by EDGAR ALLAN POE (1840-1849)
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were— I have not seen
As others saw— I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then— in my childhood— in the dawn
Of a most stormy life was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
Because of the melancholy nature of much of Edgar Allan Poe’s verses, his work as a critic can be overlooked sometimes. However, a little praise or a good review from the hard-to-please Poe meant a lot to poets such as Alice Cary, who gained considerable admiration for her talent after Poe applauded her poem “Pictures of Memories.”