I dwelt alone
In a world of moan
And my soul was a stagnant tide
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie
became my blushing bride-
Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie
became my smiling bride.
Ah, less– less bright
Are the stars of night
Than the eyes of the radiant girl!
And never a flake
That the vapor can make
With the moon-tints of purple and pearl,
Can vie with the modest Eulalie’s
most unregarded curl-
Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie’s
most humble and careless curl.
Now Doubt– now Pain
Come never again,
For her soul gives me sigh for sigh
And all day long
Shines, bright and strong,
Astarte within the sky,
While ever to her dear Eulalie
upturns her matron eye-
While ever to her young Eulalie
upturns her violet eye.
Summary – Transcendence Through Love
“Eulalie” by Edgar Allen Poe is more than just another love poem. This poem describes the transcendental experience that can sometimes occur when we truly and deeply love another person. This experience goes beyond simple companionship and comfort, and involves a wondrous appreciation for another human being that far exceeds the meaning and intensity that we are accustomed to in our everyday lives. This unequal intensity, is what Poe is best at in verse. In so many of his poems, he captures a love so fanatical, no one doubt it true.
In this poem Poe is not merely describing the shared mutual admiration and trust that underpins a healthy romantic relationship. Instead he is describing how his love for Eulalie has transformed his entire experience of the world. The mere fact that she exists and shares her time on Earth with him is enough to banish all the evils of the world and leave him in a perpetual state of bliss.
Poe is describing the experience of “true love” that most people only know about from songs, books and films, and which women in particular seem to pine for and crave. This is the love of Romeo and Juliet: something so powerful that to have had it once, yet lost it, makes the world seem no longer worth living in. It is a fantastic love in this sense, as it seems like it does not exist in reality and is only an ideal that can be glimpsed at through verse and stage.
However, when you read the fanatical love of Poe through his poetry, its obsessiveness is spoken with such a candor that it transcends the page and captures you in reality. Even a realist, becomes conflicted with a need for this obsessive kind of love, that Poe offers in his verse.