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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 4


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Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

OINOS. And why, Agathos, should they have proceeded?

AGATHOS. Because there were some considerations of deep interest beyond. It was deducible from what they knew, that to a being of infinite understanding -- one to whom the perfection of the algebraic analysis lay unfolded -- there could be no difficulty in tracing every impulse given the air -- and the ether through the air -- to the remotest consequences at any even infinitely remote epoch of time. It is indeed demonstrable that every such impulse given the air, must, in the end, impress every individual thing that exists within the universe; -- and the being of infinite understanding -- the being whom we have imagined -- might trace the remote undulations of the impulse -- trace them upward and onward in their influences upon all particles of an matter -- upward and onward for ever in their modifications of old forms -- or, in other words, in their creation of new -- until he found them reflected -- unimpressive at last -- back from the throne of the Godhead. And not only could such a thing do this, but at any epoch, should a given result be afforded him -- should one of these numberless comets, for example, be presented to his inspection -- he could have no difficulty in determining, by the analytic retrogradation, to what original impulse it was due. This power of retrogradation in its absolute fulness and perfection -- this faculty of referring at all epochs, all effects to all causes -- is of course the prerogative of the Deity alone -- but in every variety of degree, short of the absolute perfection, is the power itself exercised by the whole host of the Angelic intelligences.

OINOS. But you speak merely of impulses upon the air.

AGATHOS. In speaking of the air, I referred only to the earth; but the general proposition has reference to impulses upon the ether -- which, since it pervades, and alone pervades all space, is thus the great medium of creation.

OINOS. Then all motion, of whatever nature, creates?

AGATHOS. It must: but a true philosophy has long taught that the source of all motion is thought -- and the source of all thought is-


AGATHOS. I have spoken to you, Oinos, as to a child of the fair Earth which lately perished -- of impulses upon the atmosphere of the Earth.

OINOS. You did.

AGATHOS. And while I thus spoke, did there not cross your mind some thought of the physical power of words? Is not every word an impulse on the air?

OINOS. But why, Agathos, do you weep -- and why, oh why do your wings droop as we hover above this fair star -- which is the greenest and yet most terrible of all we have encountered in our flight? Its brilliant flowers look like a fairy dream -- but its fierce volcanoes like the passions of a turbulent heart.

AGATHOS. They are! -- they are! This wild star -- it is now three centuries since, with clasped hands, and with streaming eyes, at the feet of my beloved -- I spoke it -- with a few passionate sentences -- into birth. Its brilliant flowers are the dearest of all unfulfilled dreams, and its raging volcanoes are the passions of the most turbulent and unhallowed of hearts.