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Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe


"Eldorado" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. This short poem is about a traveler asking a "shade" where to find the legendary city of El Dorado. He is then told to "ride, boldly ride." Interestingly, Poe uses the word "shadow" in each stanza with a different meaning each time. The metaphor is obviously about life and finding happiness.

"Eldorado" is made up of four stanzas with six lines each. The rhyme scheme is AABCCB.



    Gaily bedight,
    A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
    Had journeyed long,
    Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

    But he grew old-
    This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow
    Fell as he found
    No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

    And, as his strength
    Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
    "Shadow," said he,
    "Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"

    "Over the Mountains
    Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, boldly ride,"
    The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 19th Century

Life, Happiness