by EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)
Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme—
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
Unearthly pride hath revell’d in—
I have no time to dote or dream:
You call it hope— that fire of fire!
It is but agony of desire:
If I can hope— Oh God! I can—
Its fount is holier— more divine—
I would not call thee fool, old man,
But such is not a gift of thine.
Know thou the secret of a spirit
Bow’d from its wild pride into shame.
O yearning heart! I did inherit
Thy withering portion with the fame,
The searing glory which hath shone
Amid the jewels of my throne,
Halo of Hell! and with a pain
Not Hell shall make me fear again—
O craving heart, for the lost flowers
And sunshine of my summer hours!
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness— a knell.
I have not always been as now:
The fever’d diadem on my brow
I claim’d and won usurpingly—
Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
Rome to the Caesar— this to me?
The heritage of a kingly mind,
And a proud spirit which hath striven
Triumphantly with human kind.