C H The Haunted Palace

Editor’s Foreword

Originally published in 1839, “The Haunted Palace” was later incorporated as part of “The Fall of the House of Usher” when published a few months later in the same year.

In the greenest of our valleys
   By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace–
   Radiant palace–reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion–
   It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
   Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
   On its roof did float and flow,
(This–all this–was in the olden
   Time long ago),
And every gentle air that dallied,
   In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
   A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
   Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
   To a lute’s well-tuned law,
Bound about a throne where, sitting
   (Porphyrogene!)
In state his glory well befitting,
   The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
   Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
   And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
   Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
   The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
   Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!–for never morrow
   Shall dawn upon him desolate !)
And round about his home the glory
   That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
   Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
   Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
   To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
   Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
   And laugh–but smile no more.

 

About the Author

January 19, 1809 October 7, 1849.

 

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