The Complete poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe

Dream-Land (1844)

First published in the June 1844 issue of Graham’s Magazine, “Dream-Land” (also called “Dreamland”) was the only poem Poe published that year. It was quickly republished in a June 1845 edition of the Broadway Journal.

This lyric poem consists of five stanzas, with the first and last being nearly identical. The dream-voyager arrives in a place beyond time and space and decides to stay there. This place is odd yet majestic, with “mountains toppling evermore into seas without a shore.” Even so, it is a “peaceful, soothing region” and is a hidden treasure like El Dorado. Poe biographer Arthur Hobson Quinn called it “one of [Poe’s ] finest creations”, with each phrase contributing to one effect: a human traveler wandering between life and death.

The seventh line of the poem is typically pushed slightly to the left of the other lines’ indentation.

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have reached these lands but newly

From an ultimate dim Thule —

From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,

Out of SPACE— out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,

And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,

With forms that no man can discover

For the tears that drip all over;

Mountains toppling evermore

Into seas without a shore;

Seas that restlessly aspire,

Surging, unto skies of fire;

Lakes that endlessly outspread

Their lone waters — lone and dead —

Their still waters — still and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread

Their lone waters, lone and dead —

Their sad waters, sad and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily —

By the mountains — near the river

Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever —

By the grey woods — by the swamp

Where the toad and the newt encamp —

By the dismal tarns and pools

Where dwell the Ghouls —

By each spot the most unholy —

In each nook most melancholy —

There the traveller meets aghast

Sheeted Memories of the Past —

Shrouded forms that start and sigh

As they pass the wanderer by —

White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth — and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion

’Tis a peaceful, soothing region —

For the spirit that walks in shadow

’Tis — oh, ’tis an Eldorado!

But the traveller, travelling through it,

May not — dare not openly view it!

Never its mysteries are exposed

To the weak human eye unclosed;

So wills its King, who hath forbid

The uplifting of the fringed lid;

And thus the sad Soul that here passes

Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have wandered home but newly

From this ultimate dim Thule.

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http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/poe/edgar_allan/p74p/poem49.html

Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 17:10