The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the house

The Haunted Palace BY EDGAR ALLAN POE 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! 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 wingèd odor went away. Wanderers in that happy valley, Through two luminous windows, saw Spirits moving musically To a lute’s well-tunèd law, Round about a throne where, sitting, Porphyrogene! 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.

What is your impression of Poe's 1839 poem, which was actually written before The Fall of the House of Usher?

How does it connect with the larger story?

More specifically, what might it reveal indirectly about what is going on inside the House of Usher or to its inhabitants livelihood and health?

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The place has a similar tone and context to Usher. There is a gothic sickly element to the setting which seems to foreshadow Poes story. The tomb, the rotting, and the motif of death are all evident in this passage as well as in Usher.