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STANZAS

By
Edgar Allan Poe


&/\&/\&

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, flick-ring torch of life was lit

From the sun and stars, 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 sov'reignty than ancient lore

Hath ever told --- or is it of a thought

The unembodied essence, and no more

That with a quick'ning 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 lov'd 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

T' awake us --- 'Tis a symbol and a token
 

IV

Of what in other worlds shall be --- and giv'n

In beauty by our God, to those alone

Who otherwise would fall from life and Heav'n

Drawn by their heart's passion, and that tone,

That high tone of the spirit which hath striv'n

Tho' not with Faith --- with godliness --- whose throne

With desp'rate energy 't hath beaten down;

Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.
 

&/\&/\&

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