Ulalume

98

The skies they were ashen and sober;
⁠The leaves they were crisped and sere—
⁠The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
⁠Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
⁠In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
⁠In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titantic,
⁠Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—
⁠Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
⁠As the scoriac rivers that roll—
⁠As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
⁠In the ultimate climes of the pole—
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
⁠In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
⁠But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—
⁠Our memories were treacherous and sere—
For we knew not the month was October,
⁠And we marked not the night of the year—
⁠(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
We noted not the dim lake of Auber—
⁠(Though once we had journeyed down here)—
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
⁠Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
⁠And star-dials pointed to morn—
⁠As the star-dials hinted of morn—
At the end of our path a liquescent
⁠And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
⁠Arose with a duplicate horn—
Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
⁠Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said—»She is warmer than Dian:
⁠She rolls through an ether of sighs—
⁠She revels in a region of sighs:
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
⁠These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion
⁠To point us the path to the skies—
⁠To the Lethean peace of the skies—
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
⁠To shine on us with her bright eyes—
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
⁠With love in her luminous eyes.»

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
⁠Said—»Sadly this star I mistrust—
⁠Her pallor I strangely mistrust: —
Oh, hasten!—oh, let us not linger!
⁠Oh, fly!—let us fly!—for we must.»
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
⁠Wings until they trailed in the dust—
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
⁠Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
⁠Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied—»This is nothing but dreaming:
⁠Let us on by this tremulous light!
⁠Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybilic splendor is beaming
⁠With Hope and in Beauty to-night:—
⁠See!—it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
⁠And be sure it will lead us aright—
We safely may trust to a gleaming
⁠That cannot but guide us aright,
⁠Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.»

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
⁠And tempted her out of her gloom—
⁠And conquered her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
⁠But were stopped by the door of a tomb—
⁠By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said—»What is written, sweet sister,
⁠On the door of this legended tomb?»
⁠She replied—»Ulalume—Ulalume—
⁠’Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!»

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
⁠As the leaves that were crisped and sere—
⁠As the leaves that were withering and sere,
And I cried—»It was surely October
⁠On this very night of last year
⁠That I journeyed—I journeyed down here—
⁠That I brought a dread burden down here—
⁠On this night of all nights in the year,
⁠Ah, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—
⁠This misty mid region of Weir—
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,
⁠This ghoul-hannted woodland of Weir.»

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