Text: Sarah Bolton, “On the Death of Edgar A. Poe,” Home Journal (New York, NY), November 17, 1849, p. 2, col. 7


[page 2, column 7:]

From Our Correspondents



THEY have laid thee down to slumber, where the sorrows that encumber,

Such a wild and wayward heart as thine can never reach thee more:

For the radiant light of gladness, never alternates with sadness,

Stinging gifted souls to madness on that bright and blessed shore;

Safely moored from sorrow’s tempest, on the “distant Aidenn” shore,

Rest thee, lost one, evermore.


Thou wert like a meteor glancing, through a starry sky entrancing, —

Thrilling, awing, wrapt beholders with the wondrous light it wore;

But the meteor has descended, and the “Nightly” shadows blended,

For the fever-dream is ended, and the fearful crisis o’er —

Yes, the wild unresting fever-dream of human life is o’er.

Thou art sleeping evermore.


Ocean, earth, and air could utter, words that made thy spirit flutter —

Words that stirred the hidden fountain welling in thy bosom’s core,

Stirred it till its wavelets sighing, wakened to a wild replying,

And in numbers never dying, sung the heart’s unwritten lore.

Sung, in wild bewitching numbers, the sad heart’s unwritten lore,

Now, unwritten, nevermore.


There was something sad and lonely, in thy mystic songs that only

Could have trembled from a spirit weary of the life it bore —

Something like the plaintive toning of a hidden streamlet moaning

In its prison darkness moaning for the light it knew before —

For the fragrance and the sunlight that had gladdened it before.

Singing, sighing evermore.


To my soul forever dreaming came a strange effulgence beaming,

Beaming, flashing from a region mortals never may explore;

Spirits led thee in thy trances through a realm of gloomy fancies,

Giving spectres to thy glances man had never seen before —

Wondrous spectres, such as human eye had never seen before,

Were around thee evermore.


Thou didst see the starlight quiver over many a fabled river —

Thou didst wander with the shadows of the mighty dead of yore —

And thy songs to us came ringing like the old unearthly singing,

Of the viewless spirits wringing o’er the “Nurht’a Plutonian shore,”

Of the weary spirits wandering by the gloomy Stygian shore

Singing dirges evermore.


Thou didst seem like one benighted, one whose hopes were crushed and blighted,

Moaning for the lost and lovely that the world could not restore —

But an endless rest is given to thy heart so wrecked and riven,

Thou hast met again In heaven with the “lost’‘ and loved “Lenore,”

With the “rare and radiant maiden whom the angels call Lenore,”

She will leave thee nevermore.


From the earth a star has faded, and the shrine of song has shaded,

And the muses veil their faces, weeping sorrowful and sore —

But the harp, all rent and broken, left us many a thrilling token;

We shall bear its numbers spoken, and repeated o’er and o’er,

Till our heart shall cease to tremble we shall hear them sounding o’er.

Sounding ever, evermore.


We shall hear them like a fountain, tinkling down a rugged mountain,

Like the walling of the tempest mingling with the ocean’s roar;

Like the winds of autumn sighing, when the summer flowers are dying;

Like a spirit voice replying, from a dim and distant shore;

Like a wild, mysterious echo, from a distant shadowy shore,

We shall hear them evermore.


Nevermore wilt thou undaunted, wander through the “palace haunted,”

Or the “cypress vales Titanic” which thy spirit did explore —

Never hear the “Ghoul” king dwelling in the ancient steeple telling,

With a slow and solemn kneeling, losses human hearts deplore —

Telling “in a sort of Runic rhyme,” the losses we deplore,

Toiling, toiling evermore.


If a “living human being,” ever had the gift of “seeing,”

The “grim and ghastly” countenance his evil genius wore —

It was thee, “unhappy master, whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster, till” thy “songs one burden bore —

Till the dirges of” thy “hopes one melancholy burden bore,

Of never — nevermore.”


Indianapolis, Nov. 1, 1849.



Sarah Tittle Bolton (1814-1893) was a well-known mid-west poet and women’s right advocate.


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