POE'S COTTAGE AT FORDHAM
by: John Henry Boner (1845-1903)
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 brows 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.
- Poor, mad, but not defiant,
- He touched at heaven and hell.
- Fate found a rare soul pliant
- And wrung 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 finely blended
- Tones that unfinished ended
- With his unfinished days.
- Here through this lonely 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,
- Here cenotaphed his fame.
POEMS BY JOHN HENRY BONER
"Poe's Cottage at Fordham"
is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900.
Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.