To Helen Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I saw thee once once only years agoA
I must not say how many but not manyB
It was a July midnight and from outC
A full orbed moon that like thine own soul soaringD
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heavenE
There fell a silvery silken veil of lightF
With quietude and sultriness and slumberG
Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousandH
Roses that grew in an enchanted gardenE
Where no wind dared to stir unless on tiptoeA
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these rosesI
That gave out in return for the love lightF
Their odorous souls in an ecstatic deathJ
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these rosesI
That smiled and died in this parterre enchantedK
By thee and by the poetry of thy presenceL
Clad all in white upon a violet bankM
I saw thee half reclining while the moonN
Fell on the upturn'd faces of the rosesI
And on thine own upturn'd alas in sorrowA
Was it not Fate that on this July midnightF
Was it not Fate whose name is also SorrowA
That bade me pause before that garden gateO
To breathe the incense of those slumbering rosesI
No footstep stirred the hated world all sleptP
Save only thee and me O Heaven O GodQ
How my heart beats in coupling those two wordsR
Save only thee and me I paused I lookedS
And in an instant all things disappearedT
Ah bear in mind this garden was enchantedK
The pearly lustre of the moon went outC
The mossy banks and the meandering pathsU
The happy flowers and the repining treesV
Were seen no more the very roses' odorsW
Died in the arms of the adoring airsX
All all expired save thee save less than thouY
Save only the divine light in thine eyesZ
Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyesZ
I saw but them they were the world to meB
I saw but them saw only them for hoursW
Saw only them until the moon went downA2
What wild heart histories seemed to lie unwrittenE
Upon those crystalline celestial spheresB2
How dark a woe yet how sublime a hopeC2
How silently serene a sea of prideD2
How daring an ambition yet how deepE2
How fathomless a capacity for loveF2
But now at length dear Dian sank from sightF
Into a western couch of thunder cloudG2
And thou a ghost amid the entombing treesV
Didst glide away Only thine eyes remainedH2
They would not go they never yet have goneI2
Lighting my lonely pathway home that nightF
They have not left me as my hopes have sinceJ2
They follow me they lead me through the yearsB2
They are my ministers yet I their slaveK2
Their office is to illumine and enkindleL2
My duty to be saved by their bright lightF
And purified in their electric fireG
And sanctified in their elysian fireG
They fill my soul with Beauty which is HopeC2
And are far up in Heaven the stars I kneel toM2
In the sad silent watches of my nightF
While even in the meridian glare of dayN2
I see them still two sweetly scintillantN2
Venuses unextinguished by the sunE

Edgar Allan Poe


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