'Tale Of Jerusalem' by Edgar Allen Poe

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

Intensos rigidam in frontem ascendere canos
Passus erat

--a bristly bore.


"LET us hurry to the walls," said Abel-Phittim to Buzi-Ben-Levi and Simeon the Pharisee, on the tenth day of the month Thammuz, in the year of the world three thousand nine hundred and forty-one- "let us hasten to the ramparts adjoining the gate of Benjamin, which is in the city of David, and overlooking the camp of the uncircumcised; for it is the last hour of the fourth watch, being sunrise; and the idolaters, in fulfilment of the promise of Pompey, should be awaiting us with the lambs for the sacrifices."
Simeon, Abel-Phittim, and Buzi-Ben-Levi, were the Gizbarim, or sub-collectors of the offering, in the holy city of Jerusalem.
"Verily," replied the Pharisee, "let us hasten: for this generosity in the heathen is unwonted; and fickle-mindedness has ever been an attribute of the worshippers of Baal."
"That they are fickle-minded and treacherous is as true as the Pentateuch," said Buzi-Ben-Levi, "but that is only towards the people of Adonai. When was it ever known that the Ammonites proved wanting to their own interests? Methinks it is no great stretch of generosity to allow us lambs for the altar of the Lord, receiving in lieu thereof thirty silver shekels per head!"
"Thou forgettest, however, Ben-Levi," replied Abel-Phittim, "that the Roman Pompey, who is now impiously besieging the city of the Most High, has no assurity that we apply not the lambs thus purchased for the altar, to the sustenance of the body, rather than of the spirit."
"Now, by the five corners of my beard!" shouted the Pharisee, who belonged to the sect called The Dashers (that little knot of saints whose manner of dashing and lacerating the feet against the pavement was long a thorn and a reproach to less zealous devotees- a stumbling-block to less gifted perambulators)- "by the five corners of that beard which, as a priest, I am forbidden to shave!- have we lived to see the day when a blaspheming and idolatrous upstart of Rome shall accuse us of appropriating to the appetites of the flesh the most holy and consecrated elements? Have we lived to see the day when-"
"Let us not question the motives of the Philistine," interrupted Abel-Phittim, "for to-day we profit for the first time by his avarice or by his generosity, but rather let us hurry to the ramparts, lest offerings should be wanting for that altar whose fire the rains of heaven cannot extinguish, and whose pillars of smoke no tempest can turn aside."
That part of the city to which our worthy Gizbarin now hastened, and which bore the name of its architect, King David, was esteemed the most strongly fortified district of Jerusalem; being situated upon the steep and lofty hill of Zion. Here, a broad, deep, circumvallatory trench, hewn from the solid rock, was defended by a wall of great strength erected upon its inner edge. This wall was adorned, at regular interspaces, by square towers of white marble; the lowest sixty, and the highest one hundred and twenty cubits in height. But, in the vicinity of the gate of Benjamin, the wall arose by no means from the margin of the fosse. On the contrary, between the level of the ditch and the basement of the rampart, sprang up a perpendicular cliff of two hundred and fifty cubits, forming part of the precipitous Mount Moriah. So that when Simeon and his associates arrived on the summit of the tower called Adoni-Bezek- the loftiest of all the turrets around about Jerusalem, and the usual place of conference with the besieging army- they looked down upon the camp of the enemy from an eminence excelling by many feet that of the Pyramid of Cheops, and, by several, that of the temple of Belus.
"Verily," sighed the Pharisee, as he peered dizzly over the precipice, "the uncircumcised are as the sands by the seashore- as the locusts in the wilderness! The valley of The King hath become the valley of Adommin."
"And yet," added Ben-Levi, "thou canst not point me out a Philistine- no, not one- from Aleph to Tau- from the wilderness to the battlements- who seemeth any bigger than the letter Jod!"
"Lower away the basket with the shekels of silver!" here shouted a Roman soldier in a hoarse, rough voice, which appeared to issue from the regions of Pluto- "lower away the basket with the accursed coin which it has broken the jaw of a noble Roman to pronounce! Is it thus you evince your gratitude to our master Pompeius, who, in his condescension, has thought fit to listen to your idolatrous importunities? The god Phoebus, who is a true god, has been charioted for an hour- and were you not to be on the ramparts by sunrise? Aedepol! do you think that we, the conquerors of the world, have nothing better to do than stand waiting by the walls of every kennel, to traffic with the dogs of the earth? Lower away! I say- and see that your trumpery be bright in color and just in weight!"
"El Elohim!" ejaculated the Pharisee, as the discordant tones of the centurion rattled up the crags of the precipice, and fainted away against the temple- "El Elohim!- who is the God Phoebus?- whom doth the blasphemer invoke? Thou, Buzi-Ben-Levi! who art read in the laws of the Gentiles, and hast sojourned among them who dabble with the Teraphim!- is it Nergal of whom the idolater speaketh?- or Ashimah?- or- Nibhaz?- or Tartak?- or Adramalech?- or Anamalech?- or Succoth-Benith?- or Dragon?- or Belial?- or Baal-Perith?- or Baal-Peor?- or Baal-Zebub?"
"Verily it is neither- but beware how thou lettest the rope slip too rapidly through thy fingers; for should the wicker-work chance to hang on the projection of yonder crag, there will be a woful outpouring of the holy things of the sanctuary."
By the assistance of some rudely constructed machinery, the heavily laden basket was now carefully lowered down among the multitude; and, from the giddy pinnacle, the Romans were seen gathering confusedly round it; but owing to the vast height and the prevalence of a fog, no distinct view of their operations could be obtained.
Half an hour had already elapsed.
"We shall be too late!" sighed the Pharisee, as at the expiration of this period, he looked over into the abyss- "we shall be too late! we shall be turned out of office by the Katholim."
"No more," responded Abel-Phittim,- "no more shall we feast upon the fat of the land- no longer shall our beards be odorous with frankincense- our loins girded up with fine linen from the Temple."
"Raca!" swore Ben-Levi, "Raca! do they mean to defraud us of the purchase money? or, Holy Moses! are they weighing the shekels of the tabernacle?
"They have given the signal at last!" cried the Pharisee- "they have given the signal at last!- pull away, Abel-Phittim!- and thou, Buzi-Ben-Levi, pull away!- for verily the Philistines have either still hold upon the basket, or the Lord hath softened their hearts to place therein a beast of good weight!" And the Gizbarim pulled away, while their burthen swung heavily upwards through the still increasing mist.

