Once Upon a Midnight

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2013
Released 2013
In the mists of a past both forgotten and imagined, the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe is our guide though this world of forgotten and forbidden knowledge, echoes through time, and a simple yet horrible secret.
  • 04:05 Lyrics
    The Tell-Tale Heart

    The Tell Tale Heart 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim 

    Madness winds around my mind 
    Haunting me both day and night 
    When the night comes black as pitch 
    I’ll hear the groan of terror 

    That dull blue eye with the hideous veil 
    Chills the marrow in my bones 
    The hellish tattoo of his heart increases 
    Quicker, quicker every instant 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim 

    4 o’clock still dark as midnight 
    Who’s come knocking at my door 
    They want to check his chambers 
    My manner must convince them 

    At ease, at ease with the world 
    But for the ringing in my ear 
    I foamed- I raved- I swore (to cover) 
    That beating from under the floor 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim

  • 03:49 Lyrics
    Annabel Lee

    She was a child- I was a child 
    In that kingdom by the sea 
    How cruelly then she was taken from me 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee 

    When death came in to steal her from me 
    I tried to put up a fight 
    I was no match for that figure cloaked in black 
    And I lost my bride to the night 

    She was singing at her piano 
    Such a beautiful sight to me 
    But blood has now consumed our lives 
    It is dripping from the keys 

    Let me have under her own hand 
    A letter bidding me goodbye 
    I may die, my heart will break 
    But I will say no more

     

  • 04:08 Lyrics
    The Fall of the House of Usher

    The Fall of the House of Usher 

    it was a crack, it was a fissure 
    running down the facade 
    the vacant eye-like windows 
    reflecting agony inside 
    an unredeemed dreariness 
    of thought and sensation 
    the hideous dropping off of the veil 

    Not hear it? yes, I hear it! 
    Yes, I have heard it! 
    long, long many minutes hours and days 
    I dared not speak- I dared not 
    miserable wretch that I am 
    we have put her living in the tomb! 

    Madeline- 
    do I hear her footstep on the stair 
    Madeline- 
    do I hear the beating of her heart 
    Madeline, Madeline 
    O whither shall I fly? 

    blood red moon 
    show me the fissure 
    splitting the house of Usher in two 

    blood red moon 
    just enough light 
    to show the tarn swallow it whole

  • 04:17 Lyrics
    The Masque of the Red Death

    There are chords in the heart of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. 

    Seven rooms full of color 
    Prisms of light fall on the revelers 
    Outside the corridor a brazier of fire 
    Projects its rays through the tinted glass 

    Gigantic clock made of ebony 
    Pendulum swings to and fro 
    When the hour is to be struck 
    The revelers stop in their paces 

    To and fro in the chambers 
    Stalked a multitude of dreams 
    And these dreams writhed about 
    Taking their hue from the rooms 

    There was much of the beautiful 
    Much of the wanton 
    Much of the bizarre 
    Something of the terrible 
    And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 
    And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 

    One last chamber, the black chamber 
    With panes of scarlet, a deep blood color 

    Spectral image tall and gaunt 
    Shrouded as the grave 
    Mask conceals a stiffened corpse 
    Vesture shrouded in blood 

    The Red Death had come 
    Like a thief in the night 
    And one by one the revellers dropped 
    And died in the posture of the fall 
    The ebony clock went out with the last 
    And the flames of the tripod expired 
    And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death 
    Held dominion over all

     

  • 03:37 Lyrics
    Morella

    Morella 


    hour after hour 
    would I linger by her side 
    and dwell upon the music of her voice 
    until at length its melody 
    was tainted with a terror 
    and a shadow right there fell upon my soul 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    Morella 
    Morella 

    as the years rolled away 
    I gazed upon her every day 
    then did I discover 
    new points of resemblance 
    in the child to her mother 
    the melancholy and the dead 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    Morella 
    Morella 
    Morella 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore

  • 04:00 Lyrics
    The Lake


    In spring of youth it was my lot 
    To haunt of the wide world a spot 
    The which I could not love the less 
    So lovely was the loneliness 
    Of a wild lake, with black rock bound 
    And the tall pines that towered around 

