This story begins with a beautifully romantic passage --
I CANNOT, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since elapsed, and my memory is feeble through much suffering. Or, perhaps, I cannot now bring these points to mind, because, in truth, the character of my beloved, her rare learning, her singular yet placid cast of beauty, and the thrilling and enthralling eloquence of her low musical language, made their way into my heart by paces so steadily and stealthily progressive that they have been unnoticed and unknown.
But then of course --
Ligeia grew ill. The wild eyes blazed with a too --too glorious effulgence; the pale fingers became of the transparent waxen hue of the grave, and the blue veins upon the lofty forehead swelled and sank impetuously with the tides of the gentle emotion. I saw that she must die --and I struggled desperately in spirit with the grim Azrael. And the struggles of the passionate wife were, to my astonishment, even more energetic than my own. There had been much in her stern nature to impress me with the belief that, to her, death would have come without its terrors; --but not so. Words are impotent to convey any just idea of the fierceness of resistance with which she wrestled with the Shadow.
When the lady dies, the narrator goes to England and buys an old, rundown abbey. He begins using opium and decorates the inside of the abbey in an opulent manner. He also adds to the abbey a second wife, Lady Rowena Trevanion. Because of his undying love for the departed Ligeia, he has little love to spare for his new wife and she, in turn, has little for him. Then Lady Rowena begins to have violent illnesses of an unknown origin. During one of her fits, she confesses feeling an unnatural presence in the room and the narrator also experiences some unexplainable phenomena. Shortly after, the poor woman dies and, while sitting with the body, the narrator starts noticing signs of life that come and go. But when the woman finally stirs, she is no longer Rowena.
This is an extremely creepy story! The beginning is full of gushing love, followed by the deepest sorrow, the most vivid hatred and then ending with sheer astonishment. This story certainly stirs the emotions of the reader. I wish the story continued past the point where Poe ends it. From the first paragraph, it seems that the narrator may have lost his mind.
Our short story for next week will be the humorous X-ing a Paragrab.
Glad to be the first wife,