Poem: City in the Sea, Edgar Allan Poe

So I am a huge fan of poetry! Edgar Allan Poe is probably my favorite, so I felt like sharing one of my favorites of his. 

Edgar Allan Poe(1809-1849)was born in Boston, Massachusetts and died in Baltimore, Maryland. Poe enlisted in the US Army at age 18, claiming he was 22. His first post at Boston Harbor paid him a whooping $5 a month. He later went to West Point, where he was tried for disobedience and gross neglect of duty. In 1835, he married his 13 year old cousin Virginia Clemm. After having been married 11 years, his young wife passed. It is said to be that was what inspired some of his work. City in the Sea had 2 previous versions, The Doomed City & The City of Sin. 

So with that said, here’s the poem. Hope you enjoy!

City in the Sea

LO! Death has reared himself a throne

In a strange city lying alone

Far down within the dim West,

Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best

Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines and palaces and towers

(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)

Resemble nothing that is ours.

Around, by lifting winds forgot,

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down

On the long night-time of that town;

But light from out the lurid sea

Streams up the turrets silently —

Gleams up the pinnacles far and free —

Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —

Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —

Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers

Of scultured ivy and stone flowers —

Up many and many a marvellous shrine

Whose wreathed friezes intertwine

The viol, the violet, and the vine.

Resignedly beneath the sky

The melancholy waters lie.

So blend the turrets and shadows there

That all seem pendulous in air,

While from a proud tower in the town

Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves

Yawn level with the luminous waves;

But not the riches there that lie

In each idol’s diamond eye —

Not the gaily-jewelled dead

Tempt the waters from their bed;

For no ripples curl, alas!

Along that wilderness of glass —

No swellings tell that winds may be

Upon some far-off happier sea —

No heavings hint that winds have been

On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!

The wave — there is a movement there!

As if the towers had thrown aside,

In slightly sinking, the dull tide —

As if their tops had feebly given

A void within the filmy Heaven.

The waves have now a redder glow —

The hours are breathing faint and low —

And when, amid no earthly moans,

Down, down that town shall settle hence. [[,]]

Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,

Shall do it reverence.


2 thoughts on “Poem: City in the Sea, Edgar Allan Poe

    1. This one is one of his darker works…There’s just something about this one that I love! His choice of words is awesome to me. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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