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grateful letter, and then adopted the heroic determination of assisting the Greeks in their effort to shake off the Turkish yoke! He accordingly sailed for Europe; but instead of making his way to the Isles of Greece," and finding glory or a grave, like Byron, on
"The sullen, silent shores of Missolonghi "
the first place we hear of him turning up at is St. Petersburg. By
the assistance of the American minister in that city, he was enabled to return to his native country. He was again received into favour by Mr. Allan, was entered by him as a cadet in the military academy, and terminated a very brief connexion with that institution by being "cashiered!"
"It seems to have been about this time," says Mr. Hannay, "that he published, while still a boy, his first volume of poems-those comprised in his later collection as "Poems written in Youth." There are, of course, obvious traces of imitation-adoptions of the metres of Scott imitations of the verse of Byron; but there is the keenest feeling for the Beautiful, which was the predominant feeling of Poe's whole life; there is the loveliest, easiest, joyfullest flow of music throughout. There is, too, what must have been almost instinctive, an exquisite taste, "a taste which lay at the very centre of his intellect, like a conscience."
These poems had a considerable success, which, however, seemed to have little effect on the conduct or circumstances of the poet, as the next event of any importance which took place in his life was his enlisting as a private soldier! Coleridge did the same thing in his "hot youth," under the appropriate name of Mr. Comberbach, or Cumberback; and we do not hear whether it was the same incapacity for equestrian evolutions that led to the release of the American, as of the English poet, from the service of "the great god of war." After disappearing from the sight of his friends in this way for some time, he suddenly reappeared, "thin, pale, and ghastly, with the mark of poverty branded upon him," and being thus trained into an appropriate appearance
and condition for the profession he at last adopted, he commenced life regularly at last as "a literary man." Having reached the splendid success of making about one hundred pounds in a year -that tempting bait which literature or "the trade" holds out to men of brilliant minds and cultivated intellects he conceived himself in a posihis cousin, Virginia Clemm, "as poor tion to marry. He accordingly married as himself". to use the language of one of his biographers, but who was, we firmly believe, all that his present editor describes her to be, "a most amiable, loveable, and lovely person."
This was the bright spot that gleamed in the desert of poor Poe's life. We hear of their humble but elegant little home; his assiduous attention to whatever literary work the periodicals of the place supplied him with; we get a brief respite from the sad catalogue of eccentricities and irregularities, at other times so overloaded. all, we have no doubt, owing to the gentle and refining influence of the dear being by his side. She must have been (to use the language of one who has condescended to verse too seldom)
"No petted plaything to caress or chide In sport or strife:
But his best chosen friend, companion, guide, To walk through life
Linked hand in hand."
But alas! the clasp of this dear and sustaining hand was soon to be severed by death; and the poet, now left wholly to himself (for they had no children), and uncontrolled by the unfelt and almost invisible in
influence of the guardian angel of his. home, relapsed into all his former errors; if, indeed, he did not become infected by new. That he was a devoted and attached husband is proved by the fact that even the death of her daughter did not diminish the affectionate interest, or lessen the active services, which his mother-in-law ever felt for Poe, and continued to offer to him during the remainder of his life. He always called her "his nother," and the beautiful sonnet which he dedicated to her, after the death of his beloved Virginia, shows that to her, at least, he was not ungrateful:
TO MY MOTHER.
"Because I feel that, in the heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
10 motongan on None so devotional as that of 'Mother, og bjetos!
"Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
We shall return to this poem and this subject presently, when we terminate our faint outline of the poet's life; and this we must do in the words of the editor of the present edition :
"Poe had been lecturing on 'the Universe,' in 1848, and producing his strange great book 'Eureka.' In the Autumn of 1849 he had, after a sad fit of insane debauchery, made one vigorous effort to emerge. He joined a temperance society. he led a quiet life, and his marriage was talked of. But on the evening of the 6th October, 1849, a Saturday evening, passing through Baltimore to New York, accident threw him among some old acquaintances. He plunged into intoxication, and on Sunday morning he was carried to an hospital, where he died that same evening, at the age of thirtyeight years."-p. 23.
It is a singular coincidence, when we recollect the astonishing resemblance that exists, not only between the entire genius, but, alas! some of the misfortunes of Edgar Allan Poe, and one with whose name our readers are at least familiar we mean James Clarence Mangan-that death should have visited both these twins of melody and misfortune in a public hospital, in the one year, and with an interval only of about ten weeks-our unfortunate but rarely-endowed coun
Nameless here for evermore."
tryman having terminated his mortal career on the 20th day of June, 1849, in the Meath Hospital in this city.
