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About Edgar Allan Poe



Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica   |   Biography.com

  

Quotes by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (quotes)

  • Lord help my poor soul.
  • Leave my loneliness unbroken
  • I fell in love with melancholy.
  • And all I loved, I loved alone.
  • The past is a pebble in my shoe.
  • And I fell violently on my face.
  • Blood was its Avatar and its seal.
  • Even in the grave, all is not lost.
  • Art is to look at not to criticize.
  • Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!
  • Grammar is the analysis of language.
  • Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries
  • Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance.
  • Sound loves to revel in a summer night.
  • Invisible things are the only realities.
  • False hope is nicer than no hope at all.
  • The best things in life make you sweaty.
  • Stupidity is a talent for misconception.
  • To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.
  • Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.
  • There is no beauty without some strangeness
  • The believer is happy. The doubter is wise.
  • The true genius shudders at incompleteness.
  • I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.
  • All works of art should begin… at the end.
  • We loved with a love that was more than love.
  • A wise man hears one word and understands two.
  • I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.
  • The fever called “living” Is conquer’d at last.
  • Those who gossip with you will gossip about you.
  • Perversity is the human thirst for self-torture.
  • To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.
  • A mystery, and a dream, should my early life seem.
  • Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
  • I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down.
  • Deep in earth my love is lying And I must weep alone.
  • Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today.
  • With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.
  • Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
  • Yet, mad am I not ‚ and very surely do I not dream.
  • All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
  • I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
  • Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore.
  • A gentleman with a pug nose is a contradiction in terms.
  • If you run out of ideas follow the road; you’ll get there
  • Mysteries force a man to think, and so injure his health.
  • Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.
  • Me volv√≠ loco, con largos intervalos de horrible cordura.
  • Sleep, those little slices of death ‚ how I loathe them.
  • It would be mockery to call such dreariness heaven at all.
  • A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
  • The customs of the world are so many conventional follies.
  • Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.
  • It is a happiness to wonder; — it is a happiness to dream.
  • Democracy is a very admirable form of government – for dogs
  • I have no words alas! to tell the loveliness of loving well
  • Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
  • The plots of God are perfect. The Universe is a plot of God.
  • The rudiment of verse may, possibly, be found in the spondee.
  • Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.
  • The people have nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.
  • The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls.
  • You call it hope-that fire of fire! It is but agony of desire.
  • From a proud tower in the town, Death looks gigantically down.
  • I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind.
  • Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.
  • And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
  • -ev’n with us the breath Of Science dims the mirror of our joy.
  • Melancholy is … the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.
  • Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!
  • But Psyche uplifting her finger said: Sadly this star I mistrust
  • The eye, like a shattered mirror, multiplies the images of sorrow
  • There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.
  • To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!
  • In efforts to soar above our nature, we invariably fall below it.
  • A lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on.
  • All suffering originates from craving, from attachment, from desire.
  • …for her whom in life thou dids’t abhor, in death thou shalt adore
  • And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting…
  • And so, being young and dipt in folly, I fell in love with melancholy.
  • And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot.
  • If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul; you haven’t experienced poetry.
  • No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter than you and I.
  • I have great faith in fools,‚ self-confidence my friends will call it.
  • I dread the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results.
  • Scorching my seared heart with a pain, not hell shall make me fear again.
  • I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.
  • Reality is the #1 cause of insanity among those who are in contact with it
  • A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on. (Montresor)
  • That the play is the tragedy, ‚ Man, And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.
  • Indeed, there is an eloquence in true enthusiasm that is not to be doubted.
  • Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.
  • The goodness of your true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability.
  • If you are ever drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations.
  • And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
  • This maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
  • A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul.
  • If a man deceives me once, shame on him; if he deceives me twice, shame on me.
  • Happiness is not to be found in knowledge, but in the acquisition of knowledge
  • A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.
  • How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings!
  • For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee
  • …the agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long and final scream of despair.
  • I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.
  • The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.
  • I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect – in terror.
  • The reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul.
  • Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.
  • Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best have gone to their eternal rest.
  • The world is a great ocean, upon which we encounter more tempestuous storms than calms.
