Spirits of the Dead

By Edgar Allan Poe 1809–1849 Edgar Allan Poe
I

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.


       II

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.


       III

The night, tho’ clear, shall frown—
And the stars shall look not 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.


       IV

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.


       V

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,
A mystery of mysteries!

Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (1946)

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Poet Edgar Allan Poe 1809–1849

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Living, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Death, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Mythology & Folklore

Holidays Halloween

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Mixed

 Edgar  Allan Poe

Biography

Poe’s stature as a major figure in world literature is primarily based on his ingenious and profound short stories, poems, and critical theories, which established a highly influential rationale for the short form in both poetry and fiction. Regarded in literary histories and handbooks as the architect of the modern short story, Poe was also the principal forerunner of the “art for art’s sake” movement in nineteenth-century . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Living, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Death, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Mixed

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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