The Haunted Palace

The Haunted Palace

 by Edgar Allan Poe

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A wingèd odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute’s well-tunèd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting,
Porphyrogene!
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh—but smile no more.

Summary of The Haunted Palace 

  • Popularity of “The Haunted Palace”: This poem was written by Edgar Allan Poe, a renowned American writer, critic, and editor. The Haunted Palace is a remarkable literary piece about fear and madness. It was first published in the American Museum in April 1839. The poem speaks about the palace. It was once a symbol of joy and perfect happiness, but now it has turned into a haunted house. It also illustrates how the cycle of time brings unbelievable changes to the world we live in. The poem also talks about the changing nature of time and its impacts on things, including human nature.
  • “The Haunted Palace”, As a Representative of Lost Joy: This poem is about a king with a glorious past. The speaker describes the unmatchable attributes of a palace where a monarch resided once. He presents graphic details of the structure of the palace and the lush green valley around it. He then calls it the most beautiful and majestic palace that even angels and seraphs would love to visit this mighty place. The floating banners and eye-catching windows help him recall the dancing spirits, and the rounded throne reflects the highest rank of the lost king. As the plot deepens, the palace, with all its riches and beauties, is the metaphor of the human head. The person seems floating about his joyous past that is now damaged by the loss. He adds the glories, the songs and echoes of that time turned into hideous things as if the speaker is caged with intense sorrow. The palace is filled with misery.
  • Major Themes in “The Haunted Palace”: Transience of life, sorrow, and decline of mental capabilities are some of the major themes of this poem. The king and the palace stand for a man who fell physically and psychologically, ruining after an unspecified evil destroys his happiness. At first, the poem focuses on the past grand time of the lavish palace and the beauty around it. However, the last two stanzas bring the readers back into reality where this magnificent palace has turned into a haunted house wrapped by evil spirits. The people who pass by that valley can see the spirits haunting the palace. The poet unfolds a lesson that nothing is permanent in this world: the constantly spinning wheel of time brings sea changes in everything. 

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “The Haunted Palace”

Literary devices used by writers to present their idea, feelings, and emotions. Through these devices, writers make their few words appealing to the readers. Edgar Allan Poe has also used some literary devices in this poem to make it appealing. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been given below

  1. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /s/ in “Vast forms that move fantastically.”
  2. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /i/ in “The wit and wisdom of their king.”
  3. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick successions. For example, the sound of /s/ in “Never seraph spread a pinion” and the sound of /f/ in “Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing.”
  4. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it continues in the next line. For example;

“And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “In the greenest of our valleys”, “In voices of surpassing beauty” and “While, like a ghastly rapid river.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the persons and objects with another object in nature. There is an extended metaphor of the palace, which represents a person fighting his internal demons.
  3. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from the literal meanings. “Palace” symbolizes king’s mind, “windows” represent eyes and “spirits” are the symbols of memories.
  4. Paradox: A paradox is a statement that may seem contradictory but can be true. For example, in the first line of the last stanza, it is stated as, “Vast forms that move fantastically, to a discordant melody.” The second example is in last but third line, “And laugh—but smile no more.” The poet has used these paradoxes in the poem to illustrate the idea of how good things can come to an end.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “The Haunted Palace”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are six eight-lined stanzas in the poem.
  2. Octave: An octave is an eight lined stanza. There are six octaves in this poem.
  3. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABAB rhyme scheme, and this pattern continues to the end.
  4. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. Poe has used end rhyme in the poem. For example, “door/more”, “sorrow/morrow”, “duty/beauty” and “saw/law.” 

Quotes to be Used 

The lines stated below are suitable for a traveler while narrating an enchanting place he visited.

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.”