.

1831. Ah.

1829 MS.

19. An oasis: a garden-spot.

1829; 1831.

43. rear.

1831.

88. Which: That.

S. M.

95. Red: Omit

1831.

127. Merest: verest.

S. M.

128. All: Here.

1829; 1831; S. M.

Part II. 33. Peered: ventured.

1829.

53. Cheeks were: cheeks was.

S. M.

56. That: this.

S. M.

58. Fairy: brilliant.

S. M.

91. Wings:

S. M.

92. Each . . . thing: All . . . things.

S. M.

94. Would: will.

S. M.

99. Lead: hang.

1829; 1831.

117. A deep dreamy.

S. M.

197. The orb of the Earth: one constant star.

1829; 1831.

213. He: it.

1829; 1831.

In the Saturday Museum transpose II. lines 20-59.

Notes: In Graham’s Magazine, February, 1845, which was revised by Poe, referring to the lines of “Ligeia” in “Al Aaraaf” it is stated: “In a poem called ‘Ligeia’ he intended to personify the music of nature.” In “The Rationale of Verse” Poe refers to other lines in Part II, beginning: “Dim was its little disk, and angel eyes,” and says: “the passages occur in a boyish poem written by myself when a boy. I am referring to the sudden and rapid advent of a star.”

Poe evidently derived the name “Al Aaraaf” from Al-Araf, signifying the partition between Paradise and Hell, which is mentioned in the chapter copied from the great gulf of separation mentioned in Scripture. They call it Al-Orf, or more frequently Al Araf — a word derived from [page 268:] the verb Arafa, which signifies to distinguish between things or to part them. See Poe’s own “Al Aaraaf” notes.

That he was not satisfied with the name “Al Aaraaf” as taking part in the affairs of the poem is most evident from two changes made by him. The first was made in the copy of the 1829 poems, which he used for the copy of his 1845 poems. In the second part of the poem where it says:

“When first Al Aaraaf knew her course to be” he changed “Al Aaraaf” to read Tophet, and when he quoted the passage again late in life in “The Rationale of Verse” he changed it a second time to The Phantoms.

In the 1829 volume there are two changes which do not appear elsewhere. In Part II, 38th line, “the” is changed to thy, and in the next line following, “Of beautiful Gomorroh!” reads Too beautiful Gomorroh.

ROMANCE

Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843; 1845; Broadway Journal, II, 8. — Preface, 1829; Poe MS., 1829; Introduction, 1831.

Text, 1845.

Variations of 1829 from the text: —

12. Heavens.

B. J.

14. I scarcely have had time for cares.

S. M.

I have time for no idle cares.

1829 MS.

The 1831 version is as follows: —

INTRODUCTION

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,

With drowsy head and folded wing,

Among the green leaves as they shake

Far down within some shadowy lake,

To me a painted paroquet

Hath been — a most familiar bird —

Taught me my alphabet to say, —

To lisp my very earliest word

While in the wild-wood I did lie

A child — with a most knowing eye

Succeeding years, too wild for song,

Then roll’d like tropic storms along, [page 269:]

Where, tho’ the garish lights that fly,

Dying along the troubled sky

Lay bare, thro’ vistas thunder-riven,

The blackness of the general Heaven,

That very blackness yet doth fling

Light on the lightning’s silver wing.

For, being an idle boy lang syne,

Who read Anacreon, and drank wine,

I early found Anacreon rhymes

Were almost passionate sometimes —

And by strange alchemy of brain

His pleasures always turn’d to pain —

His naivete to wild desire —

His wit to love — his wine to fire —

And so, being young and dipt in folly

I fell in love with melancholy,

And used to throw my earthly rest

And quiet all away in jest —

I could not love except where Death

Was mingling his with Beauty’s breath

Or Hymen, Time, and Destiny

Were stalking between her and me.

O, then the eternal Condor years,

So shook the very Heavens on high,

With tumult as they thunder’d by;

I had no time for idle cares,

Thro’ gazing on the unquiet sky!

Or if an hour with calmer wing

Its down did on my spirit fling,

That little hour with lyre and rhyme

To while away — forbidden thing!

My heart half fear’d to be a crime

Unless it trembled with the string.

But now my soul hath too much room —

Gone are the glory and the gloom —

The black hath mellow’d into grey,

And all the fires are fading away.

[page 270:]

My draught of passion hath been deep —

I revell’d, and I now would sleep —

And after-drunkenness of soul

Succeeds the glories of the bowl —

An idle longing night and day

To dream my very life away.

