First appearing simply as “The Lake” in Poe’s 1827 collection Tamerlane and Other Poems, the amended title appeared in 1829 collected in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. The poem is a celebration of loneliness and the thoughts inspired by a lake.
For the 1845 collection The Raven and Other Poems, Poe reworked the first line (“In youth’s spring, it was my lot”) to “In spring of youth it was my lot.”
In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less —
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.
But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody —
Then — ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight —
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define —
Nor Love — although the Love were thine.
Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining —
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53