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The Haunted Palace

  • Leader
    February 10, 2017
    First released in the April 1839 issue of Nathan Brooks' American Museum magazine. It was eventually incorporated into "The Fall of the House of Usher" as a song written by Roderick Usher.

    In the greenest of our valleys
    By good angels tenanted,
    Once a fair and stately palace —
    Radiant palace — reared its head.
    In the monarch Thought’s dominion —
    It stood there!
    Never seraph spread a pinion
    Over fabric half so fair!

    Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
    On its roof did float and flow,
    (This — all this — was in the olden
    Time long ago,)
    And every gentle air that dallied,
    In that sweet day,
    Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
    A winged odor went away.

    Wanderers in that happy valley,
    Through two luminous windows, saw
    Spirits moving musically,
    To a lute’s well-tuned law,
    Round about a throne where, sitting
    (Porphyrogene!)
    In state his glory well-befitting,
    The ruler of the realm was seen.

    And all with pearl and ruby glowing
    Was the fair palace door,
    Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
    And sparkling evermore,
    A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
    Was but to sing,
    In voices of surpassing beauty,
    The wit and wisdom of their king.

    But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
    Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
    (Ah, let us mourn! — for never morrow
    Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
    And round about his home the glory
    That blushed and bloomed,
    Is but a dim-remembered story
    Of the old time entombed.

    And travellers, now, within that valley,
    Through the red-litten windows see
    Vast forms, that move fantastically
    To a discordant melody,
    While, like a ghastly rapid river,
    Through the pale door
    A hideous throng rush out forever
    And laugh — but smile no more.