The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

by Edgar Allan Poe

A Pæan

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1903
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Poe, E.A. (1903). The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Edition, Volume 5. New York: P. F. Collier and Son.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 1.0
  • Word Count: 661
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: death, loss
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I.        How shall the burial rite be read?
            The solemn song be sung?
          The requiem for the loveliest dead,
            That ever died so young?

II.       Her friends are gazing on her,
            And on her gaudy bier,
          And weep!—oh! to dishonor
            Dead beauty with a tear!

III.     They loved her for her wealth—
           And they hated her for her pride—
          But she grew in feeble health,
            And they love her—that she died.

IV.      They tell me (while they speak
           Of her "costly broider'd pall")
         That my voice is growing weak—
           That I should not sing at all—

V.       Or that my tone should be
           Tun'd to such solemn song
         So mournfully—so mournfully,
           That the dead may feel no wrong.

VI.      But she is gone above,
           With young Hope at her side,
         And I am drunk with love
           Of the dead, who is my bride.—

VII.     Of the dead—dead who lies
           All perfum'd there,
         With the death upon her eyes.
           And the life upon her hair.

VIII.    Thus on the coffin loud and long
           I strike—the murmur sent
         Through the gray chambers to my song,
           Shall be the accompaniment.

IX.      Thou diedst in thy life's June—
           But thou didst not die too fair:
         Thou didst not die too soon,
           Nor with too calm an air.

X.       From more than friends on earth,
           Thy life and love are riven,
         To join the untainted mirth
           Of more than thrones in heaven.—

XI.      Therefore, to thee this night
           I will no requiem raise,
         But waft thee on thy flight,
           With a Pæan of old days.