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THE CONQUEROR WORM.

by Edgar Allan Poe

LO ! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,

Sit
in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,

And
hither and thither fly -
Mere puppets they, who come and go

At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo !

That motley drama - oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot !
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,

And
much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.
But
see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude !

A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes ! - it writhes ! - with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,

And
the angels sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.
Out
- out are the lights - out all !
And, over each quivering form,
The
curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
And
the angels,all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm

That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.



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