by Edgar Allan Poe
THE dying swan by northern lakes
Sing's [Sings] its wild death song, sweet and clear,
And as the solemn music breaks
O'er hill and glen dissolves in air ;
Thus musical thy soft voice came,
Thus trembled on thy tongue my name.
Like sunburst through the ebon cloud,
Which veils the solemn midnight sky,
Piercing cold evening's sable shroud,
Thus came the first glance of that eye ;
But like the adamantine rock,
My spirit met and braved the shock.
Let memory the boy recall
Who laid his heart upon thy shrine,
When far away his footsteps fall,
Think that he deem'd thy charms divine ;
A victim on love's alter [altar] slain,
By witching eyes which looked disdain.
First published in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter on May 18, 1833, the poem laments the death of a young love. It was originally signed only as "TAMERLANE." Title inspired by Poe's friend Frances Sargent Osgood.
Frances Sargent Osgood (née Locke) (June 18, 1811 – May 12, 1850) was an American poet and one of the most popular women writers during her time. Nicknamed "Fanny," she was also famous for her exchange of romantic poems with Edgar Allan Poe.
"Tamerlane" is an epic poem by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the 1827 collection Tamerlane and Other Poems. That collection, with only 50 copies printed, was not credited with the author's real name but by "A Bostonian." The poem's original version was 403 lines but trimmed down to 223 lines for its inclusion in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems.
Timur (8 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), normally known as Tamerlane (from Tīmūr-e Lang) in English, was a fourteenth-century conqueror of Western, South and Central Asia, founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty (1370–1405) in Central Asia, and great great grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal Empire in India.
Born into the Turco-Mongol Barlas tribe who ruled in Central Asia, Timur was in his lifetime a controversial figure, and remains so today. He sought to restore the Mongol Empire, yet his heaviest blow was against the Islamized Tatar Golden Horde. He was more at home in an urban environment than on the steppe. He styled himself a ghazi yet some Muslim states, for example the Ottoman Empire, were severely affected by his wars. A great patron of the arts, his campaigns also caused vast destruction. Timur told the qadis of Aleppo, during the sack of that newly conquered city,"I am not a man of blood; and God is my witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own calamity."