Poems
 
 
 H.P Lovecraft
Mirage
Hesperia
Continuity
 Homecoming
 
 Alienation
 
 
 
Edgar Allen Poe
 The City In the Sea
 The Raven
 Spirits of the Dead
     

H.P Lovecraft

Howard-Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1938)
Mirage
H.P Lovecraft

 I do not know if ever it existed--
that lost world floating dimly on time's stream---
and yet I see it often, violet misted,
and shimmering at the back of some vague dream.
There were strange towers and curious lapping rivers,
Labyrinths of wonder, and low vaults of light,
and bough-crossed skies of flame, like that which quivers
wistfully just before a winters night.
Great moors led off to sedgy shores unpeopled,
where vast birds wheeled, while on windswept hill
there was a village, ancient and white steepled,
with evening chimes, for which I listen still.
I do not know what land it is--or dare
                ask when or why I was, or will be there
Homecoming
 H.P Lovecraft

The daemon said that he would take me home To the pale, shadowy land 
I half recalled As a high place of stair and terrace,
 walled With marble balustrades that sky-winds comb, While miles below 
a maze of dome on dome And tower on tower beside
 a sea lies sprawled. Once more, he told me, 
I would stand enthralled On those old heights, and hear the far-off foam.
All this he
   promised, and through sunset's gate He swept me,
past the lapping lakes of flame, And red-gold thrones of
gods without a
  name Who shriek in fear at some impending fate. Then a black gulf 
with sea-sounds in the night: "Here was your home," he 
mocked, "when you had sight!
Hesperia
H.P LovecraftT

The winter sunset, flaming beyond spires
And chimneys half-detached from this dull sphere, Opens great gates to some
forgotten year Of elder splendors and divine desires. 
Expectant wonders burn in those rich fires, Adventure-fraught, and not
untinged with fear; A row of sphinxes where the way leads clear 
Toward walls and turrets quivering to far lyres. It is the land
where beauty's meaning flowers;
Where every unplaced memory has a source; 
Where the great river Time begins its course
Down the vast void in starlit streams of hours.
Dreams bring us close - but ancient lore repeats 
             That human tread has never soiled these streets.
Continuity

There is in certain ancient things a trace
        Of some dim essence - more than form or weight;
        A tenuous aether, indeterminate,
        Yet linked with all the laws of time and space.
        A faint, veiled sign of continuities
        That outward eyes can never quite descry;
        Of locked dimensions harbouring years gone by,
        And out of reach except for hidden keys.

        It moves me most when slanting sunbeams glow
        On old farm buildings set against a hill,
        And paint with life the shapes which linger still
        From centuries less a dream than this we know.
        In that strange light I feel I am not far
        From the fixt mass whose sides the ages are.

 
 
Alienation
 His solid flesh had never been away,
        For each dawn found him in his usual place,
        But every night his spirit loved to race
        Through gulfs and worlds remote from common day.
        He had seen Yaddith, yet retained his mind,
        And come back safely from the Ghooric zone,
        When one still night across curved space was thrown
        That beckoning piping from the voids behind.

        He waked that morning as an older man,
        And nothing since has looked the same to him.
        Objects around float nebulous and dim -
        False, phantom trifles of some vaster plan.
        His folk and friends are now an alien throng To which he struggles vainly to belong.


 
Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was a famous American poet, short story writer, journalist, and literary critic who lived from 1809-1849. He was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809 and was orphaned at an early age, after which he was sent to live with a foster family (The Allans) in Richmond. He was never officially adopted by the Allans and he was eventually disowned by the family. 

Poe won a short story contest in 1833, and two years later became a literary critic for the magazine (The Southern Literary Messenger). Shortly after, he then married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia in 1836. He became nationally famous upon the publication of his poem The Raven in 1845. 
 


