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Passions in PoetryAl Aaraaf
by Edgar Allan Poe

The poem was allegedly written when Poe was a boy, but it was more likely composed in 1827 while he was a member of the 1st Artillery Regiment in Charleston. It was published in Baltimore in 1829 as part of his second book of poetry entitled Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, with the sonnet "To Silence" prefixed to it. "Al Aaraaf" was later reproduced with a bibliographical note by Thomas O. Mabbott in New York in 1933 with only minor revisions to the poem. It was not published again in Poe's lifetime.

In the edition for 1831, this poem, Poe's longest, was introduced by the following twenty-nine lines, which have been omitted in all subsequent collections:

Al Aaraaf

Mysterious star!
Thou wert my dream
All a long summer night--
Be now my theme!
By this clear stream,
Of thee will I write;
Meantime from afar
Bathe me in light I

Thy world has not the dross of ours,
Yet all the beauty-all the flowers
That list our love or deck our bowers
In dreamy gardens, where do lie
Dreamy maidens all the day;
While the silver winds of Circassy
On violet couches faint away.
Little---oh I little dwells in thee11
Like unto what on earth we see:
Beauty's eye is here the bluest
In the falsest and untruest--On the sweetest
air doth float
The most sad and solemn note--

If with thee be broken hearts,
Joy so peacefully departs,
That its echo still doth dwell,
Like the murmur in the shell.
Thou! thy truest type of grief
Is the gently falling leafThou!
Thy framing is so holy
Sorrow is not melancholy.

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Edgar Allan Poe
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