by Edgar Allan Poe
(published 1844)


print iconPrint Version

    By a route obscure and lonely,
    Haunted by ill angels only,
    Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
    On a black throne reigns upright,
    I have reached these lands but newly
    From an ultimate dim Thule --
    From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
          Out of SPACE -- out of TIME.

    Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
    And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
    With forms that no man can discover
    For the dews that drip all over;
    Mountains toppling evermore
    Into seas without a shore;
    Seas that restlessly aspire,
    Surging, unto skies of fire;
    Lakes that endlessly outspread
    Their lone waters -- lone and dead, --
    Their still waters -- still and chilly
    With the snows of the lolling lily.

    By the lakes that thus outspread
    Their lone waters, lone and dead, --
    Their sad waters, sad and chilly
    With the snows of the lolling lily, --
    By the mountains -- near the river
    Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever, --
    By the grey woods, -- by the swamp
    Where the toad and the newt encamp, --
    By the dismal tarns and pools
            Where dwell the Ghouls, --
    By each spot the most unholy --
    In each nook most melancholy, --
    There the traveller meets aghast
    Sheeted Memories of the Past --
    Shrouded forms that start and sigh
    As they pass the wanderer by --
    White-robed forms of friends long given,
    In agony, to the Earth -- and Heaven.

    For the heart whose woes are legion
    'Tis a peaceful, soothing region --
    For the spirit that walks in shadow
    'Tis -- oh 'tis an Eldorado!
    But the traveller, travelling through it,
    May not -- dare not openly view it;
    Never its mysteries are exposed
    To the weak human eye unclosed;
    So wills its King, who hath forbid
    The uplifting of the fringed lid;
    And thus the sad Soul that here passes
    Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

    By a route obscure and lonely,
    Haunted by ill angels only,
    Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
    On a black throne reigns upright,
    I have wandered home but newly
    From this ultimate dim Thule.


Terrified, struck with amazement, showing signs of terror or horror.
An eidolon is the astral double of a living being; a phantom-double of the human form; a shade or perispirit; the kamarupa after death, before its disintegration. The phantom can appear under certain conditions to survivors of the deceased.
A place used as a metaphor to represent an ultimate prize that one might spend their life seeking. It could represent true love, heaven, happiness, or success.
Read More >
Thule, pronounced "thoo-lee", was the northernmost part of the ancient world, usually an island, and often Iceland.

Ultima Thule
1. in medieval geographies may also denote any distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world."

2. the extreme limit of travel and discovery.