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"Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight--
Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,)
That bade me pause before that garden-gate,
To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?
No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept,
Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!-oh, God!
How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)
Save only thee and me. I paused-I looked-
And in an instant all things disappeared.
(Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)
The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
The happy flowers and the repining trees,
Were seen no more: the very roses' odours
Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
All-all expired save thee-save less than thou:
Save only the divine light in thine eyes--
Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.

I saw but them-they were the world to me.
I saw but them-saw only them for hours-
Saw only them until the moon went down.
What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten
Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope!
How silently serene a sea of pride!

How daring an ambition! yet how deep-
How fathomless a capacity for love!

"But now, at length, Dear Dian sank from sight

Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;

And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained.
They would not go-they never yet have gone.
Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
They have not left me (as my hopes have) since.
They follow me-they lead me through the years.
They are my ministers-yet I their slave.
Their office is to illumine and enkindle-
My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
And purified in their electric fire,

And sanctified in their elysian fire,

They fill my soul with beauty (which is hope),
And are far up in heaven-the stars I kneel to
In the sad, silent watches of my night;
While even in the meridian glare of day
I see them still-two sweetly scintillant
Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!"

They were not married, and the breaking of the engagement affords a striking illustration of his character. He said to an acquaintance in New York, who congratulated with him upon the prospect of his union with a person of so much genius and so many virtues-"It is a mistake: I am not going to be married." "Why, Mr. Poe, I understand that the banns have been published." "I cannot help what you have heard, my dear madam; but, mark me, I shall not marry her." He left town the same evening, and, the next day, was reeling through the streets of the

city which was the lady's home, and in the evening-that should have been the evening before the bridal-in his drunkenness he committed at her house such outrages as made necessary a summons of the police. Here was no insanity leading to indulgence: he went from New York with a determination thus to induce an ending of the engagement, and he succeeded.

Sometime in August, 1849, Mr. Poe left New York for Virginia. In Philadelphia, he encountered persons who had been his associates in dissipations while he lived there; and for several days he abandoned himself entirely to the control of his worst appetites. When his money was all spent, and the disorder of his dress evinced the extremity of his recent intoxication, he asked, in charity, means for the prosecution of his journey to Richmond. There, after a few days, he joined a temperance society, and his conduct showed the earnestness of his determination to reform his life. He delivered, in some of the principal towns of Virginia, two lectures, which were well attended; and, renewing his acquaintance with a lady whom he had known in his youth, he was engaged to marry her, and wrote to his friends that he should pass the remainder of his days among the scenes endeared by all his pleasantest recollections of youth.

On Thursday, the 4th of October, he set out for New York, to fulfil a literary engagement and to prepare for his marriage. Arriving in Baltimore, he gave his trunk to a porter, with directions to convey it to the cars which were to leave in an hour or two for Philadelphia, and went into a tavern to obtain some refreshment. Here he met acquaintances, who invited him to drink; all his resolutions and duties were soon forgotten; in a few hours he was in such a state as is commonly induced only by long-continued intoxication; after a night of insanity and exposure, he was carried to a hospital; and there, on the evening of Sunday, the seventh of October, 1849, he died, at the age of thirty-eigh years.

It is a melancholy history. No American author of as much genius had ever as much unhappiness; but Poe's unhappiness was, in an unusual degree, the result of infirmities of nature, or of voluntary faults in conduct. A writer, who evidently knew him well, and who came forward as his defender, is "compelled to admit that the blemishes in his life were effects of character rather than of circumstances." How this character might have been modified by a judicious education of all his faculties, is left for the decision of others; but it will be evident to those who read this biography, that the unchecked freedom of his earlier years was as unwise as its results were unfortunate.

The influence of Mr. Poe's aims and vicissitudes upon his writings was more conspicuous in his later than in his earlier

works. Nearly all that he wrote in the last two or three years --including much of his best poetry-was, in some sense, biographical. In draperies of his imagination, those who take the trouble to trace his steps will perceive, but slightly concealed, the figure of himself; and the lineaments here disclosed are not different from those displayed in this biography, which is but a filling up of the picture he has himself sketched.

