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Israfel

Written by: Edgar Allan Poe | Biography
 | Quotes (76) |
In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
"Whose heart-strings are a lute";
None sing so wildly well
As the angel Israfel 
And the giddy stars (so legends tell) 
Ceasing their hymns attend the spell
Of his voice all mute.

Tottering above
In her highest noon 
The enamored moon
Blushes with love 
While to listen the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads even 
Which were seven )
Pauses in Heaven.

And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli's fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings-
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.

But the skies that angel trod 
Where deep thoughts are a duty-
Where Love's a grown-up God-
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.

Therefore thou art not wrong 
Israfeli who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong 
Best bard because the wisest!
Merrily live and long!

The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief thy joy thy hate thy love 
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!

Yes Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers 
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt and he where I 
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody 
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.



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