The Valley of Unrest (1831) by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Valley of Unrest" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published as "The Valley Nis" in Poems by Edgar A. Poe. The original version is longer and mentions a woman named Helen. The shorter version has no mention of her. I have included both version of the poem below.
The longer version consists of four individual stanzas of varying lengths while the longer poem is made up of only one stanza and is considerably shorter in length. Both contain a varying rhyme scheme.
The Valley Nis" Far away - far away - Far away - as far at least Lies that valley as the day Down within the golden East - All things lovely - are not they One and all, too far away? It is called the valley Nis: And a Syriac tale there is Thereabout which Time hath said Shall not be interpreted: Something about Satan's dart Something about angel wings - Much about a broken heart - All about unhappy things: But "the valley Nis" at best Means "the valley of unrest." Once it smil'd a silent dell Where the people did not dwell, Having gone unto the wars - And the sly, mysterious stars, With a visage full of meaning, O'er th' unguarded flowers were leaning, Or the sun-ray dripp'd all red Thro' tall tulips overhead, Then grew paler as it fell On the quiet Asphodel. Now each visiter shall confess Nothing there is motionless: Nothing save the airs that brood O'er the enchanted solitude, Save the airs with pinions furled That slumber o'er that valley-world. No wind in Heaven, and lo! the trees Do roll like seas, in Northern breeze, Around the stormy Hebrides - No wind in Heaven, and clouds do fly, Rustling everlastingly, Thro' the terror-stricken sky, Rolling, like a waterfall, O'er thi' horizon's fiery wall - And Helen, like thy human eye, Low crouched on Earth, some violets lie, And, nearer Heaven, some lilies wave All banner-like, above a grave. And one by one, from out their tops Eternal dews come down in drops, Ah, one by one, from off their stems Eternal dews come down in gems! Published in Southern Literary Messenger in February 1836.
"The Valley of Unrest Once it smiled a silent dell Where the people did not dwell; They had gone unto the wars, Trusting to the mild-eyed stars, Nightly, from their azure towers, To keep watch above the flowers In the midst of which all day The red sun-light lazily lay. Now each visiter shall confess The sad valley's restlessness. Nothing there is motionless - Nothing save the airs that brood Over the magic solitude. Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees That palpitate like the chill seas Around the misty Hebrides! Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven That rustle through the unquiet Heaven Unceasingly, from morn till even, Over the violets there that lie In myriad types of the human eye - Over the lilies there that wave And weep above a nameless grave! They wave: - from out their fragrant tops Eternal dews come down in drops. They weep: - from off their delicate stems Perennial tears descend in gems. They wave; they weep; and the tears, as they well From the depth of each pallid lily-bell, Give a trickle and a tinkle and a knel Published in American Review in April 1845.
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