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!
In June, 1815, when Edgar was about six years old, his adoptive father and
mother, with an aunt, went to England to stay several years. Before
starting, Mr. Allan bought a Murray's reader, two Murray's spelling books, and
another book to keep the little fellow busy on the long sailing voyage across
the Atlantic; for at that time a trip to England occupied several weeks
instead of a few days as now. When the family reached London and were settled
down, Edgar was sent to a famous English school.
This school was at Stoke Newington, a quiet, old fashioned country town, only
a few miles out from London. Here was the house of Leicester, the favorite of
Queen Elizabeth, whose story you may read in Scott's "Kenilworth";
and here too was the house of Anne Boleyn's ill fated lover, Earl Percy.
The Manor House School, as it was called, was in a quaint and very old building,
with high walls about the grounds, and great spiked, iron studded
gates. Here the boys lived and studied, seldom returning home, and seldom
going outside the grounds, except when they went with a teacher.
In this strange school, Edgar Allan lived and studied for five years. continued