In person, he was below the middle height, slenderly but compactly formed; and, in his better moments, he had, in an eminent degree, that air of gentlemanliness which men of a lower order seldom succeed in acquiring.

His conversation was, at times, almost supra-mortal in its eloquence. His voice was modulated with astonishing skill, and his large and variably-expressive eyes looked repose or shot fiery tumult into theirs who listened, while his own face glowed, or was changeless in pallor, as his imagination quickened his blood or drew it back frozen to his heart. His imagery was from the worlds which no mortals can see but with the vision of genius. Suddenly starting from a proposition, exactly and sharply defined, in terms of utmost simplicity and clearness, he rejected the forms of customary logic, and, by a crystalline process of accretion, built up his ocular demonstrations in forms of gloomiest and ghastliest grandeur, or in those of the most airy and delicious beauty-so minutely and distinctly, yet so rapidly, that the attention which was yielded to him was chained till it stood among his wonderful creations-till he himself dissolved the spell, and brought his hearers back to common and base existence, by vulgar fancies or exhibitions of the ignoblest passion.

He was at all times a dreamer-dwelling in ideal realms-in heaven or hell-peopled with the creatures and the accidents of his brain. He walked the streets in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayer (never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned, but) for their happiness who, at the moment, were objects of his idolatry; or, with his glances introverted to a heart gnawed with anguish, and with a face shrouded in gloom, he would brave the wildest storms; and all night, with drenched garments and arms beating the winds and rains, would speak as if to spirits that at such times only could be evoked by him from the Aidenn, close by whose portals his disturbed soul sought to forget the ills to which his constitution subjected himclose by the Aidenn where were those he loved-the Aidenn which he might never see, but in fitful glimpses, as its gates opened to receive the less fiery and more happy natures whose destiny to sin did not involve the doom of death.

He seemed, except when some fitful pursuit subjugated his will

and engrossed his faculties, always to bear the memory of some controlling sorrow. The remarkable poem of The Raven was probably much more nearly than has been supposed, even by those who were very intimate with him, a reflection and an echo of his own history. He was that bird's

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unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of Never-never more.'

His harsh experience had deprived him of all faith, in man or woman. He had made up his mind upon the numberless complexities of the social world, and the whole system, with him, was an imposture. This conviction gave a direction to his shrewd and naturally unamiable character. Still, though he regarded society as composed altogether of villains, the sharpness of his intellect was not of that kind which enabled him to cope with villany, while it continually caused him, by overshots, to fail of the success of honesty. He was, in many respects, like Francis Vivian, in Bulwer's novel of The Caxtons. Passion, in him, comprehended many of the worst emotions which militate against human happiness. You could not contradict him, but you raised quick choler; you could not speak of wealth, but his cheek paled with gnawing envy. The astonishing natural advantages of this poor boy-his beauty, his readiness, the daring spirit that breathed around him like a fiery atmosphere-had raised his constitutional self-confidence into an arrogance that turned his very claims to admiration into prejudices against him. Irascible, envious-bad enough, but not the worst, for these salient angles were all varnished over with a cold repellant synicism, his passions vented themselves in sneers. There seemed to him no moral susceptibility; and, what was more remarkable in a proud nature, little or nothing of the true point of honour. He had, to a morbid excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no wish for the esteem of the love of his species; only the hard wish to succeed-not shine, not serve— succeed, that he might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit.

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1.

TALES OF MYSTERY.

The Gold-Beetle.

What ho! what ho! this fellow is dancing mad
He hath been bitten by the Tarantula.
All in the Wrong.

MANY years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disasters, he left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers, and took up his residence at Sullivan's Island, near Charleston, South Carolina.

B

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