Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry), “Stanzas,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Stone and Kimball, vol. X, 1895, pp. 122-123


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[page 122:]

STANZAS

HOW often we forget all time, when lone

Admiring Nature’s universal throne;

Her woods — her wilds — her mountains — the intense

Reply of HERS to OUR intelligence!

BYRON: The Island.

1

In youth have I known one with whom the Earth

In secret communing held, as he with it,

In day light, and in beauty from his birth:

Whose fervid, flick’ring torch of life was lit

From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth

A passionate light-such for his spirit was fit —

And yet that spirit knew not, in the hour

Of its own fervor, what had o’er it power.

2

Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought

To a fever by the moon beam that hangs o’er,

But I will half believe that wild light fraught

With more of sov’reignty than ancient lore

Hath ever told; or is it of a thought

The unembodied essence, and no more

That with a quick’ning spell doth o’er us pass

As dew of the night-time, o’er the summer grass.

3

Doth o’er us pass, when, as the expanding eye

To the loved object, so the tear to the lid [page 123:]

Will start, which lately slept in apathy?

And yet it need not be — that object — hid

From us in life — but common — which doth lie

Each hour before us — but then only bid

With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken

To awake us. ’T is a symbol and a token [[,]]

4

Of what in other worlds shall be, and given

In beauty by our God, to those alone

Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven

Drawn by their heart’s passion, and that tone,

That high tone of the spirit which hath striv’n

Tho’ not with Faith, with godliness, — whose throne

With desperate energy ’t hath beaten down;

Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.

 


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Notes:

Stedman and Woodberry notes.

 

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[S:0 - SW, 1895] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Stanzas (Stedman and Woodberry, 1895)