The Haunted Palace


Edgar Allan Poe

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 his pinion
    Over fabric half so fair.

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 rampart plumed and pallid,
    A winged odour went away.

All wanderers in that happy valley,
    Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
    To a lute’s well-tunèd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well befitting,
    The sovereign 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.

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.

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

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