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


The Lake. To —(1827)

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 Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59