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

Imitation (1827)

The poem “Imitation” was first published in Poe’s early collection Tamerlane and Other Poems. The 20-line poem is made up of rhymed couplets where the speaker likens his youth to a dream as his reality becomes more and more difficult. It has been considered potentially autobiographical, written during deepening strains in Poe’s relationship with his foster-father John Allan.

After several revisions, this poem evolved into the poem “A Dream Within A Dream.”

A dark unfathomed tide

Of interminable pride —

A mystery, and a dream,

Should my early life seem;

I say that dream was fraught

With a wild and waking thought

Of beings that have been,

Which my spirit hath not seen,

Had I let them pass me by,

With a dreaming eye!

Let none of earth inherit

That vision of my spirit;

Those thoughts I would control,

As a spell upon his soul:

For that bright hope at last

And that light time have past,

And my worldly rest hath gone

With a sigh as it passed on:

I care not though it perish

With a thought I then did cherish.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59