To Marie Louise

[“Not long ago, the writer of these lines ”]
Eerste publicatie: Maart 1848 (Columbian Magazine)
Annotatie: Poe schreef dit gedicht, ook wel getiteld ‘To —‘,  voor Marie Louise Shew, een van de dames die zijn vrouw Virginia voor haar dood verpleegde.

Vertalingen en bewerkingen:
1949: Unmacht (De Tsjerne nr. 10, 4e jaargang, Fries tijdschrift)


Not long ago, the writer of these lines,

In the mad pride of intellectuality,

Maintained the “Power of Words” — denied that ever

A thought arose within the human brain

Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:

And now, as if in mockery of that boast,

Two words — two foreign, soft dissyllables —

Two gentle sounds made only to be murmured

By angles dreaming in the moon-lit “dew

That hands like chains of pearl on Hermon hill”

Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart

Unthought-like thoughts — scarcely the shades of thought —

Bewildering fantasies — far richer visions

Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,

Who “had the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”

Would hope to utter. Ah, Marie Louise!

In deep humility I own that now

All pride — all thought of power — all hope of fame —

All wish for Heaven — is merged forevermore

Beneath the palpitating tide of passion

Heaped o’er my soul by thee. Its spells are broken —

The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand — 

With that dear name as text I cannot write —

I cannot speak — I cannot even think —

Alas! I cannot feel; for ‘tis not feeling —

This standing motionless upon the golden

Threshold of the wide-open gate of Dreams,

Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,

And thrilling as I see upon the right —

Upon the left — and all the way along,

Amid the clouds of glory, far away

To where the prospect terminates — thee only.