  • The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.
  • Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.
  • The generous Critic fann’d the Poet’s fire, And taught the world with reason to admire.
  • In for ever knowing, we are for ever blessed; but to know all were the curse of a fiend
  • Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.
  • Imperceptibly the love of these discords grew upon me as my love of music grew stronger.
  • It all depends on the robber’s knowledge of the loser’s knowledge of the robber. – Daupin
  • I have before suggested that a genuine blackguard is never without a pocket-handkerchief.
  • True! – nervous – very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
  • It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood.
  • If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
  • You will observe that the stories told are all about money-seekers, not about money-finders.
  • There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.
  • A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, must not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.
  • Boston: Their hotels are bad. Their pumpkin pies are delicious. Their poetry is not so good.
  • Tell me truly, I implore– Is there– is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!
  • To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.
  • Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man.
  • They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
  • All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
  • And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted — Nevermore!
  • When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a straight jacket.
  • That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
  • The rain came down upon my head – Unshelter’d. And the wind rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
  • Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
  • We had always dwelled together, beneath a tropical sun, in the Valley of the Many Colored Grass.
  • The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.
  • And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but overacuteness of the senses?
  • The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found.
  • The greater amount of truth is impulsively uttered; thus the greater amount is spoken, not written.
  • A fool, for example, thinks Shakespeare a great poet . . . yet the fool has never read Shakespeare.
  • Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
  • Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them.
  • We allude to the short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour to one or two hours in its perusal
  • Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the raven, ‚Nevermore.
  • The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of Artist
  • It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial.
  • In the deepest slumber-no! In delirium-no! In a swoon-no! In death-no! even in the grave all is not lost.
  • Even for those to whom life and death are equal jests. There are some things that are still held in respect.
  • Decorum — that bug-bear which deters so many from bliss until the opportunity for bliss has forever gone by.
  • It may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.
  • A poem in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having for its immediate object, pleasure, not truth.
  • It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night.
  • I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life – except in hope, which is by no means bankable.
  • To be thoroughly conversant with Man’s heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of Despair
  • As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.
  • If in many of my productions terror has been the thesis, I maintain that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul.
  • Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence.
  • It is with literature as with law or empire – an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.
  • Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.
  • I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity.
  • There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad humanity must assume the aspect of Hell.
  • Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.
  • We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.
  • …If you do not take it up with you in some way, I shall be under the necessity of breaking your head with this shovel
  • Every moment of the night Forever changing places And they put out the star-light With the breath from their pale faces
  • In me didst thou exist-and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.
  • Children are never too tender to be whipped. Like tough beefsteaks, the more you beat them, the more tender they become.
  • And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.
  • If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being?
  • We gave him a hearty welcome, for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man.
  • In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.
  • I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, “a long poem,” is simply a flat contradiction in terms.
  • It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.
  • Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard.
  • The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.
  • In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed– But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted.
  • In reading some books we occupy ourselves chiefly with the thoughts of the author; in perusing others, exclusively with our own.
  • Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,” The shade replied,- “If you seek for Eldorado.
  • The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
  • Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells, From the bells, bells, bells.
  • I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness – the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.
  • Villains!’ I shrieked. ‘Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!
  • He knew that Hop-Frog was not fond of wine; for it excited the poor cripple almost to madness; and madness is no comfortable feeling.
  • It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.
  • In the marginalia … we talk only to ourselves; we therefore talk freshly – boldly – originally – with abandonment – without conceit.
  • I am walking like a bewitched corpse, with the certainty of being eaten by the infinite, of being annulled by the only existing Absurd.
  • Marking a book is literally an experience of your differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.
  • the truth is, I am heartily sick of this life & of the nineteenth century in general. (I am convinced that every thing is going wrong.)
  • He is, as you say, a remarkable horse, a prodigious horse, although as you very justly observe, a suspicious and untractable character.
  • Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
  • The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
  • The result of law inviolate is perfection‚Äìright‚Äìnegative happiness. The result of law violate is imperfection, wrong, positive pain.
  • It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma… which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve.
  • Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded.
  • Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day; or the agonies which are have their origins in ecstasies which might have been.
  • [The daguerreotype] itself must undoubtedly be regarded as the most important, and perhaps the most extraordinary triumph of modern science.
  • There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction.
  • If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment.
  • To him, who still would gaze upon the glory of the summer sun, there comes, when that sun will from him part, a sullen hopelessness of heart.
  • Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong and if need be, taken by the strong. The weak were put on earth to give the strong pleasure.
  • For years your name never passed my lips, while my soul drank in, with a delirious thirst, all that was uttered in my presence respecting you.
  • There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a Plunge.
  • He must be theory-mad beyond redemption who … shall … persist in attempting to reconcile the obstinate oils and waters of Poetry and Truth.
  • Always keep a big bottle of booze at your side. If a bird starts talking nonsense to you in the middle of the night pour yourself a stiff drink.
  • Thank Heaven! The crisis /The danger is past, and the lingering illness, is over at last /, and the fever called ”Living” is conquered at last.
  • In the Heaven’s above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of ‘Mother.
  • For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words, with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived it.
  • There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.
  • Whether people grow fat by joking, or whether there is something in fat itself which predisposes to a joke, I have never been quite able to determine.
  • That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.
  • The most natural, and, consequently, the truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise in the heart as if by electric sympathy.
  • Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.
  • The ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.
  • I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but infected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy.
  • Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.
  • There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.
  • No pictorial or sculptural combinations of points of human loveliness, do more than approach the living and breathing human beauty as it gladdens our daily path.
  • I have been happy, though in a dream. I have been happy-and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
  • As a viewed myself in a fragment of looking-glass…, I was so impressed with a sense of vague awe at my appearance … that I was seized with a violent tremour.
  • In one case out of a hundred a point is excessively discussed because it is obscure; in the ninety-nine remaining it is obscure because it is excessively discussed.
  • 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.
  • Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music, without the idea, is simply music; the idea, without the music, is prose, from its very definitiveness.
  • In our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember.
  • Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors … on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed.
  • And all my days are trances, And all my nightly dreams Are where thy dark eye glances, And where thy footstep gleams– In what ethereal dances, By what eternal streams!
  • If the propositions of this Discourse are tenable, the “state of progressive collapse” is precisely that state in which alone we are warranted in considering All Things.
  • Sensations are the great things, after all. Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations; they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet.
  • There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart – an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime
  • From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.
  • If I could dwell where Israfel hath dwelt and he where I he might not sing so wildly well a mortal melody while a bolder note then this might swell from my lyre in the sky.
  • A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
  • The higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess.
  • One half of the pleasure experienced at a theatre arises from the spectator’s sympathy with the rest of the audience, and, especially from his belief in their sympathy with him.
  • The analytical power should not be confounded with simple ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis.
  • As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles.
  • In [chess], where the pieces have different and “bizarre” motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex, is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound
  • As an individual, I myself feel impelled to fancy … a limitless succession of Universes…. Each exists, apart and independently, in the bosom of its proper and particular God.
  • Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll!-a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?-weep now or nevermore!
  • Men of genius are far more abundant than is supposed. In fact, to appreciate thoroughly the work of what we call genius, is to possess all the genius by which the work was produced.
  • I am actuated by an ambition which I believe to be an honourable one ¬ó the ambition of serving the great cause of truth, while endeavouring to forward the literature of the country.
  • There are some qualities, some incorporate things, that have a double life, which thus is made. A type os twin entity which springs from matter and light, envinced in solid and shade.
  • Alas! for that accursed time They bore thee o’er the billow, From love to titled age and crime, And an unholy pillow! From me, and from our misty clime, Where weeps the silver willow!
  • My next thought concerned the choice of an impression, or effect, to be conveyed: and here I may as well observe that, throughout the construction, I kept steadily in view the design.
  • I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep!
  • ..bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation-to make a point-than to further the cause of truth.” Dupin in “The Mystery of Marie Roget
  • Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want.
  • By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct.
  • Odors have an altogether peculiar force, in affecting us through association; a force differing essentially from that of objects addressing the touch, the taste, the sight or the hearing.
