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To Helen
by Edgar Allan Poe

US poet, critic and short story writer. Poe is best known for his macabre horror stories including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold Bug and The Black Cat (1842). His key poems include Lenore (1831), The Raven (1842), Ulalume (1847). He also wrote some critical essays including The Philosophy of Composition (1846), Time and Space (1844) and The Poetic Principle (1850), and a novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Poe had a great influence on a number of writers including Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.


To Helen
by Edgar Allan Poe

Helen, thy beauty is to me
    Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
    The weary way-worn wanderer bore
    To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
    Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
    To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo ! in yon brilliant window-niche
    How statue-like I me thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
    Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
    Are Holy-land !


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