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 dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams--
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams!
Alas! for that accursed time
They bore thee o'er the billow,
From love to titled age and crime,
And an unholy pillow!
From me, and from our misty clime,
Where weeps the silver willow!
Oddly, some versions of this poem contain the last stanza and some do not. This is another poem of love and loss but without a description of the object of his affection in this one. I really love the line "And all my days are trances". It is just a perfect phrase to bring a mental image of the blankness of grief. Not to be sacrilegious or anything but some of Poe's poetry rivals Shakespeare in pure romance.
Next week's Poe Friday reading will be the moody short story Berenice. The first line is "MISERY is manifold." So cheery!
Lost on the green isle in the sea,