By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,-
By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
By the grey woods,- by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp-
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,-
By each spot the most unholy-
In each nook most melancholy-
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past-
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by-
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
‘Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
‘Tis- oh, ’tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Dreamland


  1. Harken!Mortal says:

    The GHOULs sit right in the middle of the poem, with a short (3 syllable equivalent) pause afterwards, perhaps to strengthen dramatic effect (they are corpse-eating, scary undead monsters after all), acting as a climax & turning point (note the symmetric design of the lines & stanzas).
    Learn german & start reading Arno Schmidt if you want to know more about E.A.Poe. Seems like americans need Germans to explain the greatest writer their country ever produced to them, hark, hark.
    Mir Freundlichen Grüßen!

  2. Gerben says:

    The entire poem has rithms I can quite fiugre out, only this line;
    – By the dismal tarns and pools
    – Where dwell the Ghouls,-

    How does fit “Where dwell the Ghouls,-” in the rest of the poem? It’s so short and stops so abruptly… The only thing I can’t quite get figured out :/

  3. jon says:

    ya, ummm… i still need like, 3 more poetic devices from this poem preferably. soooo, i don’t even expect anyone to give me 3 poetic devices, especially since that email i gave down probably doesn’t even exist. so i guess i’m just doin this just cuz. NEwayz, ya, this poem sounds like Edgar allan poe. sooo, if yall like edgar allan poe stuf, then this is a cool poem for u. ;D

  4. SK says:

    I absolutely loved this poem. Some of the vivid descriptions (“Mountains toppling evermore / Into seas without a shore / Seas that restlessly aspire, / surging, unto skies of fire”) are amazing, and the delicious darkness of the poem is incredible. I really like most of Poe’s stuff in general.

  5. Sam says:

    This poem is absolutely TERRIFYING! Edgar Allen Poe writes scary stuff. Not something you want to read before bedtime.

  6. Faith says:

    It sure is a long poem but if you are into poetry then you should know that Edgar Allen Poe writes LONG poems…they are basically a sotry poem..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Edgar Allan Poe better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.