Explain the verses which were entitled "The Haunted Palace"in short story, "The fall of the house of Usher by Poe

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In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace-
Radiant palace-reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion-
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Interpretation: In a good place where angels lived a palace came into being.  The angels never saw a place so fair.

POE: Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This-all this-was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Interpretation:  This was a long time ago and everyone who went there was able to carry a little of its happiness away with him or her.

POE: Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute's well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well-befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

Interpretation:  In these two verses, all good things of the senses are described as well as the praise for the king's cunning.

POE:But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!-for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

Interpreation:  All those good things were a long time ago and since then, evil sinister things have buried the joy of the kingdom.

POE: And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh-but smile no more.

Interpretation:  The people who are there now are not happy.  Things are of "discord"-and any laughter is without a smile- because it is laughter gratified by the pain or misfortune of others.

Read the study guide:
The Fall of the House of Usher

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