Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “To — —” (Text-A), Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems (1829), pp. 59-60


[page 59:]


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

For 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 60:]

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 Zeno! — I!

Endure! — no — no — defy.



This poem was revised several times, eventually becoming what is now best remembered under the title of “A Dream within a Dream”.


[S:1 - ATMP, 1829 (fac, 1933)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - To — — (Text-C)