  • How much more intense is the excitement wrought in the feelings of a crowd by the contemplation of human agony, than that brought about by the most appalling spectacles of inanimate matter.
  • The most ‘popular,’ the most ‘successful’ writers among us (for a brief period, at least) are, 99 times out of a hundred, persons of mere effrontery-in a word, busy-bodies, toadies, quacks.
  • I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without the power to comprehend as men, at time, find themselves upon the brink of rememberance, without being able, in the end, to remember.
  • And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
  • That is another of your odd notions,” said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing “odd” that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of “oddities.
  • The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.
  • We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused — in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible.
  • A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this – that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made – not to understand – but to feel – as crime.
  • True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had haunted my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Of all the sense of hearing acute.
  • The Romans worshipped their standard; and the Roman standard happened to be an eagle. Our standard is only one tenth of an eagle,–a dollar, but we make all even by adoring it with tenfold devotion.
  • Dreams are the eraser dust I blow off my page. They fade into the emptiness, another dark gray day. Dreams are only memories of the plans I had back then. Dreams are eraser dust and now I use a pen.
  • 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 of heaven Coveted her and me.
  • A short story is “a short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour, to one or two hours in its perusal…having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out.
  • In the tale proper–where there is no space for development of character or for great profusion and variety of incident–mere construction is, of course, far more imperatively demanded than in the novel.
  • The sole purpose is to provide infinite springs, at which the soul may allay the eternal thirst TO KNOW which is forever unquenchable within it, since to quench it, would be to extinguish the soul’s self.
  • I was cautious in what I said before the young lady; for I could not be sure that she was sane; and, in fact, there was a certain restless brilliancy about her eyes that half led me to imagine she was not.
  • I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
  • Let us dismiss, as irrelevant to the poem per se, the circumstance … which, in the first place, gave rise to the intention of composing a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste.
  • When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect – they refer, in short, just to that intense and pure elevation of soul – not of intellect, or of heart.
  • The unity of effect or impression is a point of the greatest importance. It is clear, moreover, that this unity cannot be thoroughly preserved in productions whose perusal cannot be completed at one sitting.
  • There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
  • The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
  • It is the curse of a certain order of mind, that it can never rest satisfied with the consciousness of its ability to do a thing.Still less is it content with doing it. It must both know and show how it was done.
  • I have not only labored solely for the benefit of others (receiving for myself a miserable pittance), but have been forced to model my thoughts at the will of men whose imbecility was evident to all but themselves
  • The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind.
  • The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood for the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.
  • No thinking being lives who, at some luminous point of his life of thought, has not felt himself lost amid the surges of futile efforts at understanding, or believing, that anything exists greater than his own soul.
  • Most writers – poets in especial – prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy – an ecstatic intuition – and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes.
  • If you have never been at sea in a heavy gale, you can form no idea of the confusion of mind occasioned by wind and spry together. They blind, deafen, and strangle you, and take away all power of action or reflection.
  • Finally on Sunday morning, October 7, 1849, “He became quiet and seemed to rest for a short time. Then, gently, moving his head,” he said, “Lord help my poor soul.” As he had lived so he died-in great misery and tragedy.
  • The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.
  • You are not wrong who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.
  • I could have clasped the red walls to my bosom as a garment of eternal peace. “Death,” I said, “any death but that of the pit!” Fool! might I have not known that into the pit it was the object of the burning iron to urge me?
  • Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heartone of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man.
  • In beauty of face no maiden ever equaled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream – an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the fantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos.
  • You need not attempt to shake off or to banter off Romance. It is an evil you will never get rid of to the end of your days. It is a part of yourself … of your soul. Age will only mellow it a little, and give it a holier tone.
  • Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found.
  • I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression.
  • A fearful instance of the ill consequences attending upon irascibility – alive, with the qualifications of the dead – dead, with the propensities of the living – an anomaly on the face of the earth – being very calm, yet breathless.
  • With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
  • But in the expression of the countenance, which was beaming all over with smiles, there still lurked (incomprehensible anomalyl) that fitful strain of melancholy which will ever be found inseparable from the perfection of the beautiful.
