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IT was many and many a year ago In this kingdom by the sea That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child, and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee,
With a love that the winged seraphs in heaven Coveted her and me.
And that was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee,
So that her high-born kinsmen came And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know In this kingdom by the sea) That a wind blew out of a cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those that were older than we, Of many far wiser than we,
And neither the angels in heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee, And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
And so, all the night tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride, In her sepulcher there by the sea--
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
COME live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds, With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my love.
Block the empty sky;
Leaving the spiritual brightness
No place to abide.
Hate and love, prosperity and decline,
Are all sharp swords;
I am like a despoiled virgin
How can you look at me?
The relic from before birth
If you don't know essence and don't know life,
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped; And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after. But with unhurrying chase, And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat--and a Voice beat More instant than the Feet-- "All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."
I pleaded, outlaw-wise, By many a hearted casement, curtained red, Trellised with intertwining charities (For, though I knew His love Who followed, Yet was I sore adread Lest having Him, I must have naught beside);
But if one little casement parted wide, The gust of His approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue. Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars, Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars; Fretted to dulcet jars And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
I said to dawn, Be sudden; to eve, Be soon; With thy young skyey blossoms heap me over From this tremendous Lover!
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see! I tempted all His servitors, but to find My own betrayal in their constancy, In faith to Him their fickleness to me, Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue; Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet, The long savannahs of the blue; Or whether, Thunder-driven, They clanged his chariot 'thwart a heaven Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet--
Still with unhurrying chase, And unperturbèd pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, Came on the following Feet, And a Voice above their beat--
"Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me." I sought no more that after which I strayed In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children's eyes Seems something, something that replies; They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully; But, just as their young eyes grew sudden fair With dawning answers there, Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
"Come then, ye other children, Nature's--share With me," said I, "your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip, Let me twine with you caresses, Wantoning With our Lady-Mother's vagrant tresses' Banqueting With her in her wind-walled palace, Underneath her azured daïs, Quaffing, as your taintless way is, From a chalice Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring."
So it was done; I in their delicate fellowship was one-- Drew the bolt of Nature's secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings On the wilful face of skies; I knew how the clouds arise Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that's born or dies Rose and drooped with--made them shapers Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine--
With them joyed and was bereaven. I was heavy with the even, When she lit her glimmering tapers Round the day's dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning's eyes. I triumphed and I saddened with all weather, Heaven and I wept together, And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart I laid my own to beat, And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human heart. In vain my tears were wet on Heaven's gray cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says, These things and I; in sound I speak-- Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth; Let her, if she would owe me, Drop yon blue blossom-veil of sky, and show me The breasts of her tenderness;
Never did any milk of hers once bless My thirsting mouth. Nigh and nigh draws the chase, With unperturbèd pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy; And past those noisèd Feet A voice comes yet more fleet--
"Lo naught contents thee, who content'st not Me." Naked I wait Thy love's uplifted stroke! My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me, And smitten me to my knee; I am defenseless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke, And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers, I shook the pillaring hours And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears, I stand amid the dust o' the mounded years--
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap. My days have crackled and gone up in smoke, Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist; Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist, Are yielding; cords of all too weak account For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed A weed, albeit amaranthine weed, Suffering no flowers except its own to mount? Ah! must-- Designer infinite!--
Ah! must Thou clear the wood ere Thou canst limn with it? My freshness spent its wavering shower i' the dust; And now my heart is a broken fount, Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever From the dank thoughts that shiver Upon the sightful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be? The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mist confounds; Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then But not ere him who summoneth I first have seen, enwound With blooming robes, purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith. Whether man's heart or life it be which yields Thee harvest, must Thy harvest fields Be dunged with rotten death?
Now of that long pursuit Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea: "And is thy earth so marred, Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me! Strange, piteous, futile thing, Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught," He said, "And human love needs human meriting, How hast thou merited--
Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot? Alack, thou knowest not How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take, Not for thy harms.
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms. All which thy child's mistake Fancies as lost, I have stored for the at home;
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!" Halts by me that footfall; Is my gloom, after all, Shade of His hand, outstreched caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."
Francis Thompson (1859-1907)