Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. John H. Ingram), “To ---- ----,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, vol. III, 1875, pp. 24-25


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[page 24, continued:]

TO —— ——.

NOT long ago, the writer of these lines,

In the mad pride of intellectuality,

Maintained “the power of words” — denied that ever

A thought arose within the human brain

Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:

And now, as if in mockery of that boast,

Two words — two foreign soft dissyllables —

Italian tones, made only to be murmured

By angels dreaming in the moonlit “dew

That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,” —

Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,

Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,

Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions

Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,

(Who has “the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”) [page 25:]

Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.

The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.

With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,

I cannot write — I cannot speak or think —

Alas! I cannot feel; for ’tis not feeling,

This standing motionless upon the golden

Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams,

Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,

And thrilling as I see, upon the right,

Upon the left, and all the way along,

Amid empurpled vapours, far away

To where the prospect terminates — thee only.


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Notes:

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[S:0 - JHI, 1875] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - A Poe Bookshelf - To ---- ---- (J. H. Ingram, 1875)