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Thou wast all that to me, love,
For which my soul did pine—
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers;
And all the flowers were mine.
Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
“Onward!”—but o'er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies,
For alas! alas! with me
The light of Life is o'er!
“No more—no more—no more—”
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore),
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree
Or the stricken eagle soar!
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
Source: The Best of Poe: Literary Touchstone Classic, ©2005 Prestwick House. All Rights Reserved. Full copyright.
Hope – here, a reference to the Sun
ethereal – heavenly
“By what eternal streams.” – Some versions of this poem have the last line written as “By what Italian streams.” Some also include an additional stanza. The poem itself comes from a Poe short story entitled, “The Visionary.”