Study Guide

Alone (Poe) Lines 13-16

By Edgar Allan Poe

Lines 13-16

Lines 13-16

From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold—

  • Hmm—so things don't get any clearer now do they? The speaker delivers some more anaphoric lines to describe this whole mystery business that, quite frankly, is still a mystery to us.
  • The point of all these lines is that this mysterious "mystery" is found everywhere.
  • Rather than simply say "it was everywhere," though, or just list off 8 billion things, the speaker gets clever and refers to all several categories of things.
  • So far we've got all forms of water (a "torrent," which is just a waterfall or rush of water, and a fountain), all forms of earth and land ("red cliff of the mountain"), and all forms of light (the sun).
  • Next the speaker describes the sun as possessing an "autumn tint of gold."
  • Autumn is a time of transition, the time when summer is just about over but when winter hasn't quite arrived yet.
  • Leaves change colors, leaves fall, the weather changes, the days get shorter—you know the drill.
  • The point here is that the speaker is describing his own transition—from a lonely, confused kid to somebody with access to a very powerful mystery.
  • What's more, this transition is also happening on a poetic level.
  • For example, the poem's meter is changing a little bit, from mostly iambs to mostly trochees. You can read a bit more about this in "Form and Meter."
  • The tone is also changing, from one of frustration or depression to something a little different—a tone that still expresses alienation but also a sense of inspiration. Let's read on to see if that continues.

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