The Conqueror Worm

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What? No Poe?

October 18 2006 at 6:20 AM

I think my dark side may have been inspired in part by early childhood reading of Poe. My mother read to me. Those are some of my favorite memories. She read great stories that are now so old no one remembers them (my mom is 85 this December). And when I was just becoming excited by Halloween at 4 or 5, she read me Poe. I didn't understand it but I loved the rhythm. I adored the lyrical elegance of his words and even then I was extraordinarily moved by his darkness. I mean, she read Frost to me, and others, but Poe gave me dreams.

So here is a tribute to the dark poetry god: Edgar Allen Poe

THE CONQUEROR WORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged,
bedight in veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly-
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Woe!

That motley drama- oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights- out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


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