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The Lake (1827) by Edgar Allan Poe


"The Lake" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in 1827 in Poe's Tamerlane and Other Poems but was later revised and republished in his Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. In 1845, it was again revised with the simple change of the line "In youth's spring, it was my lot" to "In spring of youth it was my lot."

The poem is about the celebration of loneliness and thoughts inspired by a lake.

"The Lake" is written as four stanzas with six lines in each. The poem is written in rhyming couplets.


The Lake

In youth's spring, it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less-
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody-
Then- ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight-
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define-
Nor Love- although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining-
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 19th Century

Nature, Spring