Edgar Allan Poe is credited with inventing detective stories and creating horror writing. When he died at the age of 40, his next of kin did not announce his death and virtually no one attended his funeral. His tombstone was destroyed and his obituary was apparently written by an enemy who succeeded in damaging Poe's reputation.
But truth and talent will out...eventually. One of the devoted has for decades left three roses and cognac on his grave. And tonight there will be an all-night vigil, followed by a new funeral. With his other admirers, I pay my respects with the reading of one my favorites...
Spirits of the Dead
by Edgar Allan Poe
Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone --
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness--for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee--and their will
Shall overshadow thee: be still
The night, tho' clear, shall frown--
And the stars shall look not down
From their high thrones in the heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given--
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more--like dew-drop from the grass.
The breeze--the breath of God--is still--
And the mist upon the hill,
Is a symbol and a token--
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!