Gargoyles guarding the words of Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart

Gargoyles guarding the words of Poe
You fancy me mad.
Madmen know nothing.
But you should have seen me.
You should have seen how wisely I proceeded,
With what caution.
With what foresight.
Every night, about midnight,
I turned the latch of his door
He turned the latch of the door.
The lantern the murderer held to see the eye better And opened it--oh, so gently!
And then,
When I had made an opening sufficient for my head,
I put in a dark lantern,
All closed so that no light shone out,
And then I thrust in my head.
How cunningly I thrust it in!
I moved it slowly--very, very slowly,
So that I might not disturb the old man's sleep.
It took me an hour.
Every night near midnight, he returned.  It took him an hour.
The vulture eye Ha! Would a madman have been so wise as this?
And then
I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye.
This I did for seven long nights,
Every night just at midnight,
But I found the eye always closed;
And so it was impossible to do the work
For it was not the old man who vexed me,
But his evil eye.
The evil eye vexed him.
This excerpt comes from Brod Bagert's book Poetry for Young People; Edgar Allan Poe.   This book is part of the Poetry for Young People series that pairs classic poems with excellent illustrations, comments, and explanations.  Mr. Bagert edited the book while it was illustrated by Carolynn Cobleigh. 

Poe, Edgar Allan.  "The Tell-Tale Heart." Poetry for Young People; Edgar Allan Poe. Ed. Brod Bagert. New York, 1995. 42.

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