From haunt of man, from day’s obtrusive glare,
Thou shroud’st thee in the ruin’s ivied tower,
Or in some shadowy glen’s romantic bower,
Where wizard forms their mystic charms prepare,
Where horror lurks, and ever-boding care!
But, at the sweet and silent evening hour,
When closed in sleep is every languid flower,
Thou lov’st to sport upon the twilight air,
Mocking the eye, that would thy course pursue,
In many a wanton-round, elastic, gay,
Thou flitt’st athwart the pensive wanderer’s way,
As his lone footsteps print the mountain-dew.
From Indian isles thou com’st, with summer’s car,
Twilight thy love—thy guide her beaming star!
“To the Bat” by Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)
in honor of current production of #CSPoe
‘For a long while, and until lately, I had a distaste for Poe’s writings. I wanted, and still want for poetry, the clear sun shining, and fresh air blowing—the strength and power of health, not of delirium, even amid the stormiest passions—with always the background of the eternal moralities. Non-complying with these requirements, Poe’s genius has yet conquer’d a special recognition for itself, and I too have come to fully admit it, and appreciate it and him.
“‘In a dream I once had, I saw a vessel on the sea, at midnight, in a storm. It was no great full-rigg’d ship, nor majestic steamer, steering firmly through the gale, but seem’d one of those superb little schooner yachts I had often seen lying anchor’d, rocking so jauntily, in the waters around New York, or up Long Island sound—now flying uncontroll’d with torn sails and broken spars through the wild sleet and winds and waves of the night. On the deck was a slender, slight, beautiful figure, a dim man, apparently enjoying all the terror, the murk, and the dislocation of which he was the centre and the victim. That figure of my lurid dream might stand for Edgar Poe, his spirit, his fortunes, and his poems—themselves all lurid dreams.’
Walt Whitman on Edgar Allan Poe
Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.
~Edgar Allan Poe, “Eleonora”