  • I heed not that my earthly lot Hath – little of Earth in it – That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute: – I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer by.
  • The Bostonians are really, as a race, far inferior in point of anything beyond mere intellect to any other set upon the continent of North America. They are decidedly the most servile imitators of the English it is possible to conceive.
  • The usual derivation of the word Metaphysics is not to be sustainedthe science is supposed to take its name from its superiority to physics. The truth is, that Aristotle’s treatise on Morals is next in succession to his Book of Physics.
  • The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,‚not the material of my every-day existence–but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.
  • I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient.
  • In spite of the air of fablethe public were still not at all disposed to receive it as fable. I thence concluded that the facts of my narrative would prove of such a nature as to carry with them sufficient evidence of their own authenticity.
  • Yet we met; and fate bound us together at the alter,and I never spoke of passion nor thought of love. She, however shunned society, and, attaching herself to me alone rendered me happy. It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream.
  • To see distinctly the machinery–the wheels and pinions–of any work of Art is, unquestionably, of itself, a pleasure, but one which we are able to enjoy only just in proportion as we do not enjoy the legitimate effect designed by the artist.
  • In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found.
  • …And, all at once, the moon arouse through the thin ghastly mist, And was crimson in color… And they lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom. And lay down at the feet of the demon. And looked at him steadily in the face.
  • That single thought is enough. The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing, and the longing (to the deep regret and mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences,) is indulged.
  • Yes I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams- that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety.
  • But our love was stronger by far than the love Of those who 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.
  • As for Republicanism, no analogy could be found for it upon the face of the earth‚unless we except the case of the “prairie dogs,” an exception which seems to demonstrate, if anything, that democracy is a very admirable form of government‚for dogs.
  • Few persons can be made to believe that it is not quite an easy thing to invent a method of secret writing that shall baffle investigation. Yet it may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.
  • Not hear it? –yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long –long –long –many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it –yet I dared not –oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am! –I dared not –I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb!

No murmur arose from its bed, and so gently it wandered along, that the pearly pebbles upon which we loved to gaze, far down within its bosom, stirred not at all, but lay in a motionless content, each in its own old station, shining on gloriously forever.

Fill with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber Through the chamber of my brain ‚ Quaintest thoughts ‚ queerest fancies Come to life and fade away; What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch’s high estate; (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow Shall dawn upon him desolate!) And round about his home the glory That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed.

  • And travellers, now, within that valley, Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically To a discordant melody, While, like a ghastly rapid river, Through the pale door A hideous throng rush out forever And laugh ‚ but smile no more.
  • There might be a class of beings, human once, but now to humanity invisible, for whose scrutiny, and for whose refined appreciation of the beautiful, more especially than for our own, had been set in order by God the great landscape-garden of the whole earth.
  • 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.
  • If I venture to displace … the microscopical speck of dust… on the point of my finger,… I have done a deed which shakes the Moon in her path, which causes the Sun to be no longer the Sun, and which alters forever the destiny of multitudinous myriads of stars.
  • Out- out are the lights- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
  • Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it ‘the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.’ The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of ‘Artist.’
  • I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is taste. With the intellect or with the conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with duty or with truth.
  • In death – no! even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man. Arousing from the most profound slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed.
  • The want of an international Copy-Right Law, by rendering it nearly impossible to obtain anything from the booksellers in the wayof remuneration for literary labor, has had the effect of forcing many of our very best writers into the service of the Magazines and Reviews.
  • Read this and thought of you: Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say. ~ Edgar Allen Poe
  • If we examine a work of ordinary art, by means of a powerful microscope, all traces of resemblance to nature will disappear – but the closest scrutiny of the photogenic drawing discloses only a more absolute truth, a more perfect identity of aspect with the thing represented.
  • Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities- that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.
  • I never can hear a crowd of people singing and gesticulating, all together, at an Italian opera, without fancying myself at Athens, listening to that particular tragedy, by Sophocles, in which he introduces a full chorus of turkeys, who set about bewailing the death of Meleager.
