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Best Famous Edgar Allan Poe Poems

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by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago 
In a kingdom by the sea 
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that long ago In this kingdom by the sea A wind blew out of a cloud chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels not half so happy in heaven Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so all the night-tide I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride In the sepulchre there by the sea In her tomb by the sounding sea.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The City In the Sea

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West 
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!) Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around by lifting winds forgot Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie.
No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrets silently- Gleams up the pinnacles far and free- Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls- Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls- Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers- Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathed friezes intertwine The viol the violet and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there That all seem pendulous in air While from a proud tower in the town Death looks gigantically down.
There open fanes and gaping graves Yawn level with the luminous waves; But not the riches there that lie In each idol's diamond eye- Not the gaily-jewelled dead Tempt the waters from their bed; For no ripples curl alas! Along that wilderness of glass- No swellings tell that winds may be Upon some far-off happier sea- No heavings hint that winds have been On seas less hideously serene.
But lo a stir is in the air! The wave- there is a movement there! As if the towers had thrust aside In slightly sinking the dull tide- As if their tops had feebly given A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow- The hours are breathing faint and low- And when amid no earthly moans Down down that town shall settle hence Hell rising from a thousand thrones Shall do it reverence.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

A Dream within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow
And in parting from you now 
Thus much let me avow ---
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away.
In a night or in a day In a vision or in none Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand --- How few! Yet how they creep Throngh my fingers to the deep While I weep --- while I weep! O God! Can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream.


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by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The One in Paradise

THOU wast that all to me love 
For which my soul did pine --
A green isle in the sea love 
A fountain and a shrine 
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers 
And all the flowers were mine.
Ah dream too bright to last! Ah starry Hope! that didst arise But to be overcast! A voice from out the Future cries "On! on!" -- but o'er the Past (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies Mute motionless aghast! For alas! alas! with me The light of Life is o'er! No more -- no more -- no more -- (Such language holds the solemn sea To the sands upon the shore) Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree Or the stricken eagle soar! And all my days are trances And all my nightly dreams Are where thy grey eye glances And where thy footstep gleams -- In what ethereal dances By what eternal streams.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Sonnet -- To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart Vulture whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood The Elfin from the green grass and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

To Helen

Helen thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore 
That gently o'er a perfumed sea 
The weary wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam Thy hyacinth hair thy classic face Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand The agate lamp within thy hand! Ah Psyche from the regions which Are Holy Land!


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The Conqueror Worm

Lo! 't is a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng bewinged bedight

In veils and drowned in tears 
Sit in a theatre to see

A play of hopes and fears 
While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.
Mimes in the form of God on high Mutter and mumble low And hither and thither fly - Mere puppets they who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Woe! That motley drama! - oh be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs The mimes become its food And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Out - out are the lights - out all! And over each quivering form The curtain a funeral pall Comes down with the rush of a storm And the angels all pallid and wan Uprising unveiling affirm That the play is the tragedy "Man" And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Israfel

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.


by Delmore Schwartz | |

Sonnet Suggested By Homer Chaucer Shakespeare Edgar Allan Poe Paul Vakzy James Joyce Et Al.

 Let me not, ever, to the marriage in Cana
Of Galilee admit the slightest sentiment
Of doubt about the astonishing and sustaining manna
Of chance and choice to throw a shadow's element
Of disbelief in truth -- Love is not love
Nor is the love of love its truth in consciousness
If it can be made hesitant by any crow or dove or 
 seeming angel or demon from above or from below
Or made more than it is knows itself to be by the authority
 of any ministry of love.
O no -- it is the choice of chances and the chancing of all choice -- the wine which was the water may be sickening, unsatisfying or sour A new barbiturate drawn from the fattest flower That prospers green on Lethe's shore.
For every hour Denies or once again affirms the vow and the ultimate tower Of aspiration which made Ulysses toil so far away from home And then, for years, strive against every wanton desire, sea and fire, to return across the.
ever-threatening seas A journey forever far beyond all the vivid eloquence of every poet and all poetry.


by Carl Sandburg | |

Remorse

 THE HORSE’S name was Remorse.
There were people said, “Gee, what a nag!” And they were Edgar Allan Poe bugs and so They called him Remorse.
When he was a gelding He flashed his heels to other ponies And threw dust in the noses of other ponies And won his first race and his second And another and another and hardly ever Came under the wire behind the other runners.
And so, Remorse, who is gone, was the hero of a play By Henry Blossom, who is now gone.
What is there to a monicker? Call me anything.
A nut, a cheese, something that the cat brought in.
Nick me with any old name.
Class me up for a fish, a gorilla, a slant head, an egg, a ham.
Only … slam me across the ears sometimes … and hunt for a white star In my forehead and twist the bang of my forelock around it.
Make a wish for me.
Maybe I will light out like a streak of wind.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Romance

