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The Village Street
by Edgar Allan Poe

US poet, critic and short story writer. Poe is best known for his macabre horror stories including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold Bug and The Black Cat (1842). His key poems include Lenore (1831), The Raven (1842), Ulalume (1847). He also wrote some critical essays including The Philosophy of Composition (1846), Time and Space (1844) and The Poetic Principle (1850), and a novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Poe had a great influence on a number of writers including Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.

The Village Street
by Edgar Allan Poe

In these rapid, restless shadows,
    Once I walked at eventide,
When a gentle, silent maiden,
    Wal ked in beauty at my side
She alone there walked beside me
    All in beauty, like a bride.

Pallidly the moon was shining
    On the dewy meadows nigh;
On the silvery, silent rivers,
    On the mountains far and high
On the ocean's star-lit waters,
    Where the winds a-weary die.

Slowly, silently we wandered
From the open cottage door,
Underneath the elm's long branches
To the pavement bending o'er;
Underneath the mossy willow
And the dying sycamore.

With the myriad stars in beauty
All bedight, the heavens were seen,
Radiant hopes were bright around me,
Like the light of stars serene;
Like the mellow midnight splendor
Of the Night's irradiate queen.

Audibly the elm-leaves whispered
    Peaceful, pleasant melodies,
Like the distant murmured music
    Of unquiet, lovely seas:
While the winds were hushed in slumber
    In the fragrant flowers and trees.

Wondrous and unwonted beauty
    Still adorning all did seem,
While I told my love in fables
    'Neath the willows by the stream;
Would the heart have kept unspoken
    Love that was its rarest dream!

Instantly away we wandered
    In the shadowy twilight tide,
She, the silent, scornful maiden,
    Walking calmly at my side,
With a step serene and stately,
    All in beauty, all in pride.

Vacantly I walked beside her.
    On the earth mine eyes were cast;
Swift and keen there came unto me
    Ritter memories of the past
On me, like the rain in Autumn
    On the dead leaves, cold and fast.

Underneath the elms we parted,
    By the lowly cottage door;
One brief word alone was uttered
    Never on our lips before;
And away I walked forlornly,
    Broken-hearted evermore.

Slowly, silently I loitered,
    Homeward, in the night, alone;
Sudden anguish bound my spirit,
    That my youth had never known;
Wild unrest, like that which cometh
    When the Night's first dream hath flown.

Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper
    Mad, discordant melodies,
And keen melodies like shadows
    Haunt the moaning willow trees,
And the sycamores with laughter
    Mock me in the nightly breeze.

Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
    Through the sighing foliage streams;
And each morning, midnight shadow,
    Shadow of my sorrow seems;
Strive, 0 heart, forget thine idol!
    And, 0 soul, forget thy dreams !

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