A Pæan

A Pæan

By Edgar Allan Poe 1831

I. #

How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead,
That ever died so young?

II. #

Her friends are gazing on her,
And on her gaudy bier,
And weep! — oh! to dishonor
Dead beauty with a tear!

III. #

They loved her for her wealth —
And they hated her for her pride —
But she grew in feeble health,
And they love her — that she died.

IV. #

They tell me (while they speak
Of her “costly broider’d pall”)
That my voice is growing weak —
That I should not sing at all —

V. #

Or that my tone should be
Tun’d to such solemn song
So mournfully — so mournfully,
That the dead may feel no wrong.

VI. #

But she is gone above,
With young Hope at her side,
And I am drunk with love
Of the dead, who is my bride. —

VII. #

Of the dead — dead who lies
All perfum’d there,
With the death upon her eyes,
And the life upon her hair.


Thus on the coffin loud and long
I strike — the murmur sent
Through the grey chambers to my song,
Shall be the accompaniment.

IX. #

Thou died’st in thy life’s June —
But thou did’st not die too fair:
Thou did’st not die too soon,
Nor with too calm an air.

X. #

From more than fiends on earth,
Thy life and love are riven,
To join the untainted mirth
Of more than thrones in heaven —

XI. #

Therefore, to thee this night
I will no requiem raise,
But waft thee on thy flight,
With a Pæan of old days.