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He watches while Roderick paints. One of the paintings depicts the interior of a long vault or tunnel, clearly well below the earth, with no source of artificial light, yet bathed in "a flood of intense rays." Another pastime of Usher's is playing guitar. Due to his excitement and nervousness, he seems to excel at playing it. He revels in strange improvisations, and he often sings along.
One of these sets of verses, called "The Haunted Palace," tells of a beautiful castle in a green valley, inhabited by "the monarch Thought." Spirits move, and troops of "Echoes" sing the wisdom of their king. It is a kind of paradise. But "evil things" invade, reducing the palace to a place of "discordant melody."