Monday, October 22, 2018

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys

By good angels tenanted,

Once a fair and stately palace-

Radiant palace-reared its head.

In the monarch Thought's dominion,

It stood there;

Never seraph spread a pinion

Over fabric half so fair.

Belle Grove, a Greek Revival and Italianate-style plantation house was built between 1852
and 1857 near White Castle in Iberville Parish, Lousiana.  This photograph was taken in 1936.
The abandoned antebellum palace was later demolished in 1952.

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,

On its roof did float and flow

(This-all this-was in the olden
Time long ago),

And every gentle air that dallied,

In that sweet day,

Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,

A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley

Through two luminous windows saw

Spirits moving musically,

To a lute's well-tuned law,

Round about a throne where, sitting,


In state his glory well befitting,

The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing

Was the fair palace door,

Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,

And sparkling evermore,

A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty

Was but to sing,

In voices of surpassing beauty,

The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,

Assailed the monarch's high estate;

(Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow

Shall dawn upon him desolate!)

And round about his home the glory

That blushed and bloomed,

Is but a dim-remembered story

Of the old time entombed.

And travellers now within that valley

Through the red-litten windows see

Vast forms that move fantastically

To a discordant melody;

While, like a ghastly rapid river,

Through the pale door

A hideous throng rush out forever

And laugh-but smile no more.

The"Blessing of the Sword" is a beautiful painting by Civil War artist Mort Kunstler and depicts a
ceremony which was repeated throughout the South in the early days of the War Between The States.
The presentation of an intricately engraved sword, some bearing the family crest, was offered
to the departing soldier with the blessings and prayers of his wife and family that the
weapon would remain sheathed, but that it would also protect him from the fierce fighting in battle.
With tearful farewells,  the proud son of the Confederacy rode away to his duty and his
unknown fate, carrying away with him the sword as well as the precious memories 
of those he left behind forever in his heart.

"The Haunted Palace"
Edgar Allan Poe
American writer and poet

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