But dreams — of those who dream as I,

Aspiringly, are damned, and die:

Yet should I swear I mean alone,

By notes so very shrilly blown,

To break upon Time’s monotone,

While yet my vapid joy and grief

Are tintless of the yellow leaf —

Why not an imp the graybeard hath

Will shake his shadow in my path —

And even the graybeard will o’erlook

Connivingly my dreaming-book.

Variations from 1829 follow: —

11-34. Omit.

35. O, then the: Of late.

36. Shook the very Heavens: shake the very air.

37. Thunder’d: thunder.

38. I hardly have had time for cares.

40. Or if. . .wing: And when. . .wings.

41. Did on. . .fling: upon. . .flings.

43. Things: thing.

44. Half-feared: would feel.

45. Unless it trembled. . .strings: Did it not tremble. . .strings.

46-66. Omit.

Notes: The manuscript changes made by Poe in this poem exist in the presentation copy of “Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems,” to his cousin Elizabeth Herring. The date on the title-page of this copy is 1820. The volume was used by Poe while editing the Broadway Journal and in printing the 1845 edition of his poems. The changes in this copy indicate that the third draft was made into the Broadway Journal. [page 271:]

SONG

“I SAW THEE ON THY BRIDAL DAY”

1827 1829, Poe MS., 1829; 1845; Broadway Journal, II 11.

Text, 1845.

Variations from the text:

I. 1. Thy: the.

1827.

II.

2. Of young passions free.

1827.

3. Aching: chained.

1827; fetter’d.

1829.

4. Could: might.

1827,

III. 1. I perhaps: I ween.

1827.

Notes: The manuscript of this poem in Poe’s hand, written about 1829, is in the library of a Chicago collector. It has the additional heading of “In an Album,” and on the margin where four lines of the second stanza is omitted is written “4 lines omitted see last page.” The last page however is missing. A volume of the Saturday Evening Post for 1826 with a few notations in Poe’s hand, and coming from the counting house of Ellis & Allan, Richmond, Virginia, where Poe was employed in 1827, has a poem reading: —

“I saw her on the bridal day,

In blushing beauty blest,

Smiles o’er her lips were seen to play

Like gilded gleams at dawn of day,

The fairest of the guest.”

The changes from 1829 to 1845 are also noted in the 1829 copy of poems with Poe’s revision. The word Though appears changed throughout from “Tho’.”

DREAMS

1827

Text, 1827.

Note: The manuscript of this poem, in Poe’s hand, written about 1829, now in the library of J. Pierpont Morgan, Esq., shows the following variations from the text: —

5. Cold: dull.

6. Must: shall. [page 272:]

7. Still upon the lovely: ever, on the chilly.

14. Dreams of living : dreamy fields of.

15. Loveliness have left my very: left unheedingly my.

19. Only. In italics.

27. After tho’ insert but I have been. No italics.

SPIRITS OF THE DEAD

Visit of the Dead — 1827; Poe MS. Spirits of the Dead — 1829; Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, July, 1839.

Text, Burton’ s Gentleman’ s Magazine.

Variations from the text:

II. 1. that: thy.

MS.

III. 8. Insert after: —

But ‘t will leave thee as each star

With the dewdrop flies afar.

MS.

IV. 4. Dewdrops: dewdrop.

MS.; 1829; B. G. M.

The 1827 version runs as follows: —

VISIT OF THE DEAD

. . . . . . . .

Thy soul shall find itself alone —

Alone of all on earth — unknown

The cause — but none are near to pry

Into thy hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,

Which is not loneliness — for then

The spirits of the dead, who stood

In life before thee, are again

In death around thee, and their will

Shall then o’ershadow thee — be still:

For the night, tho’ clear, shall frown;

And the stars shall look not down

From their thrones, in the dark heaven,

With light like Hope to mortals given,

But their red orbs, without beam,

To thy withering heart shall seem [page 273:]

As a burning, and a fever

Which would cling to thee forever.

But ‘t will leave thee, as each star

In the morning light afar

Will fly thee — and vanish:

— But its thought thou canst not banish.

The breath of God will be still;

And the mist upon the hill

By that summer breeze unbroken

Shall charm thee — as a token,

And a symbol which shall be

Secrecy in thee.

EVENING STAR

1827

Text, 1827.

TO —— (A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM)

Imitation, 1827; To — , 1829; Tamerlane, 1831; A Dream within a Dream, Flag of Our Union, March 31, 1849; Richmond Examiner(To — ), October, 1849; Griswold, 1850.

