Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “The City in the Sea” (Study Text - RAOP-JLG)


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Texts Represented:


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[page 21, continued:]

Title: THE CITY IN THE SEA.

Rule: ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Line-01-001 LO! Death has reared himself a throne

Line-01-002 In a strange city lying alone

Line-01-003 Far down within the dim West,

Line-01-004 Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best

Line-01-005 Have gone to their eternal rest.

Line-01-006 There shrines and palaces and towers

Line-01-007 (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)

Line-01-008 Resemble nothing that is ours.

Line-01-009 Around, by lifting winds forgot,

Line-01-010 Resignedly beneath the sky

Line-01-011 The melancholy waters lie.

Line-01-012 No rays from the holy heaven come down

Line-01-013 On the long night-time of that town;

Line-01-014 But light from out the lurid sea

Line-01-015 Streams up the turrets silently —

Line-01-016 Gleams up the pinnacles far and free —

Line-01-017 Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —

Line-01-018 Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —

Line-01-019 Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers

Line-01-020 Of scultured ivy and stone flowers —

Line-01-021 Up many and many a marvellous shrine

Line-01-022 Whose wreathed friezes intertwine

Line-01-023 The viol, the violet, and the vine. [page 22:]

Line-01-024 Resignedly beneath the sky

Line-01-025 The melancholy waters lie.

Line-01-026 So blend the turrets and shadows there

Line-01-027 That all seem pendulous in air,

Line-01-028 While from a proud tower in the town

Line-01-029 Death looks gigantically down.

Line-01-030 There open fanes and gaping graves

Line-01-031 Yawn level with the luminous waves;

Line-01-032 But not the riches there that lie

Line-01-033 In each idol’s diamond eye —

Line-01-034 Not the gaily-jewelled dead

Line-01-035 Tempt the waters from their bed;

Line-01-036 For no ripples curl, alas!

Line-01-037 Along that wilderness of glass —

Line-01-038 No swellings tell that winds may be

Line-01-039 Upon some far-off happier sea —

Line-01-040 No heavings hint that winds have been

Line-01-041 On seas less hideously serene.

Line-01-042 But lo, a stir is in the air!

Line-01-043 The wave — there is a movement there!

Line-01-044 As if the towers had thrown aside,

Line-01-045 In slightly sinking, the dull tide —

Line-01-046 As if their tops had feebly given

Line-01-047 A void within the filmy Heaven.

Line-01-048 The waves have now a redder glow —

Line-01-049 The hours are breathing faint and low —

Line-01-050 And when, amid no earthly moans,

Line-01-051 Down, down that town shall settle hence {{1845-01: . // 1849-02: , }}

Line-01-052 Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,

Line-01-053 Shall do it reverence.


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[[Alternate presentation giving the text as originally printed, with indications for Poe’s changes]]

[page 21, continued:]

THE CITY IN THE SEA.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LO! Death has reared himself a throne

In a strange city lying alone

Far down within the dim West,

Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best

Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines and palaces and towers

(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)

Resemble nothing that is ours.

Around, by lifting winds forgot,

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down

On the long night-time of that town;

But light from out the lurid sea

Streams up the turrets silently —

Gleams up the pinnacles far and free —

Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —

Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —

Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers

Of scultured ivy and stone flowers —

Up many and many a marvellous shrine

Whose wreathed friezes intertwine

The viol, the violet, and the vine. [page 22:]

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

So blend the turrets and shadows there

That all seem pendulous in air,

While from a proud tower in the town

Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves

Yawn level with the luminous waves;

But not the riches there that lie

In each idol’s diamond eye —

Not the gaily-jewelled dead

Tempt the waters from their bed;

For no ripples curl, alas!

Along that wilderness of glass —

No swellings tell that winds may be

Upon some far-off happier sea —

No heavings hint that winds have been

On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!

The wave — there is a movement there!

As if the towers had thrown aside,

In slightly sinking, the dull tide —

As if their tops had feebly given

A void within the filmy Heaven.

The waves have now a redder glow —

The hours are breathing faint and low —

And when, amid no earthly moans,

Down, down that town shall settle hence>>.<< <,>

Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,

Shall do it reverence.


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Notes:

For an explanation of the formatting used in this Study Text, see editorial policies and methods. This format is very much an experiment, particularly for poetry. For the version with changes applied, see the full poem.

Because Poe’s changes here are made in his own copy of The Raven and other Poems, the pagination of that edition has been retained in the present text.


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[S:0 - comparative] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - The City in the Sea (Study Text - RAOP-JLG)