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Edgar Allan Poe - Israfel

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
"Whose heart-strings are a lute";
None sing so wildly well
As the angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.

Tottering above
In her highest noon,
The enamored moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads, even,
Which were seven,)
Pauses in Heaven.

And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli's fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings-
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.

But the skies that angel trod,
Where deep thoughts are a duty-
Where Love's a grown-up God-
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.

Therefore thou art not wrong,
Israfeli, who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest!
Merrily live, and long!

The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky. 

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Added: Apr 27 2005 | Viewed: 6393 times | Comments and analysis of Israfel by Edgar Allan Poe Comments (6)

Israfel - Comments and Information

Poet: Edgar Allan Poe
Poem: Israfel
Poem of the Day: Dec 8 2014

Comment 6 of 6, added on December 21st, 2014 at 1:35 PM.

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Comment 5 of 6, added on June 26th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.

Is it correct that "Poe" connotes in his poem to change his place with Israfel?if so, Allan Poe has really undergone tough experiences during his life-time. accordingly, he seems he has been bored from the new generation(our generation)so he wants some change which is, in his opinion, replacing Israfel so as to see the beautiful women(old generation)thinking that Israfel is his solution to reach his dream.

yusuf lach from Morocco
Comment 4 of 6, added on June 26th, 2008 at 12:43 PM.

Israfel,angel of the fiery sword,Ignis Dei! I think Poe plays with the possibility of changing dwelling places,could any one of us in Heaven do things as good as an Angel of God?

Beatrice from Argentina

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