Text, Richmond Examiner.

Variations from the text:

1. Thy: thee all others.

4. To: Who all others.

The earliest version (1827) is as follows:

IMITATION

A dark unfathom’d tide

Of interminable pride —

A mystery, and a dream,

Should my early life seem;

I say that dream was fraught

With a wild, and waking thought

Of beings that have been,

Which my spirit hath not seen,

[page 274:]

Had I let them pass me by,

With a dreaming eye!

Let none of earth inherit

That vision on my spirit;

Those thoughts I would control,

As a spell upon his soul:

For that bright hope at last

And that light time have past,

And my worldly rest hath gone

With a sigh as it pass’d on:

I care not tho’ it perish

With a thought I then did cherish.

The 1829 revision is as follows: —

TO —

Should my early life seem

[As well it might] a dream —

Yet I build no faith upon

The King Napoleon —

I look not up afar

To my destiny in a star:

In parting from you now

Thus much I will avow —

There are beings, and have been

Whom my spirit had not seen

Had I let them pass me by

With a dreaming eye —

If my peace hath fled away

In a night — or in a day —

In a vision — or in none —

Is it therefore the less gone?

I am standing ‘mid the roar

Of a weather-beaten shore,

[page 275:]

And I hold within my hand

Some particles of sand —

How few! and how they creep

Thro’ my fingers to the deep!

My early hopes? no — they

Went gloriously away,

Like lightning from the sky

At once — and so will I.

So young! Ah! no — not now —

Thou hast not seen my brow,

But they tell thee I am proud —

They lie — they lie aloud —

My bosom beats with shame

At the paltriness of name

With which they dare combine

A feeling such as mine —

Nor Stoic? I am not:

In the terror of my lot

I laugh to think how poor

That pleasure “to endure!”

What! shade of Zeus! — I!

Endure! — no — no — defy.

Notes: The lines 13-27 appear in “Tamerlane,” 1831, revised. In line 18 of “Imitation,” the word “sigh” is printed “sight.” It is conjectured that Poe’s last revision, “To — ,” was addressed to “Annie,” Mrs. Richmond. In 1849, Poe also sent to Mrs. Richmond all but the first nine lines as a separate poem signed “Edgar,” and with the title “For Annie.” A facsimile of the manuscript appeared in the London Bookman for January, 1909.

Variations in the manuscript are as follows: —

10. All. No italics.

19. O: Oh.

21. O: Oh.

23. We: I. [page 276:]

“IN YOUTH HAVE I KNOWN ONE WITH WHOM THE EARTH”

1827

Text, 1827.

Notes: The title “Stanzas” previously used with this poem is the late E. C. Stedman’s, and unauthorized. If this was one of the poems written by Poe in 1821-22, he afterwards added the quotation from Byron — “The Island,” which was not published until June, 1823.

A DREAM

1827, no title; 1829; 1845; Broadway Journal, II. 6.

Text, 1845.

Variations from the text:

Insert as first stanza: —

A wilder’d being from my birth,

My spirit spurn’d control,

But now, abroad on the wide earth,

Where wanderest thou, my soul?

1827.

II. 1 Ah! And.

1827; 1829.

IV.

1. Storm and: misty.

1827.

2. Trembled from: dimly shone.

1827.

”THE HAPPIEST DAY — THE HAPPIEST HOUR”

1827

Text, 1827.

THE LAKE. TO ——

1827, 1829, MS.; 1831 (in “Tamerlane”); 1845; New York, Missionary Memorial, 1846.

Text, Missionary Memorial.

The 1827 version is as follows: — [page 277:]

THE LAKE

In youth’s spring 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

Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,

And the tall pines that tower’d around.

But when the night had thrown her pall

Upon that spot — as upon all,

And the wind would pass me by

In its stilly melody,

My infant spirit would awake

To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright —

But a tremulous delight,

And a feeling undefined,

Springing from a darken’d mind.

Death was in that poison’d wave

And in its gulf a fitting grave

For him who thence could solace bring

To his dark imagining;

Whose wildering thought could even make

An Eden of that dim lake.

Variations from the text:

1. In youth’s spring: In spring of youth.

1845.

9. ghastly wind went by: black wind murmured by.

1829.

Ghastly: mystic.

1845.

10. In a dirge-like: In a stilly.

MS.; In a dirge of.

1829. In a dirge-like: murmuring in.

1845.

