Friday, October 26, 2012

Poems: Lenore

AH, broken is the golden bowl!
     The spirit flown forever!
 Let the bell toll! — A saintly soul
     Glides down the Stygian river!
         And let the burial rite be read —
             The funeral song be sung —
         A dirge for the most lovely dead
             That ever died so young!
                 And, Guy De Vere,
                 Hast thou no tear?
                     Weep now or nevermore!
                 See, on yon drear
                And rigid bier,
                    Low lies thy love Lenore!

"Yon heir, whose cheeks of pallid hue
     With tears are streaming wet,
 Sees only, through
 Their crocodile dew,
     A vacant coronet —
         False friends! 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
                 For her most wrong'd of all the dead
                     That ever died so young?"

 But rave not thus!
     And let the solemn song
 Go up to God so mournfully that she may feel no wrong!
         The sweet Lenore
         Hath "gone before"
             With young hope at her side,
                 And thou art wild
                 For the dear child
             That should have been thy bride —
                     For her, the fair
                     And debonair,
                         That now so lowly lies —
                     The life still there
                     Upon her hair,
                         The death upon her eyes.  [page 61:]

"Avaunt! — to-night
 My heart is light —
     No dirge will I upraise,
 But waft the angel on her flight
     With a Pæan of old days!
         Let no bell toll!
         Lest her sweet soul,
             Amid its hallow'd mirth,
                 Should catch the note
                As it doth float
            Up from the damned earth —
                To friends above, from fiends below, th' indignant ghost is riven —
                    From grief and moan
                    To a gold throne
                Beside the King of Heaven?"

This version of the poem comes from The Pioneer, February 1843.

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