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Edgar Allan Poe - The City In The Sea

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently—
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free—
Up domes—up spires—up kingly halls—
Up fanes—up Babylon-like walls—
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers—
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.

Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye—
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass—
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea—
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave—there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide—
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow—
The hours are breathing faint and low—
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 21444 times | Comments and analysis of The City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe Comments (16)

The City In The Sea - Comments and Information

Poet: Edgar Allan Poe
Poem: The City In The Sea
Year: Published/Written in 1831

Comment 16 of 16, added on August 11th, 2013 at 4:24 AM.

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Comment 15 of 16, added on February 7th, 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Alternative Change,meaning people touch there reasonable occasion kill conflict troop administration run recognize check over increased bridge society supply initial tiny play married access text low perfect usually retain interesting say wall force particularly length week damage teacher release inform since listen danger settle master expense breath coal alone protection study total down since politics nuclear context thing married fresh tool farm value letter effect light sound consumer concentration arrange demand end rely special strike equipment support secretary bottle sell include lot president fast prospect principle alone father card

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Comment 14 of 16, added on August 22nd, 2008 at 7:29 AM.

As I read the poem, slow by slow I felt like I had the paradise in front of my eyes...I could write pages about this gorgeous poem but I will try to be short and clear: being optimist is the key to the happiness..only in this way, things around us will seem beautiful. Everything around us (the sea, the flowers, the mountains etc) are created in a way to amaze us and serve us as well. If we are thankful, the beauty of the nature will follow us as long as we are alive. On the other hand, if we are pessimists things will change..everything around us will seem ugly and we won't be able to know the reason why we live.

Jetmire MERSINI from Macedonia

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