An altered look about the hills; A Tyrian light the village fills; A wider sunrise in the dawn; A deeper twilight on the lawn; A print of a vermilion foot; A purple finger on the slope; A flippant fly upon the pane; A spider at his trade again; An added strut in chanticleer; A flower expected everywhere ...
Stop a minute, Ambrose!" interrupted Master Nathaniel. "I've got a sudden silly whim that we should take an oath I must have read when I was a youngster in some old book... the words have suddenly come back to me. They go like this: We (and then we say our own names), Nathaniel Chanticleer and Ambrose Honeysuckle, swear by the Living and the Dead, by the Past and the Future, by Memories and Hopes, that if a Vision comes begging at our door we will take it in and warm it at our hearth, and that we will not be wiser than the foolish nor more cunning than the simple, and that we will remember that he who rides the Wind needs must go where his Steed carries him.
We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken today, and yet we put it off until tomorrow; and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. Tomorrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict with us-of the definite with the indefinite-of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails-we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer-note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies-it disappears-we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late!
Edgar Allan Poe