1845

 

EPIGRAM FOR WALL STREET

 

  I'll tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
   Better than banking, trade or leases —
Take a bank note and fold it up,
   And then you will find your money in creases!
This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
   Keeps your cash in your hands, where nothing can trouble it;
And every time that you fold it across,
   'Tis as plain as the light of the day that you double it!
 This is decidedly one of the best jeux d'esprit we have met in a year.          
   Who did it? — who?

 

THE RAVEN

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
T is some visitor, I muttered, tapping at my chamber door
                          Only this and nothing more.

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow sorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore––
                            Nameless here for evermore.                                                                                              
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;
                          This it is and nothing more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
 Sir, said I, or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you here I opened wide the door;
                           Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore!
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, Lenore!
                                  Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely, said I, surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;
                                 ’T is the wind and nothing more!

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door
                            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stem decorum of the countenance it wore,
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou, I said, art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Nights Plutonian shore!
                         Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
                          With such name as Nevermore.

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word be did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered not a feather then he fluttered
Till I scarcely more than muttered, Other friends have flown before
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.
                             Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
Doubtless, said I, what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
                          Of Never nevermore.’”

But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
                          Meant in croaking Nevermore.

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosoms core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushions velvet lining that the lamp‑light gloated oer,
But whose velvet‑violet lining with the lamp‑light gloating oer,
                           She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer      
Swung by Seraphim whose foot‑falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Wretch, I cried, thy God hath lent thee by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!
                            Quoth the Raven, Nevermore

Prophet! said I, thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
On this home by Horror haunted tell me truly, I implore
Is there–– is there balm in Gilead? tell me tell me, I implore!
                         Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Prophet! said I, thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us by that God we both adore
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.
                            Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.”

Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend! I shrieked, upstarting
Get thee back into the tempest and the Nights Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!
                             Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demons that is dreaming,
And the lamp‑light oer him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                          Shall be lifted – nevermore

 

IMPROMPTU. TO KATE CAROL

 
When from your gems of thought I turn
To those pure orbs, your heart to learn,
I scarce know which to prize most high —
The bright i-dea, or the bright dear-eye.

 

 

TO ____ [VIOLET VANE]

 
I would not lord it o'er thy heart,
    Alas! I cannot rule my own,
Nor would I rob one loyal thought,
    From him who there should reign alone;
We both have found a life-long love;
    Wherein our weary souls may rest,
Yet may we not, my gentle friend
    Be each to each the second best?
A love which shall be passion-free,
    Fondness as pure as it is sweet,
A bond where all the dearest ties
    Of brother, friend and cousin meet, --
Such is the union I would frame,
    That thus we might be doubly blest,
With Love to rule our hearts supreme
    And friendship to be second best.


 

EULALIE A SONG

 

                                   I dwelt alone
                                   In a world of moan,
                      And my soul was a stagnant tide,
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride
Till the yellow‑haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.

                                 Ah, less less bright
                                 The stars of the night
                      Than the eyes of the radiant girl!
                                 And never a flake
                                 That the vapor can make
                      With the moon‑tints of purple and pearl,
Can vie with the modest Eulalies most unregarded curl
Can compare with the bright‑eyed Eulalies most humble and careless curl.               

                                Now Doubt now Pain
                                Come never again,
                        For her soul gives me sigh for sigh,
                                And all day long
                                Shines, bright and strong,
                       Astarté within the sky,
While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye
While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.

 

THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS

 
THE only king by right divine
Is Ellen King, and were she mine
I'd strive for liberty no more,
But hug the glorious chains I wore.
Her bosom is an ivory throne,
Where tyrant virtue reigns alone ;
No subject vice dare interfere,
To check the power that governs here.
O! would she deign to rule my fate,
I'd worship Kings and kingly state,
And hold this maxim all life long,
The King — my King — can do no wrong.

 

STANZAS [TO F. S. O.]

 
Lady! I would that verse of mine
    Could fling, all lavishly and free,
Prophetic tones from every line,
    Of health, joy, peace, in store for thee.
Thine should be length of happy days,
    Enduring joys and fleeting cares,
Virtues that challenge envy's praise,
    By rivals loved, and mourned by heirs.
Thy life's free course should ever roam
    Beyond this bounded earthly clime,
No billow breaking into foam
    Upon the rock-girt shore of Time.
The gladness of a gentle heart,
    Pure as the wishes breathed in prayer,
Which has in others' joys a part,
    While in its own all others share.
The fullness of a cultured mind,
    Stored with the wealth of bard and sage,
Which Error's glitter cannot blind,
    Lustrous in youth, undimmed in age;
The grandeur of a guileless soul,
    With wisdom, virtue, feeling fraught,
Gilding serenely to its goal,
    Beneath the eternal sky of Thought: —
These should be thine, to guard and shield,
    And this the life thy spirit live,
Blest with all bliss that earth can yield,
    Bright with all hopes that Heaven can give. 

 

[LATIN HYMN]

 
    A thousand, a thousand, a thousand,
    A thousand, a thousand, a thousand,
    We, with one warrior have slain!
A thousand, a thousand, a thousand, a thousand,
    Sing a thousand over again!
        Soho! — let us sing
        Long life to our King,
    Who knocked over a thousand so fine
        Soho! — let us roar,
        He has given us more
        Red gallons of gore
   Than all Syria can furnish of wine!