The Haunted Palace
by Edgar Allan Poe
In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A wingèd odor went away.
Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute’s well-tunèd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting,
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh—but smile no more.
I wandered through the most graceful valley of all, with angels guiding my way. I stood still as I beheld a magnificent palace, or at least what it used to be. A display of greatness, still making it’s mark. So grand, not even god had ever made such beauty.
The palace was decorated with bright banners, gold and yellow, flowing and dancing with the wind. I felt the air, a tender breeze, flooding from the soaring walls. What once used to be, was still breathing. The winds carried a pleasant aroma, as if touched by angels. A faint music could be heard, a lovely hymn, and drawing one’s curiosity. Where two large windows broke the walls, I could see reflections moving in tune, dancing. I ventured inside, something was pulling me. My mind following the music I found my way into a large hall. Now I could see it was a dance ‘round a throne with rhythm and harmony. On the throne sat a king, who can easily be recognised as one born to purple, with greatness and glory surrounded. My mind overflowing with all I saw, his subjects came singing and celebrating, echoing in the halls, parading through the palace doors. Through the enchanting doors glowing red and white of gems and jewels they came, singing harmoniously to wit and wisdom of their king. It was a display of balance and light, it felt eternal.
But it seems nothing lasts, as shadows came, in cloaks of evil. The demons assaulted the glory and harmony, painting it dark and dim. Any mortal witnessing such despair would feel grief for a fallen king of greatness robbed.
The palace is now just a memory of old, with lapses of glory seeping through. It became a forgotten story of darkness and shadows.
Where now travellers trek through the valley, the two large windows can be seen. But no harmony lays behind, just shadows moving in discord and melancholy. Wherever one may look, nothing pleasant can be found. All of its magic had been lost. Even the large doors now house only dreadful swarms, laughing loud and eerie.