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Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

The Happiest Day, the Happiest Hour


The happiest day- the happiest hour
My sear'd and blighted heart hath known,
The highest hope of pride and power,
I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? yes! such I ween;
But they have vanish'd long, alas!
The visions of my youth have been-
But let them pass.

And, pride, what have I now with thee?
Another brow may even inherit
The venom thou hast pour'd on me
Be still, my spirit!

The happiest day- the happiest hour
Mine eyes shall see- have ever seen,
The brightest glance of pride and power,
I feel- have been:

But were that hope of pride and power
Now offer'd with the pain
Even then I felt- that brightest hour
I would not live again:

For on its wing was dark alloy,
And, as it flutter'd- fell
An essence- powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2012

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  • Rookie - 866 Points John Richter (10/7/2014 1:04:00 PM)

    Poe is sometimes so very dark. With him I always wonder if this style is just for affect, or if these are actual feelings he has known. Here I think he is swallowing the fact that his glory days are long gone, and he is now under the brow of some hurtful or hateful relationship or event. And as such he relents that even if he could go back to his glory day, he would not wish to remain living because even within the glory days is hiding some sort of menace, some negative thing that robs him of happiness. I mostly wish that when these poems are posted here that the poster would add the date the poem was written or published, for there are many parts of Poe's life that were tumultuous. If I had to guess than I would say that this poem was written shortly after his second marriage proposal was dismissed, rather abruptly too. (Report) Reply

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