Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

The City In The Sea - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

Comments about The City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Gold Star - 30,077 Points * Sunprincess * (8/10/2015 9:16:00 PM)

    ............excellent write, with astonishing imagery...one of his very best! ! ★ (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 56,038 Points Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (6/10/2015 9:44:00 PM)

    On a poetic zenith all by himself, is this Master Bard of The Silent Word...~FjR~ (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,537 Points Babatunde Aremu (2/11/2015 8:23:00 AM)

    A nice poem. Its a reminder about eternity. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,822 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (2/11/2015 3:20:00 AM)

    Lo! Death has reared himself a throne In a strange city lying alone my hero EAP love you (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 184 Points Brian Jani (4/28/2014 3:23:00 AM)

    You surely know how to wrote, I like each and every poem of yours (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 184 Points Brian Jani (4/28/2014 3:21:00 AM)

    You surely know how to wrote, I like each and every poem of yours (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Merna Ibrahim (6/14/2010 7:10:00 PM)

    I like the first stanza the most.Edgar Allen Poe is a special author and a poet in the world of literature.
    10 indeed! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Abby Despreaux (5/3/2010 10:04:00 AM)

    oooooh shivers! Yum! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cory Calder (5/20/2008 9:32:00 PM)

    as allways a great poem by Edgar Allen Poe (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Delilah Caszatt (7/11/2006 8:46:00 PM)

    To see and being able to see, there is a difference! Then in ones vision of visions, Poe expresses quite vividly in this write as many of his others. Oh, how true his sight is of...! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Richard A. Davis SR. (4/27/2005 7:42:00 PM)

    You know, I knew I liked Mr. Poe for a reason. This poem reaffirms my admiration of his genius and madness. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: heaven, sea, city, sky, death, alone, time, light, night, water, wind, flower, rose

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2012

[Hata Bildir]