To One in Paradise by Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wast that all to me, love,
For which my soul did pine—
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
“On! on!”—but o’er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! with me
The light of Life is o’er!
“No more—no more—no more”—
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree,
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams!

Alas! for that accursed time
They bore thee o’er the billow,
From love to titled age and crime,
And an unholy pillow!
From me, and from our misty clime,
Where weeps the silver willow!

1835

 

Note on To One in Paradise

“To One in Paradise” was included originally in “The Visionary” (a tale now known as “The Assignation”), in July, 1835, and appeared as a separate poem entitled “To Ianthe in Heaven,” in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine for July, 1839. The fifth stanza is now added, for the first time, to the piece.

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