An Enigma

«Seldom we find,» says Solomon Don Dunce, ⁠Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet. Through all the flimsy things we see at once ⁠As easily as through a Naples bonnet— ⁠Trash of all trash!—how can a lady don it? Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff— Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff ⁠Twirls into trunk-paper … Continue reading An Enigma


The Valley of Unrest

Once it smiled a silent dell Where the people did not dwell; They had gone unto the wars, Trusting to the mild-eyed stars, Nightly, from their azure towers, To keep watch above the flowers, In the midst of which all day The red sun-light lazily lay. Now each visiter shall confess The sad valley’s restlessness. … Continue reading The Valley of Unrest


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 … Continue reading Ulalume

To the River

Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow ⁠Of crystal, wandering water, Thou art an emblem of the glow ⁠Of beauty—the unhidden heart— ⁠The playful maziness of art In old Alberto’s daughter; But when within thy wave she looks— ⁠Which glistens then, and trembles— Why, then, the prettiest of brooks ⁠Her worshipper resembles; For in his … Continue reading To the River

To One in Paradise

Thou wast that all to me, love, ⁠For which my soul did pine— A green isle in the sea, love, ⁠A fountain and a shrine, All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, ⁠And all the flowers were mine. Ah, dream too bright to last! ⁠Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise But to be overcast! ⁠A … Continue reading To One in Paradise

To my mother

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above, ⁠The angels, whispering to one another, Can find, among their burning terms of love, ⁠None so devotional as that of «Mother,» Therefore by that dear name I long have called you— ⁠You who are more than mother unto me, And fill my heart of hearts, where Death … Continue reading To my mother

To Miss Louise Olivia Hunter

Though I turn, I fly not — I cannot depart; I would try, but try not To release my heart. And my hopes are dying While, on dreams relying, I am spelled by art. Thus, the bright snake coiling [‘]Neath the forest tree Wins the bird, beguiling, To come down and see: Like that bird … Continue reading To Miss Louise Olivia Hunter

To Marie Louise

Not long ago, the writer of these lines, In the mad pride of intellectuality, Maintained «the power of words»- denied that ever A thought arose within the human brain Beyond the utterance of the human tongue: And now, as if in mockery of that boast, Two words- two foreign soft dissyllables- Italian tones, made only … Continue reading To Marie Louise