His life was marred by infrequent but intense drinking bouts which gave him a bad reputation. However, he continued to produce excellent short stories (Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Gold Bug) which brought him acclaim in America, England, and especially in France. Many of Poe's stories take place in Paris. (The French poet Baudelaire translated many of Poe's works) 

Unfortunately, after the death of Poe's wife (1847), he fell apart and died two years later (1849). Poe's controversial life and reputation have earned him the following comments no less: 

     With the aid of his psychological stories, critics have proclaimed him necrophilic, dipsomanic, paranoid,
     impotent, neurotic, oversexed, a habitual taker of drugs, until all that is left in the public eye is an unstable
     creature sitting gloomily in a dim room, the raven over the door, the bottle on the table, the opium in the
     pipe, scribbling mad verses.
 

The City In the Sea
Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
      In a strange city lying alone
      Far down within the dim West,
      Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
      Have gone to their eternal rest.
      There shrines and palaces and towers
      (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
      Resemble nothing that is ours.
      Around, by lifting winds forgot,
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters lie.

      No rays from the holy heaven come down
      On the long night-time of that town;
      But light from out the lurid sea
      Streams up the turrets silently-
      Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
      Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
      Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
      Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
      Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
      Up many and many a marvellous shrine
      Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
      The viol, the violet, and the vine.
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters lie.
      So blend the turrets and shadows there
      That all seem pendulous in air,Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
      In a strange city lying alone
      Far down within the dim West,
      Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
      Have gone to their eternal rest.
      There shrines and palaces and towers
      (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
      Resemble nothing that is ours.
      Around, by lifting winds forgot,
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters lie.

      No rays from the holy heaven come down
      On the long night-time of that town;
      But light from out the lurid sea
      Streams up the turrets silently-
      Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
      Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
      Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
      Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
      Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
      Up many and many a marvellous shrine
      Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
      The viol, the violet, and the vine.
      Resignedly beneath the sky
      The melancholy waters lie.
      So blend the turrets and shadows there
      That all seem pendulous in air,
      While from a proud tower in the town
      Death looks gigantically down.

      There open fanes and gaping graves
      Yawn level with the luminous waves;
      But not the riches there that lie
      In each idol's diamond eye-
      Not the gaily-jewelled dead
      Tempt the waters from their bed;
      For no ripples curl, alas!
      Along that wilderness of glass-
      No swellings tell that winds may be
      Upon some far-off happier sea-
      No heavings hint that winds have been
      On seas less hideously serene.

      But lo, a stir is in the air!
      The wave- there is a movement there!
      As if the towers had thrust aside,
      In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
      As if their tops had feebly given
      A void within the filmy Heaven.
      The waves have now a redder glow-
      The hours are breathing faint and low-
      And when, amid no earthly moans,
      Down, down that town shall settle hence,
      Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
      Shall do it reverence.
 

      While from a proud tower in the town
      Death looks gigantically down.

      There open fanes and gaping graves
      Yawn level with the luminous waves;
      But not the riches there that lie
      In each idol's diamond eye-
      Not the gaily-jewelled dead
      Tempt the waters from their bed;
      For no ripples curl, alas!
      Along that wilderness of glass-
      No swellings tell that winds may be
      Upon some far-off happier sea-
      No heavings hint that winds have been
      On seas less hideously serene.

      But lo, a stir is in the air!
      The wave- there is a movement there!
      As if the towers had thrust aside,
      In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
      As if their tops had feebly given
      A void within the filmy Heaven.
      The waves have now a redder glow-
      The hours are breathing faint and low-
      And when, amid no earthly moans,
      Down, down that town shall settle hence,
      Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
      Shall do it reverence.















 

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.
  "'Tis 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,
    "'Tis 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 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.

    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;-
                'Tis 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 stern 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 Night's 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 blest 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 he did outpour.
    Nothing further 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 all my 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 bosom's core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
  But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
                She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    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!" 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 in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked,
        upstarting-   "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's 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 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!

The Raven
Spirits of the Dead
 Thy soul shall find itself alone
      'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
      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.

      The night, though clear, shall frown,
      And the stars shall not look down
      From their high thrones in the Heaven
      With light like hope to mortals given,
      But their red orbs, without beam,
      To thy weariness shall seem
      As a burning and a fever
      Which would cling to thee for ever.

      Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
      Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
      From thy spirit shall they pass
      No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

      The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
      And the mist upon the hill
      Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
      Is a symbol and a token.
      How it hangs upon the trees,