Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. Killis Campbell), “Spirits of the Dead,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ginn and Company, 1917, pp. 23-25


[page 23, continued:]



Thy soul shall find itself alone

’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tomb-stone —

Not one, of all the crowd, to pry

Into thine hour of secrecy:



Be silent in that solitude,

Which is not loneliness — for then [page 24:]

The spirits of the dead who stood

In life before thee are again

In death around thee — and their will


Shall overshadow thee: be still.


The night — tho’ clear — shall frown —

And the stars shall look not down,

From their high thrones in the heaven,

With light like Hope to mortals given —


But their red orbs, without beam,

To thy weariness shall seem

As a burning and a fever

Which would cling to thee for ever:


Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish —


Now are visions ne’er to vanish —

From thy spirit shall they pass

No more — like dew-drop from the grass.


The breeze — the breath of God — is still —

And the mist upon the hill [page 25:]


Shadowy — shadowy — yet unbroken,

Is a symbol and a token —

How it hangs upon the trees,

A mystery of mysteries! —




[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 23:]

Title Visit of the Dead (1827).

2 Alone of all on earth — unknown (1827).

3 The cause — but none are near to pry (1827).

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 24:]

10 overshadow: then o’ershadow (1827).

11 The: For the (1827).

13 From their thrones, in the dark heav’n (1827).

16 weariness: withering heart (1827).

17 fever: ferver (1827).

19 But ‘twill leave thee, as each star (1827).

20 In the morning light afar (1827).

21 Wildly thee — and vanish (1827).

22 But its thought thou can’st not banish (1827).

23 The breath of God will be still (1827).

24 mist: with (1827).

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 25:]

25 By that summer breeze unbrok’n (1827).

26 Shall charm thee — as a token (1827).

27 And a symbol which shall be (1827).

28 Secrecy in thee (1827).







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