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If any, born of kindlier blood,
Should ask, What maiden lies below?
That tried to blossom in the snow,
"His best lines are a series of rhymed pictures, witti. cisms, or sentiments, let off with the precision and brilliancy of the scintillations that sometimes illumine the northern horizon. The significant terms, the perfect construction, and acute choice of syllables and emphasis, render some passages of Holmes absolute models of versification, especially in the heroic measure. Besides these artistic merits, his poetry abounds with fine satire, beau. tiful delineations of nature, and amusing caricatures of manners."*
* H. T. Tuckerman.
EDGAR ALLAN POE was born in the city of Baltimore, January, 1811. In early yoạth he lost both parents, and was adopted by John Allan, a wealthy and generous. hearted merchant of Richmond, Virginia, and by him afforded all the facilities for obtaining a liberal education.
In 1816, Poe accompanied his benefactor to England, and remained in London until his eleventh year, attending school. He then returned home, and after spending a short time at an academy in Richmond, entered the university at Charlottesville.
Here he speedily became as notorious for intemperate habits as he was distinguished for proficiency in studies and athletic sports. For the former he was shortly expelled from the school.
This disgraceful event was followed, at no great interval, by a rupture with Mr. Allan, most probably because the latter's liberality refused to keep pace with his own prodigality; when he left home with the determination, like the illustrious Byron, of assisting the Greeks in their struggle for liberty.
His purpose, however-if indeed it was ever anything more than a momentary impulse-seems to have readily deserted him ; for, although he spent a year in Europe. and traveled extensively, he did not so much as reach Greece.
On returning home, Mr. Allan magnanimously receivel him into former favor, and was instrumental in procuring him a cadetship at West Point. But in less than a year both his tastes and his dissolute habits demonstrated, beyond question, his utter unfitness for this school of stern discipline and practical life. Shortly after, he had a final disagreement with Mr. Allan, and thenceforth was com. pelled to rely on his own resources.
Between his sixteenth and nineteenth years, Poe wrote verse, which were published in 1829, with the title of Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. . "A certain vague poetic luxury and sensuousness of mere sound, distinct from definite meaning-peculiarities which the author refined upon in his latest and best poems-characterize these juvenile effusions." *
AL AARA AF: AN EXTRACT.
“ 'Neath blue-bell or streamer
Or tufted wild spray
The moonbeam away-
With half-closing eyes,
Hath drawn from the skies,
Come down to your brow
Who calls on you now-
In violet bowers,
These star-litten hours-
Encumber'd with dew
That cumber them too
Duyckinck's Cyclopædiu qi American Literature.
(O! how, without you, Love!
Could angels be blest ?)
That lull'd ye to rest!
Each hindering thing:
It would weigh down your flight And true love caresses
O! leave them apart!
But lead on the heart.
My beautiful one! Whose harshest idea
Will to melody run, O! is it thy will
On the breezes to toss ? Or, capriciously still,
Like the lone Albatross, Incumbent on night
(As she on the air) To keep watch with delight
On the harmony there?
Thy image may be, No magic shall sever
Thy music from thee. Thou hast bound many eyes
In a dreamy sleepBut the strains still arise
Which thy vigilance keepThe sound of the rain
Which leaps down to the flower, And dances again
In the rhythm of the shower.The murmur that springs
From the growing of grass Are the music of things—
But are modell’d alas !
Away, then, my dearest,
O! hie thee away
Beneath the moon-ray-
In its dream of deep rest,
That enjewel its breast-
Have mingled their shade,
Full many a maid
Have slept with the bee-
On moorland and lea-
All softly in ear,
They slumber'd to hear-
An angel so soon
Beneath the cold moon,
Of witchery may test,
Which lull'd him to rest ?”
In 1833, Poe, through hiš prize tale, A MS. Found in a Bottle—first published, however, in 1831-made the acquaintance of Mr. Kennedy, the novelist, and, through his influence, shortly afterwards became a regular contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger. His connection with this magazine lasted until 1837, and, though marked with high ability, was, sad to relate! terminated by his irregularities.
MS. FOUND IN A BOTTLE (abridged). AFTER many years spent in foreign travel, I sailed in the year 18 from the port of Batavia, in the rich and populous island