Edgar Allan Poe

Here you will find the Long Poem Tamerlane of poet Edgar Allan Poe


Kind solace in a dying hour!
 Such, father, is not (now) my theme-
 I will not madly deem that power
 Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
 Unearthly pride hath revell'd in-
 I have no time to dote or dream:
 You call it hope- that fire of fire!
 It is but agony of desire:
 If I can hope- Oh God! I can-
 Its fount is holier- more divine-
 I would not call thee fool, old man,
 But such is not a gift of thine.

 Know thou the secret of a spirit
 Bow'd from its wild pride into shame.
 O yearning heart! I did inherit
 Thy withering portion with the fame,
 The searing glory which hath shone
 Amid the jewels of my throne,
 Halo of Hell! and with a pain
 Not Hell shall make me fear again-
 O craving heart, for the lost flowers
 And sunshine of my summer hours!
 The undying voice of that dead time,
 With its interminable chime,
 Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
 Upon thy emptiness- a knell.

 I have not always been as now:
 The fever'd diadem on my brow
 I claim'd and won usurpingly-
 Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
 Rome to the Caesar- this to me?
 The heritage of a kingly mind,
 And a proud spirit which hath striven
 Triumphantly with human kind.

 On mountain soil I first drew life:
 The mists of the Taglay have shed
 Nightly their dews upon my head,
 And, I believe, the winged strife
 And tumult of the headlong air
 Have nestled in my very hair.

 So late from Heaven- that dew- it fell
 (Mid dreams of an unholy night)
 Upon me with the touch of Hell,
 While the red flashing of the light
 From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,
 Appeared to my half-closing eye
 The pageantry of monarchy,
 And the deep trumpet-thunder's roar
 Came hurriedly upon me, telling
 Of human battle, where my voice,
 My own voice, silly child!- was swelling
 (O! how my spirit would rejoice,
 And leap within me at the cry)
 The battle-cry of Victory!

 The rain came down upon my head
 Unshelter'd- and the heavy wind
 Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
 It was but man, I thought, who shed
 Laurels upon me: and the rush-
 The torrent of the chilly air
 Gurgled within my ear the crush
 Of empires- with the captive's prayer-
 The hum of suitors- and the tone
 Of flattery 'round a sovereign's throne.

 My passions, from that hapless hour,
 Usurp'd a tyranny which men
 Have deem'd, since I have reach'd to power,
 My innate nature- be it so:
 But father, there liv'd one who, then,
 Then- in my boyhood- when their fire
 Burn'd with a still intenser glow,
 (For passion must, with youth, expire)
 E'en then who knew this iron heart
 In woman's weakness had a part.

 I have no words- alas!- to tell
 The loveliness of loving well!
 Nor would I now attempt to trace
 The more than beauty of a face
 Whose lineaments, upon my mind,
 Are- shadows on th' unstable wind:
 Thus I remember having dwelt
 Some page of early lore upon,
 With loitering eye, till I have felt
 The letters- with their meaning- melt
 To fantasies- with none.

 O, she was worthy of all love!
 Love- as in infancy was mine-
 'Twas such as angel minds above
 Might envy; her young heart the shrine
 On which my every hope and thought
 Were incense- then a goodly gift,
 For they were childish and upright-
 Pure- as her young example taught:
 Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
 Trust to the fire within, for light?

 We grew in age- and love- together,
 Roaming the forest, and the wild;
 My breast her shield in wintry weather-
 And when the friendly sunshine smil'd,
 And she would mark the opening skies,
 I saw no Heaven- but in her eyes.

 Young Love's first lesson is- the heart:
 For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles,
 When, from our little cares apart,
 And laughing at her girlish wiles,
 I'd throw me on her throbbing breast,
 And pour my spirit out in tears-
 There was no need to speak the rest-
 No need to quiet any fears
 Of her- who ask'd no reason why,
 But turn'd on me her quiet eye!

 Yet more than worthy of the love
 My spirit struggled with, and strove,
 When, on the mountain peak, alone,
 Ambition lent it a new tone-
 I had no being- but in thee:
 The world, and all it did contain
 In the earth- the air- the sea-
 Its joy- its little lot of pain
 That was new pleasure- the ideal,
 Dim vanities of dreams by night-

 And dimmer nothings which were real-
 (Shadows- and a more shadowy light!)
 Parted upon their misty wings,
 And, so, confusedly, became
 Thine image, and- a name- a name!
 Two separate- yet most intimate things.

 I was ambitious- have you known
 The passion, father? You have not:
 A cottager, I mark'd a throne
 Of half the world as all my o