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Poetry Xtras » "Al Aaraaf: Part 01" by Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry Xtras provide brief commentaries, cultural & literary sign posts, or anecdotes about poems featured on Poetry X, written by the poet or a critic expert in the poem.

On the "Poems written in Youth" little comment is needed. This section includes the pieces printed for the first volume of 1827 (which was subsequently suppressed), such poems from the first and second published volumes of 1829 and 1831 as have not already been given in their revised versions, and a few others collected from various sources.

"Al Aaraaf" first appeared, with the sonnet "To Silence" prefixed to it, in 1829, and is, substantially, as originally issued. In the edition for 1831, however, this poem, its author's longest, was introduced by the following twenty-nine lines, which have been omitted in all subsequent collections:

AL AARAAF.


  Mysterious star!
  Thou wert my dream
  All a long summer night—
  Be now my theme!
  By this clear stream,
  Of thee will I write;
  Meantime from afar
  Bathe me in light!

  Thy world has not the dross of ours,
  Yet all the beauty—all the flowers
  That list our love or deck our bowers
  In dreamy gardens, where do lie
  Dreamy maidens all the day;
  While the silver winds of Circassy
  On violet couches faint away.
  Little—oh! little dwells in thee
  Like unto what on earth we see:
  Beauty's eye is here the bluest
  In the falsest and untruest—
  On the sweetest air doth float
  The most sad and solemn note—
  If with thee be broken hearts,
  Joy so peacefully departs,
  That its echo still doth dwell,
  Like the murmur in the shell.
  Thou! thy truest type of grief
  Is the gently falling leaf—
  Thou! thy framing is so holy
  Sorrow is not melancholy.
—John H. Ingram

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