Lenoriana

Song Cycle by Benjamin C. S. Boyle

Word count: 1285

1. Annabel Lee [sung text not yet checked]

It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know	
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought	
   Than to love and be loved by me.
 
I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
   I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the wing'd seraphs of heaven	
   Coveted her and me.
 
And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling	
So that her highborn kinsmen came	
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre	
   In this kingdom by the sea.
 
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
   Went envying her and me;
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
 
But our love it was stronger by far than the love	
   Of those who were older than we,
   Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
   Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul	
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
 
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 night-tide, I lie down by the side	
Of my darling - my darling - my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea,
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Lenore [sung text not yet checked]

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll! -- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear? -- weep now or nevermore!
See, on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come, let the burial rite be read -- the funeral song be sung:
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young,
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
 
"Wretches, ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her -- that she died!
How shall the ritual, then, be read? the requiem how be sung
By you -- by yours, the evil eye, -- by yours, the slanderous tongue
That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"
 
Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
The sweet Lenore hath gone before, with Hope that flew beside,
Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride:
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes;
The life still there, upon her hair -- the death upon her eyes.
 
"Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven  -- 
From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven  -- 
From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven!
Let no bell toll, then, -- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damnëd Earth!
And I! -- to-night my heart is light! -- no dirge will I upraise,
But waft the angel on her flight with a Pæan of old days!"

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Confirmed with Stedman, Edmund Clarence, ed. An American Anthology, 1787–1900. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1900; Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/248/234.html.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. To [sung text not yet checked]

O! I care not that my earthly lot
      Hath little of Earth in it,
That years of love have been forgot
      In the fever of a minute:

I heed not that the desolate
      Are happier, sweet, than I,
But that you meddle with my fate
      Who am a passerby.

It is not that my founts of bliss
      Are gushing -- strange! with tears --
Or that the thrill of a single kiss
      Hath palsied many years --

'Tis not that the flowers of twenty springs
      Which have wither'd as they rose
Lie dead on my heart-strings
      With the weight of an age of snows.

Not that the grass -- O! may it thrive!
      On my grave is growing or grown-
But that, while I am dead yet alive
      I cannot be, lady, alone.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Edgar Allan Poe) , "To F--", written 1845, first published 1845 [an adaptation]

First published in the Southern Literary Messenger, July 1835; revised and retitled "To One Departed" and printed in Graham's Magazine, March 1842.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The conqueror worm [sung text not yet checked]

Lo! ’t is a gala night
   Within the lonesome latter years!   
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
   In veils, and drowned in tears,   
Sit in a theatre, to see
   A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully   
   The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,   
   Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly—
   Mere puppets they, who come and go   
At bidding of vast formless things
   That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
   Invisible Wo!

That motley drama—oh, be sure   
   It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore   
   By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in   
   To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,   
   And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout,
   A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out   
   The scenic solitude!
It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs   
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
   In human gore imbued.

Out—out are the lights—out all!   
   And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
   Comes down with the rush of a storm,   
While the angels, all pallid and wan,   
   Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”   
   And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Eldorado  [sung text not yet checked]

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old -
This knight so bold -
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength 
Failed him, at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow -
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be -
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied,
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. A dream within a dream [sung text not yet checked]

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow -
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep - while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

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9. To Helen [sung text not yet checked]

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! In yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy-Land!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]