Thursday, February 27, 2014



By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have reached these lands but newly

From an ultimate dim Thule-

From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,

Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,

And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,

With forms that no man can discover

For the tears that drip all over;

Mountains toppling evermore

Into seas without a shore;

Seas that restlessly aspire,

Surging, unto skies of fire;

Lakes that endlessly outspread

Their lone waters- lone and dead,-

Their still waters- still and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread

Their lone waters, lone and dead,-

Their sad waters, sad and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily,-

By the mountains- near the river

Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-

By the grey woods,- by the swamp

Where the toad and the newt encamp-

By the dismal tarns and pools

Where dwell the Ghouls,-

By each spot the most unholy-

In each nook most melancholy-

There the traveller meets aghast

Sheeted Memories of the Past-

Shrouded forms that start and sigh

As they pass the wanderer by-

White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion

'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-

For the spirit that walks in shadow

'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!

But the traveller, travelling through it,

May not- dare not openly view it!

Never its mysteries are exposed

To the weak human eye unclosed;

So wills its King, who hath forbid

The uplifting of the fringed lid;

And thus the sad Soul that here passes

Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,

Haunted by ill angels only,

Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,

On a black throne reigns upright,

I have wandered home but newly

From this ultimate dim Thule.

Edgar Allan Poe

"Dream-Land" tells the story of a journey, although it's never quite clear where that trip starts or where it ends. For the most part, the poem describes the strange and amazing sights the speaker sees along the way.
We begin with a tantalizingly vague description of the speaker arriving in a strange new land. He doesn't say where exactly he's coming from, just that it was far away, beyond the borders of space and time. The place he's arrived in is haunted by evil spirits and ruled by the creepy, dark figure of "Night." This new country has a huge landscape of oceans, valleys, caves, and forests. Nothing looks or moves the way it does in everyday life. Mountains tumble, the sky is on fire, the ocean leaps up, the snow sits on the ground forever. Sometimes this world is violent and exciting, sometimes it's creepily quiet and still, but there's a sad loneliness everywhere.
It's not just the landscape that's strange and sad. Apparently the speaker sees ghosts on his journey too, the spirits of dead loved ones. Weirdly enough, this makes the speaker feel kind of good. Apparently his life has been tough, and he prefers to live in this strange and different land. He only gets a glimpse of the mysterious world when he is sleeping, but he still loves it and treasures those moments.

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