Be inspired by these short poems by Edward Allan Poe. Edward Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Maryland, USA and he died in 1849 but his poems are still read by many.
Poe's father drifted away from the traditions of the family, married an English actress, and went on the stage himself. Edgar Poe was born
in a lodging house in Boston, where his parents were acting in the Federal Street Theater. His father died soon afterwards, and left his mother with three children to support. Two years after Edgar's birth
she died of pneumonia in Richmond, Virginia, in great poverty and distress, in a room on the cellar floor of a theatrical lodging house.
Two of the Poe children were cared for by relatives in Baltimore, while Edgar was adopted by John Allan, a well-to-do tobacco merchant of Richmond. Mr. and Mrs. Allan were childless, and the boy,
whose name was now changed to Edgar Allan Poe, was tenderly cared for and educated amid fortunate surroundings. At school he showed himself a lad of quick parts. He not only studied well, but he excelled
in athletics, in debate, and in the writing of verses
Poe's literary work falls into three divisions â€" literary criticism, prose tales, and poetry. His early criticisms are marked by fairness, penetration, and luminous statement. During his later, embittered
years, however, he allowed his personal dislikes and jealousies to warp his judgment
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
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep - while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
'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.
Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty - the unhidden heart -
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto's daughter;
But when within thy wave she looks -
Which glistens then, and trembles -
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in my heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies -
The heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.
A dark unfathomed tide
Of interminable pride -
A mystery, and a dream,
Should my early life seem;
I say that dream was fraught
With a wild and waking thought
Of beings that have been,
Which my spirit hath not seen,
Had I let them pass me by,
With a dreaming eye!
Let none of earth inherit
That vision of my spirit;
Those thoughts I would control,
As a spell upon his soul:
For that bright hope at last
And that light time have past,
And my worldly rest hath gone
With a sigh as it passed on:
I care not though it perish
With a thought I then did cherish.
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- a 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.
Thou wast all that 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 gray eye glances.
And where thy footstep gleams.
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
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.
Unwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdu,
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.
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels so
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells.
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells.
Bells, bells, bells -
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!
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 sun-light 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.
Poet: Edgar Allan Poe
So sweet the hour, so calm the time,
I feel it more than half a crime,
When Nature sleeps and stars are mute,
To mar the silence ev'n with lute.
At rest on ocean's brilliant dyes
An image of Elysium lies:
Seven Pleiades entranced in Heaven,
Form in the deep another seven:
Endymion nodding from above
Sees in the sea a second love.
Within the valleys dim and brown,
And on the spectral mountain's crown,
The wearied light is dying down,
And earth, and stars, and sea, and sky
Are redolent of sleep, as I
Am redolent of thee and thine
Enthralling love, my Adeline.
But list, O list,- so soft and low
Thy lover's voice tonight shall flow,
That, scarce awake, thy soul shall deem
My words the music of a dream.
Thus, while no single sound too rude
Upon thy slumber shall intrude,
Our thoughts, our souls - O God above!
In every deed shall mingle, love.