THE FOREST REVERIE
'Tis said that when The hands of men Tamed this primeval wood, And hoary trees with groans of woe, Like warriors by an unknown foe, Were in their strength subdued, The virgin Earth Gave instant birth To springs that ne'er did flow That in the sun Did rivulets run, And all around rare flowers did blow The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale And the queenly lily adown the dale(Whom the sun and the dew And the winds did woo), With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.
So when in tears The love of years Is wasted like the snow, And the fine fibrils of its life By the rude wrong of instant strife Are broken at a blow Within the heart Do springs upstart Of which it doth now know, And strange, sweet dreams, Like silent streams That from new fountains overflow, With the earlier tide Of rivers glide Deep in the heart whose hope has died-- Quenching the fires its ashes hide,-- Its ashes, whence will spring and grow Sweet flowers, ere long, The rare and radiant flowers of song!
Of the many verses from time to time ascribed to the pen of Edgar Poe, and not included among his known writings, the lines entitled "Alone" have the chief claim to our notice. Fac-simile copies of this piece had been in possession of the present editor some time previous to its publication in "Scribner's Magazine" for September, 1875; but as proofs of the authorship claimed for it were not forthcoming, he refrained from publishing it as requested. The desired proofs have not yet been adduced, and there is, at present, nothing but internal evidence to guide us. "Alone" is stated to have been written by Poe in the album of a Baltimore lady (Mrs. Balderstone?), on March 17th, 1829, and the fac-simile given in "Scribner's"s alleged to be of his handwriting. If the caligraphy be Poe's, it is different in all essential respects from all the many specimens known to us, and strongly resembles that of the writer of the heading and dating of the manuscript, both of which the contributor of the poem acknowledges to have been recently added. The lines, however, if not by Poe, are the most successful imitation of his early mannerisms yet made public, and, in the opinion of one well qualified to speak, "are not unworthy on the whole of the parentage claimed for them."
While Edgar Poe was editor of the "Broadway journal," some lines "To Isadore" appeared therein, and, like several of his known pieces, bore no signature. They were at once ascribed to Poe, and in order to satisfy questioners, an editorial paragraph subsequently appeared saying they were by "A. Ide, junior." Two previous poems had appeared in the "Broadway journal" over the signature of "A. M. Ide," and whoever wrote them was also the author of the lines "To Isadore." In order, doubtless, to give a show of variety, Poe was then publishing some of his known works in his journal over noms de plume, and as no other writings whatever can be traced to any person bearing the name of "A. M. Ide," it is not impossible that the poems now republished in this collection may be by the author of "The Raven." Having been published without his usual elaborate revision, Poe may have wished to hide his hasty work under an assumed name. The three pieces are included in the present collection, so the reader can judge for himself what pretensions they possess to be by the author of "The Raven."