    But when the night had thrown her pall 
    Upon that spot, as upon all 
    The mystic wind went by 
    Murmuring in melody, 
    Then- ah, then- I would awake 
    To the terror of the lone lake 

    Yet that terror was not fright 
    But a tremulous delight 
    A feeling not the jewelled mine 
    Could teach or bribe me to define 
    Nor Love, although the Love were thine 

    Death was in that poisonous wave, 
    And in its gulf a fitting grave 
    For him who thence could solace bring 
    To his lone imagining 
    Whose solitary soul could make 
    An Eden of that dim lake

  • 03:48 Lyrics
    Ligeia

    Ligeia 

    Ligeia! Ligeia! 
    My beautiful one 
    Whose harshest idea 
    Will to melody run 
    O! is it thy will 
    On the breezes to toss? 
    Or, capriciously still, 
    Like the lone albatross, 
    Incumbent on night 
    (As she on the air) 
    To keep watch with delight 
    On the harmony there? 

    Ligeia! wherever 
    Thy image may be 
    No image shall sever 
    Thy music from thee. 
    Thou hast bound many eyes 
    In a dreamy sleep 
    But the strains still arise 
    Which thy vigilance keep 
    The sound of the rain 
    Which leaps down to the flower 
    And dances again 
    In the rhythm of the shower 

    Go! breathe on their slumber 
    All softly in ear 
    The musical number 
    They slumbered to hear 
    For what can awaken 
    An angel so soon 
    Whose sleep hath been taken 
    Beneath the cold moon 
    As the spell which no slumber 
    Of witchery may test 
    The rhythmical number 
    Which lulled him to rest

  • 03:36 Lyrics
    The Oval Portrait

    The Oval Portrait 

    She was humble and obedient 
    Sat meekly for weeks 
    While the painter took glory in his work 
    Went on from day to day 

    She was a maiden of rarest beauty 
    All light and smiles and frolicsome 
    Loving and cherishing all things 
    Hating the art as her rival 

    He would not see the light which fell 
    So ghastly in that turret 
    Withered the health and spirit of his bride 
    Who pined to all but him 

    Vivid light presents a portrait 
    Flashing candles on the canvas 
    Dreamy stupor stealing over 
    Senses that recede from me 

    She was a maiden of rarest beauty 
    All light and smiles and frolicsome 
    Loving and cherishing all things 
    Hating the art as her rival 

    As the labor drew near its conclusion 
    The painter wild with ardor 
    He would not see the tints he used 
    Were drawn from her cheeks 

    And when but one stroke remained 
    And then the tint was placed 
    He stood entranced beside his work 
    His wife sat pallid and dead

  • 05:52 Lyrics
    The Bells

    The Bells 

    I. Hear the sledges with the bells 
    Silver bells! 
    What a world of merriment their melody foretells! 
    How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, 
    In the icy air of night! 
    While the stars that oversprinkle 
    All the heavens seem to twinkle 
    With a crystalline delight; 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells 
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. 

    II. Hear the mellow wedding bells 
    Golden bells! 
    What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! 
    Through the balmy air of night 
    How they ring out their delight! 
    From the molten golden notes, 
    And all in tune, 
    What a liquid ditty floats 
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats 
    On the moon! 
    Oh, from out the sounding cells, 
    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! 
    How it swells! 
    How it dwells! 
    On the Future!- how it tells 
    Of the rapture that impels 
    To the swinging and the ringing 
    Of the bells, bells, bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! 