  • It is clear that a poem may be improperly brief. Undue brevity degenerates into mere epigrammatism. A very short poem, while now and then producing a brilliant or vivid, never produces a profound or enduring, effect. There must be the steady pressing down of the stamp upon the wax.
  • Philosophers have often held dispute As to the seat of thought in man and brute For that the power of thought attends the latter My friend, thy beau, hath made a settled matter, And spite of dogmas current in all ages, One settled fact is better than ten sages. (O,Tempora! O,Mores!)
  • There are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.
  • Ceux qui revent eveilles ont conscience de 1000 choses qui echapent a ceux qui ne revent qu’endormis. The one who has day dream are aware of 1000 things that the one who dreams only when he sleeps will never understand. (it sounds better in french, I do what I can with my translation…)
  • Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten golden notes, And all in tune What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens while she gloats On the moon!
  • Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence‚Äì whether much that is glorious‚Äì whether all that is profound‚Äì does not spring from disease of thought‚Äì from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.
  • The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis. We appreciate them only in their effects. We know of them, among other things, that they are always to their possessor, when inordinately possessed, a source of the liveliest enjoyment.
  • There is then no analogy whatever between the operations of the Chess-Player, and those of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage , and if we choose to call the former a pure machine we must be prepared to admit that it is, beyond all comparison, the most wonderful of the inventions of mankind.
  • The word “Verse” is used here as the term most convenient for expressing, and without pedantry, all that is involved in the consideration of rhythm, rhyme, meter, and versification… the subject is exceedingly simple; one tenth of it, possibly may be called ethical; nine tenths, however, appertains to the mathematics.
  • There are two bodies – the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death,” is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design.
  • 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 if some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–Only this and nothing more.
  • 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 the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
  • I might refer at once, if necessary, to a hundred well authenticated instances. One of very remarkable character, and of which the circumstances may be fresh in the memory of some of my readers, occurred, not very long ago, in the neighboring city of Baltimore, where it occasioned a painful, intense, and widely extended excitement.
  • Tell a scoundrel, three or four times a day, that he is the pink of probity, and you make him at least the perfection of “respectability” in good earnest. On the other hand, accuse an honorable man, too petinaciously, of being a villain, and you fill him with a perverse ambition to show you that you are not altogether in the wrong.
  • I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.
  • [E]very plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its d√©nouement before anything be attempted with the pen. It is only with the d√©nouement constantly in view that we can plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points tend to the development of the intention.
  • In the one instance, the dreamerloses sight of this object in a wilderness of deductions and suggestionsuntilhe finds the incitamentum, or first cause of his musings,… forgotten. In my case, the primary object was invariably frivolous, although assuming, through the medium of my distempered vision, a refracted and unreal importance.
  • …for the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic has assumed of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification.  In their origin these laws were fashioned to embrace all contingencies which could lie in the future.  With God all is Now.
  • The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age, since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information by throwing in the reader’s way piles of lumber in which he must painfully grope for the scraps of useful matter, peradventure interspersed.
  • Thy soul shall find itself alone ‘Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone‚ Not one, of all the crowd, to pry Into thine hour of secrecy. Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness‚for then The spirits of the dead who stood In life before thee are again In death around thee‚and their will Shall overshadow thee: be still. […]
  • 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, Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door ‚ Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; ‚ This it is, and nothing more.
  • 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.
  • 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 demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamplight o’er 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.
  • Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.
  • There was a discordant hum of human voices! There was a loud blast as of many trumpets! There was a harsh grating as of a thousand thunders! The fiery walls rushed back! An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle. The French army had entered Toledo. The Inquisition was in the hands of its enemies.
  • And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? –now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
  • Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals 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
  • After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment.
  • Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls 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!” Quothe the Raven, “Nevermore.
  • There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. The occupation is often full of interest and he who attempts it for the first time is astonished by the apparently illimitable distance and incoherence between the starting-point and the goal.
  • It is more than probable that I am not understood; but I fear, indeed, that it is in no manner possible to convey to the mind of the merely general reader, an adequate idea of that nervous intensity of interest with which, in my case, the powers of meditation (not to speak technically) busied and buried themselves, in the contemplation of even the most ordinary objects of the universe.
