Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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;        5
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,        10
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        15
  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.        20
Here in the sobbing showers
Of dark autumnal hours
He heard suspected powers
  Shriek through the stormy wood.
From visions of Apollo        25
  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        30
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        35
  And rung her changes well.
Alternately his lyre,
Stranded with strings of fire,
Led earth’s most happy choir
  Or flashed with Israfel.        40
No singer of old story
  Luting accustomed lays,
No harper for new glory,
  No mendicant for praise,
He struck high chords and splendid,        45
Wherein were fiercely blended
Tones that unfinished ended
  With his unfinished days.
Here through this lowly portal,
  Made sacred by his name,        50
Unheralded immortal
  The mortal went and came.
And fate that then denied him,
And envy that decried him,
And malice that belied him,        55
  Have cenotaphed his fame.

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