    III. Hear the loud alarum bells 
    Brazen bells! 
    What a tale of terror now, their turbulency tells! 
    In the startled ear of night 
    How they scream out their affright! 
    Too much horrified to speak, 
    They can only shriek, shriek, 
    Out of tune, 
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, 
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, 
    Leaping higher, higher, higher, 
    With a desperate desire, 
    And a resolute endeavor 
    Now- now to sit or never, 
    By the side of the pale-faced moon. 
    Oh the bells, bells, bells! 
    What a tale their terror tells 
    Of Despair! 
    How they clang, and clash, and roar! 
    What a horror they outpour 
    On the bosom of the palpitating air! 
    Yet the ear, it fully knows, 
    By the twanging, 
    And the clanging, 
    How the danger ebbs and flows; 
    Yet the ear distinctly tells, 
    In the jangling 
    And the wrangling, 
    How the danger sinks and swells, 
    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells- 
    Of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    In the clamor and the clangor of the bells! 

    IV. Hear the tolling of the bells 
    Iron bells! 
    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! 
    In the silence of the night, 
    How we shiver with affright 
    At the melancholy menace of their tone! 
    For every sound that floats 
    From the rust within their throats 
    Is a groan. 
    And the people- ah, the people- 
    They that dwell up in the steeple, 
    All alone, 
    And who tolling, tolling, tolling, 
    In that muffled monotone, 
    Feel a glory in so rolling 
    On the human heart a stone- 
    They are neither man nor woman- 
    They are neither brute nor human- 
    They are Ghouls: 
    And their king it is who tolls: 
    And he rolls, rolls, rolls, 
    Rolls 
    A paean from the bells! 
    And his merry bosom swells 
    With the paean of the bells! 
    And he dances, and he yells; 
    Keeping time, time time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the paean of the bells- 
    Of the bells: 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the throbbing of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells- 
    To the sobbing of the bells; 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    As he knells, knells, knells, 
    In a happy Runic rhyme, 
    To the rolling of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells: 
    To the tolling of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells, 
    To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

  • 05:19 Lyrics
    Spirits of the Dead

    I. Thy soul shall find itself alone 
    Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone 
    Not one, of all the crowd, to pry 
    Into thine hour of secrecy. 

    II. Be silent in that solitude 
    Which is not loneliness- for then 
    The spirits of the dead who stood 
    In life before thee are again 
    In death around thee- and their will 
    Shall overshadow thee: be still. 

    III. The night, tho’ clear, shall frown 
    And the stars shall not look down 
    From their high thrones in the heaven 
    With light like Hope to mortals given 
    But their red orbs, without beam 
    To thy weariness shall seem 
    As a burning and a fever 
    Which would cling to thee for ever. 

    IV. Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish 
    Now are visions ne’er to vanish 
    From thy spirit shall they pass 
    No more- like dew drop from the grass. 

    V. The breeze- the breath of God is still 
    And the mist upon the hill 
    Shadowy- shadowy- yet unbroken 
    A symbol and a token 
    How it hangs upon the trees 
    A mystery of mysteries!

     

  • 02:30 Lyrics
    The Assignation

    The Assignation 

    Thou wast all that to me, love 
    For which my soul did pine 
    A green isle in the sea, love 
    A fountain and a shrine 
    All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers 
    And all the flowers were mine 

    Ah, dream too bright to last 
    Ah, starry hope, that didst arise 
    But to be overcast! 
    A voice from out the Future cries, 
    “Onward” o’er the past 
    (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies 
    Mute- motionless- aghast! 

    For alas! alas! with me 
    The light of life is over 
    “No more- no more- no more.” 
    (Such language holds the solemn sea 
    To sands upon the shore) 
    Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree 
    Or stricken eagle soar! 

    Now all my hours are trances 
    And all my nightly dreams 
    Are where thy dark eye glances 
    And where thy footstep gleams 
    In what ethereal dances 
    By what Italian streams 

    Alas! for that accursed time 
    They bore thee over the billow 
    From Love to titled age and crime 
    And an unholy pillow! 
    From me, and from our misty clime 
    Where weeps the silver willow!

NOTES
A multimedia creation from Victorian Chamber Metal duo Valentine Wolfe, Once Upon a Midnight features all new music for voice, double bass, and electronics, along with original artwork and an original narrative, all based on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. The story is a re-imagining of Poe's work, and re-interprets his imaginative fiction as if it were an actual account of his day-to-day reality. A companion graphic novel is also available!

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