We have spoken of the extraordinary resemblance between the poetry of Poe and that of Mangan, and we shall presently adduce some instances of it. At present we shall merely express our regret, notwithstanding our pride in his genius, that the latter poet had the misfortune of being an Irishman. We do not know whether he would have fared better in the flesh, poor fellow, if our wish had been granted in time; but he easily might. At any rate, his "remains" would have been taken more reverent care of. Had he the good fortune of being an American, a judicious selection of his writings would long since have been made, and though he never would have obtained the popularity of Longfellow, we are confident that his poems would have been collected and preserved by some enterprising publisher in some such tasteful shrine as Messrs. Addey and Co. have raised to the memory of Poe, in the elegant little edition before us.
The most celebrated poem of our author is "The Raven". one of the most fantastic, but melodious fantasias that ever the eccentric imagination of
a poet composed to the accompaniment of words. The music of it haunts us ever after we have once heard it. There is something elfin and dreamlike about it, and it sounds in our memory like the strain heard by the poet of Khubla Khan in his vision:
'A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
This is its usual effect upon most readers. On those who have themselves a portion of the gift and faculty divine" its influence is still more striking. They cannot rest until they set
some of their own thoughts to the same fairy-like music, and tell the tale to some willing or unwilling auditor. In that case the reader or listener, like the wedding-guest in the "Ancient Mariner" of the poet we have just quoted, has no option—
"He cannot choose but hear."
We have already given a stanza from this poem: the entire is too long and too well known for quotation; but we shall give a few lines, taken unconnectedly, as specimens of the harmony to which we have alluded. What elaborate melody is there not in the first lines of the following stanza !—
"And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
The exquisite artifice of the first line
in his noble German ballad, "Charle-
"'Tis the glorious Car'lus Magnus, with his gleamy sword in hand,
With another extract from this singular poem of Poe we shall pass on to others that are, perhaps, not so generally well known. It will be perceived that he again alludes to his lost wife—
-German Anthology, v. i. p. 191. "Even she, his loved and lost Ameen,
The moon-white pearl of his soul," as Mangan says, in a poem of kindred beauty and power, "The Last Words of Al-Hassan" :
"Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer,
'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee, by these angels he hath sent thee
Poe has devoted one poem, without any disguise or mystification whatever, to a recollection of his home, his happiness and his loss-that brief moment in his dark and clouded life, when
"Heaven showed a glimpse of its blue.' Written on the same distressing theme on which Longfellow's exquisite "Footsteps of Angels" is composed, it equals it in tenderness and grace, while it surpasses it in melody and originality. Sad as the living poet must have been in tracing this affectionate In Memoriam- this tribute to his departed wife-he, with growing fame and honour, and nascent consolations-what must have been the wretchedness of poor Poe, as he sang
this mournfullest yet sweetest of ele-
"When through life unblest we rove,
This lyric we give without abridge-
"It was many and many a year ago,
That a maiden there lived whom you may
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other
Than to love and be loved by me.
"For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
And so, all the nighttide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
With Poe, words cease to be mere conventional representatives of ideas; they speak with "most miraculous organ"-they are musical notes. Surely, in the following lines, we are not reading a clever description of "The Bells." Are we not listening to the very harmonies which they describe? We can
only give the first and second divisions of the poem:
66 THE BELLS.
"Hear the sledges with the bells,
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
"Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
What a liquid ditty floats
Oh! from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells!
How it dwells
On the future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels. To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells, To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!"
"Lenore" is another tribute to "the one loved name." We can give but the first stanza. There is the perfection of rhythmical art in the fourth line. Mark how the words glide into each other, like summer streams meeting in an unruffled lake. The accumulated alliteration, at the termination of the same line, is managed with consummate skill
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown for ever,
Viz., the angels-a graceful fancy.-ED.
Are where thy dark eye glances,
Our readers must have remarked in the passages already quoted a peculiar habit of the poet it can scarcely be called an artifice, it seems so appropri ate and unforced-namely, the frequent repetition of a favourite line in most of the poems, which, with slight variations and those principally the substitution of one harmonious adjective for another, appears and reappears sometimes with an eccentric, but always with a melodious effect. It is this peculiarity of Poe's verse which so strikingly reminds us of Mangan's, although we think that the resemblance between the two men went much farther and deeper, and that this similarity in the mode of expression, original in each, clearly indicates a mental or psychological affinity.
Two or three additional examples from Poe will, perhaps, set this resemblance in a more striking light, when followed by a few stanzas from the scattered melodies of Mangan. We take the shortest specimens we can meet with:
"I dwelt alone
In a world of moan,
And my soul was a stagnant tide,
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride,
"Ah less-less bright
The stars of the night,
Than the eyes of the radiant girl!
And never a flake
That the vapour can make,
With the moon-tints of purple and pearl,
Can vie with the modest Eulalie's most unregarded curl.
Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie's most humble and careless curl.
"Now doubt-now pain,
Come never again,
For her soul gives me sigh for sigh,
And all day long,
Shines bright and strong,
Astarté within the sky
While ever to her dear Eulalie, upturns her matron eye-
We take these stanzas from the beautiful lines entitled
"My tantalised spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Of myrtles and roses.
"For now, while so quietly
A holier odour
About it of pansies-
Commingled with pansies.