The Haunted Palace

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The Haunted Palace

By Edgar Allen Poe, 1839

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 a 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 ramparts plumed and pallid, 
   A winged odor went away. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 
   Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically, 
   To a lute’s well-tuned law, 
Round about a throne where, sitting 
   (Porphyrogene!) 
In state his glory well-befitting, 
   The ruler 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 ghastly rapid river, 
   Through the pale door 
A hideous throng rush out forever 
   And laugh- but smile no more.