Today, I would like to share a poem by the famous writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). An American writer, editor, and literary critic, he was most well known for his poetry and short stories, especially stories of mystery and the macabre. He has been credited as the inventor of the detective fiction genre and also regarded as a contributor to the emergence of science fiction (Stableford, 2003). He was also deemed as the first well-known American who tried to earn a living through writing alone, leading to a difficult career and financially difficult life (Meyers, 1992).
To find out more about Edgar Allan Poe, you can read his brief biography at Poestories.com
by Edgar Allan Poe
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — out of TIME.
Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the dews that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters — lone and dead, —
Their still waters — still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.
By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead, —
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily, —
By the mountains — near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever, —
By the grey woods, — by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp, —
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls, —
By each spot the most unholy —
In each nook most melancholy, —
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past —
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by —
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth — and Heaven.
For the heart whose woes are legion
‘Tis a peaceful, soothing region —
For the spirit that walks in shadow
‘Tis — oh ’tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not — dare not openly view it;
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
- Stableford, Brian (2003). “Science fiction before the genre”. In James, Edward; Mendlesohn, Farah. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 15–31. ISBN 978-0-521-01657-5.
- Meyers, Jeffrey (1992). Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy (Paperback ed.). New York: Cooper Square Press. ISBN 978-0-8154-1038-6.