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Poe, Visiting Poet

January 7, 2012

Dream-Land

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have reached these lands but newly

From an ultimate dim Thule–

From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,

Out of SPACE–out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,

And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,

With forms that no man can discover

For the tears that drip all over;

Mountains toppling evermore

Into seas without a shore;

Seas that restlessly aspire,

Surging, unto skies of fire;

Lakes that endlessly outspread

Their lone waters, lone and dead,–

Their still waters, still and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread

Their lone water,s lone and dead,–

Their sad waters, sad and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily,–

By the mountains–near the river

Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,–

By the grey woods,–by the swamp

Where the toad and the new encamp,–

By the dismal tarns and pools

Where dwell the Ghouls,–

By each spot the most unholy–

In each nook most melancholy,–

There the traveller meets, aghast,

Sheeted Memories of the Past–

Shrouded forms that start and sigh

As they pass the wanderer by–

White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth–and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion

‘T is the peaceful, soothing region–

For the spirit that walks in shadow

‘T is–oh, ‘t is an Eldorado!

But the traveller, travelling through it,

May not–dare not openly view it;

Never its mysteries are exposed

To the weak human eye unclosed

So wills its King, who hath forbid

The uplifting of the fringéd lid;

And thus the sad Soul that here passes

Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have wandered home but newly

From this ultimate dim Thule.

Taken from Macdonald, D. (1965). Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Drawings by E. Raskin. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.

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