Edgar Allan Poe | Poetry All-Stars

Edgar Allan Poe
1809 - 1849

In 1826, Edgar Allan Poe entered the University of Virginia. He was a successful student, but had a problem with gambling, for which he was forced to leave. After a short turn in the army, Poe began selling his short stories. This early work led to a career as a professional writer and editor. Poems such as "The Raven," and stories such as "The Fall of the House of Usher," established him as a skilled writer of mystery and horror. Today, the poetry and stories of Edgar Allan Poe are famous throughout the world.    


Gaily bedight, 
A gallant knight, 
In sunshine and in shadow, 
Had journeyed long, 
Singing a song, 
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-- 
This knight so bold-- 
And o'er his heart a shadow 
Fell as he found 
No spot of ground 
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength 
Failed him at length, 
He met a pilgrim shadow-- 
"Shadow," said he, 
"Where can it be-- 
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains 
Of the Moon, 
Down the Valley of the Shadow, 
Ride, boldly ride," 
The shade replied,-- 
"If you seek for Eldorado!" 

Photo courtesy the National Archives

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