11. Then — ah then: my boyish. MS.

12. That: the.

All others.

15-17.

A feeling not the jewell’d mine

Should ever bribe me to define —

Nor Love — although the Love be mine.

1829.

19. Depth: gulph all others.

Note: A manuscript copy of this poem in Poe’s hand, written about 1829, is now in the library of J. Pierpont Morgan, Esq., of New York city. [page 278:]

TO —

“THE BOWERS, WHEREAT, IN DREAMS, I SEE”

1829; 1845; Broadway Journal, II. 11.

Text, 1845

Variations of 1829 from the text:

III.

3. The. Omit.

4. Baubles: trifles.

TO THE RIVER —

1829; Poe’s MS. 1829; Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, August, 1839; Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843; 1845; Broadway Journal,II. 9.

Text, 1845

Variations from the text:

I. 2. Crystal wandering: labyrinth-like.

1829. MS.; B. G. M.

II.

2. In parenthesis.

MS.; B. G. M.

4. Her worshipper: Thy pretty self,

MS.

5. His: my.

1829; MS.; B. G. M.; B. J,

6. Deeply: lightly.

MS.

7. His: The.

1829; MS.; B, G. M.; B. J.

8. Of her soul-searching: The scrutiny of her.

1829; MS.; B. G. M.

Note: A manuscript copy of this poem in Poe’s hand, written about 1829, is in the library of a Chicago collector, and in addition has the title “In an Album.”

TO —

To — ; “I heed not that my earthly lot.” Poe MS.; “Alone; “ MS. To M — ; 1829; Griswold, 1850.

Text, Poe MS.

The earliest 1829 form of the poem is as follows with MS. changes noted below: — [page 279:]

TO M ——

O! I care not that my earthly lot

Hath little of Earth in it —

That years of love have been forgot

In the fever of a minute —

I heed not that the desolate

Are happier sweet, than I —

But that you meddle with my fate

Who am a passer by.

It is not that my founts of bliss

Are gushing — strange! with tears —

Or that the thrill of a single kiss

Hath palsied many years —

‘T is not that the flowers of twenty springs

Which have wither’d as they rose

Lie dead on my heart-strings

With the weight of an age of snows.

Now that the grass — O! may it thrive!

On my grave is growing or grown —

But that, while I am dead yet alive

I cannot be, lady, alone.

9. It is not: I heed not.

10. Are gushing: Be gushing, oh!

Or that the thrill of a single: That the tremor of one.

19. Yet: And.

20. Lady: love.

Note: The manuscript of this poem in Poe’s later-year handwriting is in the Griswold collection signed E. A. P. [page 280:]

FAIRY-LAND

1829, 1831; Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, August, 1839, 1845; Broadway Journal, II. 13.

Text, 1845

Variations of 1829 from the text: —

13. kind: sort.

20. Over halls: and rich.

44. Never contented things: The unbelieving things.

The 1831 version is as follows: —

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. [page 281:]

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?

Dim vales! and shadowy floods!

And cloudy-looking woods

Whose forms we can’t discover

For the tears that drip all over!

Huge moons — see! wax and wane

Again — again — again.

Every moment of the night —

Forever changing places!

How they put out the starlight

With the breath from their pale faces!

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 — [page 282:]

Over ruin’d walls —

(Over waterfalls!)

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

Alas! over the sea!

Notes: In Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine there was the following note to the poem: “The Fairy-land of our correspondent is not orthodox. His description differs from all received accounts of the country — but our readers will pardon the extravagance for the vigor of the delineation.”

In the 1829 edition Poe called attention at the thirty-third line to the following footnote: “Plagiarism. See the works of Thomas Moore — passim.”

Poe used the first four lines of this poem, slightly revised, in Dream-Land, lines 9 to 12. See extracts from the Yankee andBoston Literary Gazette, [page 171:] .

TO HELEN

1831; Southern Literary Messenger, March, 1836; Graham’s Magazine, September, 1841; February, 1845; Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843; 1845.

Text, 1845.

Variations from the text:

II.

4. Glory that was: beauty of fair.

1831; S. L. M.

5. That was: of old.

1831; S. L. M.

III.

1. Yon brilliant: that little.

1831; S. L. M.; that shadowy.

G. M.

3. Agate lamp: folded scroll.

1831; S. L. M.; G. M.

4. Ah!: A. 1831.

FROM AN ALBUM (ALONE)

Text, Scribner’s Magazine.

