On Reading the Letters of Edgar Allan Poe        

The cipher had a key, the verse a rhyme;

His heart lay open to the stranger friend;

Inkstained and weary, he staggered to the end

Of cheap puffs and the galley proofs of fame.


The clock whose face was hidden ceased to blame;

Debts and lost letters drifted down; the band

Stand emptied to the sound of trumpets; and

The snow all night dissolved the genteel grime.


Ghastly, the gas-lit century blazed beyond

The frozen genius in its public park;

Only in Paris did the plaster cast

Speak, and the speechless prince of tears respond.

Meanwhile, in Richmond, Baltimore, New York,

The beggars watched beside his marble bust.