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STANZAS

STANZAS

Edgar Allan Poe, 1827



    How often we forget all time, when lone
    Admiring Nature's universal throne;
    Her woods- her wilds- her mountains- the intense
    Reply of HERS to OUR intelligence! [BYRON, The Island.]


    I


    In youth have I known one with whom the Earth
    In secret communing held- as he with it,
    In daylight, and in beauty from his birth:
    Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit
    From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
    A passionate light- such for his spirit was fit-
    And yet that spirit knew not, in the hour
    Of its own fervor what had o'er it power.




    II


    Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought
    To a fever by the moonbeam that hangs o'er,
    But I will half believe that wild light fraught
    With more of sovereignty than ancient lore
    Hath ever told- or is it of a thought
    The unembodied essence, and no more,
    That with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass
    As dew of the night-time o'er the summer grass?


    III


    Doth o'er us pass, when, as th' expanding eye
    To the loved object- so the tear to the lid
    Will start, which lately slept in apathy?
    And yet it need not be- (that object) hid
    From us in life- but common- which doth lie
    Each hour before us- but then only, bid
    With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken,
    To awake us- 'Tis a symbol and a token


    IV


    Of what in other worlds shall be- and given
    In beauty by our God, to those alone
    Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven
    Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,
    That high tone of the spirit which hath striven,
    Tho' not with Faith- with godliness- whose throne
    With desperate energy 't hath beaten down;
    Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.


Last modified: February 08 2006 17:36:07.