  • By the grey woods, by the swamp, where the toad and newt encamp, by the dismal tarns and pools, where dwell the Gouls. By each spot the most unholy, by 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.
  • By late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of a nature so completely unexpected–so entirely novel–so utterly at variance with preconceived opinions–as to leave no doubt on my mind that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment, all reason and astronomy together by the ears.
  • And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
  • I am excessively slothful, and wonderfully industrious-by fits. There are epochs when any kind of mental exercise is torture, and when nothing yields me pleasure but the solitary communion with the ‘mountains & the woods’-the ‘altars’ of Byron. I have thus rambled and dreamed away whole months, and awake, at last, to a sort of mania for composition. Then I scribble all day, and read all night, so long as the disease endures.
  • If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — My Heart Laid Bare. But — this little book must be true to its title.
  • During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
  • Hear the sledges with the bells, Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night, While the stars that oversprinkle All the Heavens seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells– From the jingling and the tingling of the bells.
  • The history of all Magazines shows plainly that those which have attained celebrity were indebted for it to articles similar in natureto Berenice–although, I grant you, far superior in style and execution. I say similar in nature. You ask me in what does this nature consist? In the ludicrous heightened into the grotesque: the fearful coloured into the horrible: the witty exaggerated into the burlesque: the singular wrought out into the strange and mystical.
  • We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused – in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. On the other hand, the lightness of the artillery should not degenerate into pop-gunnery – by which term we may designate the character of the greater portion of the newspaper press – their sole legitimate object being the discussion of ephemeral matters in an ephemeral manner.
  • A change fell upon all things. Strange brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burst out upon the trees where no flowers had been before. The tints of the green carpet deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there sprang up, in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby-red asphodel. And life arose in our paths; for the tall flamingo hitherto unseen, with all gay glowing birds, flaunted his scarlet plumage before us. The golden and silver fish haunted the river.
  • To Helen Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore That gently, o’er a perfumed sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome. Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand, The agate lamp within thy hand, Ah! Psyche, from the regions which Are Holy Land!
  • I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression.
  • There is not a more disgusting spectacle under the sun than our subserviency to British criticism. It is disgusting, first, because it is truckling, servile, pusillanimous–secondly, because of its gross irrationality. We know the British to bear us little but ill will–we know that, in no case do they utter unbiased opinions of American books . . . we know all this, and yet, day after day, submit our necks to the degrading yoke of the crudest opinion that emanates from the fatherland.
  • There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors, and looking them piteously in the eyes – die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burden so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged.
  • Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart – one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?
  • O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion That you are changing sadly your dominion I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased, For men have none at all, or bad at least; And as for times, altho’ ’tis said by many The “good old times” were far the worst of any, Of which sound Doctrine I believe each tittle Yet still I think these worst a little. I’ve been a thinking -isn’t that the phrase?- I like your Yankee words and Yankee ways – I’ve been a thinking, whether it were best To Take things seriously, Or all in jest
  • Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us an uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy-since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all.
  • I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal.” And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.
  • I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their results. I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul. I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect-in terror. In this unnerved-in this pitiable condition-I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR.
  • One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; ‚ hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; ‚ hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; ‚ hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin ‚ a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it ‚ if such a thing were possible ‚ even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
  • And because our reason violently deters us from the brink, therefore, do we the more impetuously approach it. There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him, who shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge. To indulge for a moment, in any attempt at thought, is to be inevitably lost; for reflection but urges us to forbear, and therefore it is, I say, that we cannot. If there be no friendly arm to check us, or if we fail in a sudden effort to prostrate ourselves backward from the abyss, we plunge, and are destroyed.
  • Come little children I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment Come little children the time’s come to play here in my garden of Shadows Follow sweet children I’ll show thee the way through all the pain and the Sorrows Weep not poor childlen for life is this way murdering beauty and Passions Hush now dear children it must be this way to weary of life and Deceptions Rest now my children for soon we’ll away into the calm and the Quiet Come little children I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment Come little children the time’s come to play here in my garden of Shadows
  • THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled –but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.