This poem was published in Scribner’s Magazine, September, 1875, which text is followed.

The poem is signed E. A. Poe, and introduced by a note as follows:

“The following verses, which are given in facsimile, were written by Edgar A. Poe shortly before he left West Point in 1829.”

Mr. Eugene L. Didier writes that he discovered and cut the poem from the album of a Mrs. Balderstone of Baltimore, Maryland. He further [page 283:] states that the headline “Alone,” and the date “Baltimore, March 17, 1829,” were not in Poe’s hand; also that the account in Scribner’s, that the poem was written shortly before Poe left West Point, is an error.

SPIRITUAL SONG

Text, Poe MS.

This fragment of a poem, but a most striking fragment, which is written entirely in Poe’s well-known later-day hand with all the characteristics of punctuation and heading, was left by him in his desk at the Southern Literary Messenger office, Richmond, Virginia. Both the desk and the manuscript are now in my possession. The poem is of special interest, because of the dearth of Poe’s new poetry while editing the Messenger. It also tends to show how some poetic lines impressed Poe’s mind, and with what consummate skill he could improve upon other ideas with his own words.

The poem is written on the reverse side of the following manuscript poem: —

“SACRED SONG O, Strike the Harp

“O! strike the harp, while yet there lies

In Music’s breath the power to please;

And if the tears should fill mine eyes,

They can but give my bosom ease.

But hush the notes of Love and Mirth

Too welcome to my heart before;

For now those airs that breathe of earth

Can charm my pensive soul no more.

“Yes, I have loved the world too well

And roved in Pleasure’s train too long;

And I have felt her sweetest spell

In Beauty’s smile, and Passion’s song.

But now my soul would break her chains,

While yet, perhaps the grace is given;

Then strike the Harp to Zion’s strains

And she shall soar at once to heaven.” [page 284:]

This is unsigned, and backed “Anonymous composition for the Messenger.” It is addressed to “Mr. Thomas W. White, Publisher of the Southern Literary Messenger, Richmond, Va.” and has the postmark “Steam,” showing that it came from Norfolk, Virginia, by steamer. The poetry evidently made some impression on Poe’s mind, and while he possibly intended to re-write it in his own way and made a good start, yet for some reason he changed his mind, and instead of completing it, hunted up and found the author. On [page 554:] of the second volume of the Messenger for August, 1836, which Poe edited, may be seen the poem printed as written in the manuscript, but headed “by W. Maxwell” and so indexed. The handwriting of the “Sacred Song” is that of William Maxwell, well known as the first Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society, and a poet then residing at Norfolk. He published a volume of poems in Philadelphia which were well received at the time. He afterwards contributed other poetry to the Messenger while Poe was the editor. It is also a matter of conjecture, that instead of completing the “Spiritual Song,” Poe decided to use “Israfel,” as that poem also appeared in the Messenger for August, 1836.

In this connection it might be noted that Poe evidently wrote his well-known poem of “The Conqueror Worm” after reading Wallace Cone’s “Proud Ladye,” which he reviewed for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, June, 1840, in which was the line —

“And let him meet the Conqueror worm.”

The idea in the verses “Spiritual Song” is also met with in his poem “The Haunted Palace,” fourth verse, fifth line: —

“A troop of echoes, whose sweet duty

Was to sing

In voices of surpassing beauty

The wit and wisdom of their king.”

ELIZABETH

Text, Poe MS.

This poem has never appeared in Poe’s own, nor in the later edited editions of his poetry. It was taken from his cousin Elizabeth Herring’s album, and is written on stained and slightly charred paper, and signed “Edgar.” The handwriting is probably that of between 1831 and 1834 and approximates later years. It is an acrostic, spelling “Elizabeth [page 285:] Rebecca.” The manuscript was included in the Pierce auction sale at Philadelphia, May 6, 1903. It is now in the collection of an American collector. The text is from a facsimile of the original manuscript.

Miss Herring lived in Baltimore, where Poe visited her.

FROM AN ALBUM

Text, Poe MS.

This poem, like the preceding one, was taken from the album of Elizabeth Herring, and is also an acrostic, spelling “Elizabeth.” There is no title to same, and it is signed “E. A. P.” It has never appeared in any edition of Poe’s poems. The manuscript was also sold at the Pierce auction sale at Philadelphia, May 6, 1903, and is now in the library of an American collector. It too is written on stained and slightly charred paper. Miss Herring stated that Poe wrote her love poetry in the early days. The text is from a facsimile of the original manuscript.