 Romance, who loves to nod and sing
With drowsy head and folded wing
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say,
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal condor years So shake the very Heaven on high With tumult as they thunder by, I have no time for idle cares Through gazing on the unquiet sky; And when an hour with calmer wings Its down upon my spirit flings, That little time with lyre and rhyme To while away—forbidden things— My heart would feel to be a crime Unless it trembled with the strings.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Alone

 From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Bridal Ballad

 The ring is on my hand, 
And the wreath is on my brow; 
Satin and jewels grand 
Are all at my command, 
And I am happy now.
And my lord he loves me well; But, when first he breathed his vow, I felt my bosom swell- For the words rang as a knell, And the voice seemed his who fell In the battle down the dell, And who is happy now.
But he spoke to re-assure me, And he kissed my pallid brow, While a reverie came o'er me, And to the church-yard bore me, And I sighed to him before me, Thinking him dead D'Elormie, "Oh, I am happy now!" And thus the words were spoken, And this the plighted vow, And, though my faith be broken, And, though my heart be broken, Here is a ring, as token That I am happy now! Would God I could awaken! For I dream I know not how! And my soul is sorely shaken Lest an evil step be taken,- Lest the dead who is forsaken May not be happy now.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

A Dream

 In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day To him whose eyes are cast On things around him with a ray Turned back upon the past? That holy dream- that holy dream, While all the world were chiding, Hath cheered me as a lovely beam A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro' storm and night, So trembled from afar- What could there be more purely bright In Truth's day-star?


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Eldorado

 Gaily bedight,
 A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
 Had journeyed long,
 Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old-- This knight so bold-- And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow- "Shadow," said he, "Where can it be-- This land of Eldorado?" "Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride," The shade replied-- "If you seek for Eldorado!"


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

To My Mother

 Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you-
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
My mother- my own mother, who died early, Was but the mother of myself; but you Are mother to the one I loved so dearly, And thus are dearer than the mother I knew By that infinity with which my wife Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Evening Star

 'Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro' the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
'Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile On her cold smile; Too cold- too cold for me- There pass'd, as a shroud, A fleecy cloud, And I turned away to thee, Proud Evening Star, In thy glory afar, And dearer thy beam shall be; For joy to my heart Is the proud part Thou bearest in Heaven at night, And more I admire Thy distant fire, Than that colder, lowly light.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Lenore

 Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride, And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died! How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?" Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside, Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride.
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies, The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.
"Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven- From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven- From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven! Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth, Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth! And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise, But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

To Helen 1

 Helen, thy beauty is to me
 Like those Nicæan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
 The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
 To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand, The agate lamp within thy hand! Ah, Psyche, from the regions which Are Holy Land!


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

An Enigma

 "Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce, 
"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at once As easily as through a Naples bonnet- Trash of all trash!- how can a lady don it? Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff- Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it.
" And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant Bubbles- ephemeral and so transparent- But this is, now- you may depend upon it- Stable, opaque, immortal- all by dint Of the dear names that he concealed within 't.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Sonnet - To Science

 Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
 Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise, Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies, Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Dreams

 Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, 'Twere better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth, A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be- that dream eternally Continuing- as dreams have been to me In my young boyhood- should it thus be given, 'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light And loveliness,- have left my very heart In climes of my imagining, apart From mine own home, with beings that have been Of mine own thought- what more could I have seen? 'Twas once- and only once- and the wild hour From my remembrance shall not pass- some power Or spell had bound me- 'twas the chilly wind Came o'er me in the night, and left behind Its image on my spirit- or the moon Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon Too coldly- or the stars- howe'er it was That dream was as that night-wind- let it pass.
I have been happy, tho' in a dream.
I have been happy- and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid coloring of life, As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife Of semblance with reality, which brings To the delirious eye, more lovely things Of Paradise and Love- and all our own! Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

Spirits Of The Dead

 Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.
Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness- for then The spirits of the dead, who stood In life before thee, are again In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee; be still.
The night, though clear, shall frown, And the stars shall not look down From their high thrones in the Heaven With light like hope to mortals given, But their red orbs, without beam, To thy weariness shall seem As a burning and a fever Which would cling to thee for ever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish, Now are visions ne'er to vanish; From thy spirit shall they pass No more, like dew-drop from the grass.
The breeze, the breath of God, is still, And the mist upon the hill Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken, Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees, A mystery of mysteries!


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

A Valentine

 For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines!- they hold a treasure Divine- a talisman- an amulet That must be worn at heart.
Search well the measure- The words- the syllables! Do not forget The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor And yet there is in this no Gordian knot Which one might not undo without a sabre, If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet's, too, Its letters, although naturally lying Like the knight Pinto- Mendez Ferdinando- Still form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying! You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The Valley Of Unrest

 Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sunlight lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess The sad valley's restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless- Nothing save the airs that brood Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees That palpitate like the chill seas Around the misty Hebrides! Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven That rustle through the unquiet Heaven Uneasily, from morn till even, Over the violets there that lie In myriad types of the human eye- Over the lilies there that wave And weep above a nameless grave! They wave:- from out their fragrant tops Eternal dews come down in drops.
They weep:- from off their delicate stems Perennial tears descend in gems.