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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Poe’s Cottage at Fordham

By John Henry Boner (1845–1903)

[Born in Salem, N. C., 1845. Died in Washington, D.C., 1903. The Century Magazine. 1889.]

HERE lived the soul enchanted

By melody of song;

Here dwelt the spirit haunted

By a demoniac throng;

Here sang the lips elated;

Here grief and death were sated;

Here loved and here unmated

Was he, so frail, so strong.

Here wintry winds and cheerless

The dying firelight blew,

While he whose song was peerless

Dreamed the drear midnight through,

And from dull embers chilling

Crept shadows darkly filling

The silent place, and thrilling

His fancy as they grew.

Here, with brow bared to heaven,

In starry night he stood,

With the lost star of seven

Feeling sad brotherhood.

Here in the sobbing showers

Of dark autumnal hours

He heard suspected powers

Shriek through the stormy wood.

From visions of Apollo

And of Astarte’s bliss,

He gazed into the hollow

And hopeless vale of Dis;

And though earth were surrounded

By heaven, it still was mounded

With graves. His soul had sounded

The dolorous abyss.

Proud, mad, but not defiant,

He touched at heaven and hell.

Fate found a rare soul pliant

And rung her changes well.

Alternately his lyre,

Stranded with strings of fire,

Led earth’s most happy choir

Or flashed with Israfel.

No singer of old story

Luting accustomed lays,

No harper for new glory,

No mendicant for praise,

He struck high chords and splendid,

Wherein were fiercely blended

Tones that unfinished ended

With his unfinished days.

Here through this lowly portal,

Made sacred by his name,

Unheralded immortal

The mortal went and came.

And fate that then denied him,

And envy that decried him,

And malice that belied him,

Have cenotaphed his fame.