THE GREAT MAN

Text, Poe MS.

This poem, entirely in the hand of Poe, is written on paper stamped “Owen & Hurlbut, So. Lee Mass.” The oldest employee of the firm wrote that the paper was made and used in the 20’s or 30’s. The manuscript was found in Poe’s desk used by him at the Southern Literary Messenger office, Richmond, Virginia. The word “winds” in line fourteen was changed to “breezes” in the manuscript by Poe.

In note 5 to “Tamerlane” Poe wrote: —

“ — Who hardly will conceive

That any should become ‘great,’ born

In their own sphere —

“Although Tamerlane speaks this, it is not the less true. It is a matter of the greatest difficulty to make the generality of mankind believe that one with whom they are upon terms of intimacy shall be called, in the world, a ‘great man.’ The reason is evident. There are few great men. [page 286:] Their actions are consequently viewed by the mass of the people through the medium of distance. The prominent parts of their characters are alone noted; and those properties, which are minute and common to every one, not being observed, seem to have no connection with a great character. Who ever read the private memorials, correspondence, &c., which have become so common in our time, without wondering that ‘great men’ should act and think ‘so abominably’?”

It is evident that Poe afterwards changed his early views on the subject, or it is a case, as he states in his poem of “Elizabeth,” of “innate love of contradiction,” which characterized some of his writings. During the later period of his life Poe was known to have written a poem called “The Great, or The Beautiful Physician.” Mrs. William Wiley had it from her mother, and is quite confident that the “Physician” manuscript was long in her family, but of late years had gone astray. J. H. Ingram had a note in the January, 1909, New York Bookman, in which he gave the particulars of a lost poem by Poe, “The Beautiful Physician,” as told to him by Mrs. Shew.

With Poe’s known habit of using the early text of his poems in later life, it is not improbable that this early poem was revised and made do duty again as “The Great Physician.”

TO SARAH

Text, Southern Literary Messenger.

These lines appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger for August, 1835, and are signed “Sylvio.” In a memorandum left by Poe in the “Duane” copy of the Messenger, found by me in Boston, Massachusetts, some years ago, this poem and an unpublished story were both acknowledged by Poe.

The lines were evidently intended for Sarah Elmira Royster, his early sweetheart. They might be read in connection with the early 1829 lines commencing “I care not that my earthly lot — “

GRATITUDE. TO ——

Text, The Symposia.

This poem is signed E. A. P., and was published in “The Symposia,” volume i, no. 1, 8vo, pp. 4. Providence, Rhode Island, January 27, 1848. It was sold at auction in Boston in the spring of 1896. The poem is [page 287:] supposed to have been addressed to Mrs. S. H. Whitman, and was for the benefit of some church or fair in that city.

AN ENIGMA

Text, Burton’ s Gentleman’ s Magazine.

This appeared in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine for May, 1840, and was preceded by the following: —

“PALINDROMES

“A word, a verse, or sentence, that is the same when read backwards or forwards — such as Madam-eye, and a few others are palindromes; so that like the bourgeoise gentilhomme, who talked prose all his life without knowing it, we repeat extemporary palindromes daily, in utter ignorance of our talent. This is a redeeming quality, by the bye, to conceal any quality we have, when we are so proud of displaying those we have not. Indeed, our talents may be often divided in the same way as some hand-writing I have heard of; first, such as nobody can find out; secondly, what none but ourselves can discover; and thirdly, what our friends can also discern. We subjoin an English palindrome by Taylor, the Water-poet: —

‘Lewd did I live, and evil I did dwell.’

And an enigma where all the words required are palindromes; the answers will be easily discovered.”

IMPROMPTU

TO KATE CAROL

Text, Broadway Journal.

This is printed in the Editorial Miscellany of the Broadway Journal of April 26, 1845. In Poe’s notices to Correspondents, March 29, in the Journal appears “A thousand thanks to Kate Carol.” The issue of April 5 contains a poem “The Rivulet’s Dream,” signed Kate Carol, preceded by the following Poe note: “We might guess who is the fair author of the following lines, which have been sent us in a MS. evidently disguised, — but we are not satisfied with guessing, and would give the world to know.”

Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood has some verses “Love’s Reply,” the following week, reading as a response. Strong external evidence indicates that these lines of Poe’s were intended for Mrs. Osgood.

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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[S:0 - JHW11, 1911] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Notes and Variorum Text (Part 02) (J. H. Whitty, 1911)