Text: Charles W. Kent (notes) Robert A. Stewart (variants) (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Notes to Fairy-Land,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VII: Poems (1902), 7:168-171


[page 168, continued:]


Page 44.


Text, 1845.

Variations of 1829 from the text.

Line 7 Every (Ev’ry) 8 Forever (For ever) 10 faces. (;) 12 One (One,) 12 filmy (i.) 13-14 (. .) ([ ...]) 13 sort (kind) 20 over halls (and rich) [page 169:] 27 — O (o. d.) 27 O, (!) Note to ll. 33 [Plagiarism — see the Works of Thomas Moore — passim — [Edr. ] ] 43 again (again,) 44 (Never contented things ([The unbelieving things] ).

The verbal variations of Burton's are the same as those of 1829.

Variations of Broadway Journal from the text.

Line 4 over (over.) 12 One (One,) 12 filmy (i.) 28 sleep. (!)

The 1831 version is as follows: —


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 170:]

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 [page 171:]

Drowsily over halls —

Over ruin’d walls —

(Over waterfalls!)

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

Alas! over the sea!


A fantastic picture of the setting of a moon on a mountain. The mountain is buried in a labyrinth of light. In the morning this covering canopy is withdrawn and shattered. Butterflies bring pieces of it on their wings. This poem comes very near to being meaningless and the lines are not always rhythmical.

Cf. Appendix, “Poe and John Neal.”





[S:0 - JAH07, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Notes to Fairy-Land)