Edgar Allan Poe, American Romantic Movement poet, was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. He served five months at Castle Island in 1827, while enlisted in the army.
Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone—
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.
Be silent in thy solitude
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee—and their will
Shall overshadow thee, be still,
The night—tho' clear—shall frown
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given—
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee forever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish—
Now are visions ne'er to vanish
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more—like dew-drops from the grass.
The breeze—the breath of God—is still
And the mist upon the hill
Is a symbol and a token—
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!
— Poe's Poems, Henneberry Edition, c.1901
Spirit of the Dead appears to be a re-write of his original poem Visit of the Dead, first published in Tamerlane and other Poems (1827), his first book.