"Booshoh he!"- as, at the conclusion of an hour, some object at the extremity of the rope became indistinctly visible- "Booshoh he!" was the exclamation which burst from the lips of Ben-Levi.
"Booshoh he!- for shame!- it is a ram from the thickets of Engedi, and as rugged as the valley of Jehosaphat!"
"It is a firstling of the flock," said Abel-Phittim, "I know him by the bleating of his lips, and the innocent folding of his limbs. His eyes are more beautiful than the jewels of the Pectoral, and his flesh is like the honey of Hebron."
"It is a fatted calf from the pastures of Bashan," said the Pharisee, "the heathen have dealt wonderfully with us!- let us raise up our voices in a psalm!- let us give thanks on the shawm and on the psaltery- on the harp and on the huggab- on the cythern and on the sackbutt"
It was not until the basket had arrived within a few feet of the Gizbarium, that a low grunt betrayed to their perception a hog of no common size.
"Now El Emanu!" slowly, and with upturned eyes ejaculated the trio, as, letting go their hold, the emancipated porker tumbled headlong among the Philistines, "El Emanu!- God be with us- it is the unutterable flesh!"

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Tale of Jerusalem by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tale of Jerusalem is a short story written by the American writer, poet, and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. The story was first published in 1832 in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier and later included in Poe's collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.

The Tale of Jerusalem is a Gothic horror story that tells the tale of a young man, who is seeking answers about his ancestors and their involvement in a mysterious event that took place in Jerusalem centuries ago. The story is a perfect example of Poe's love for the macabre and his ability to create an eerie atmosphere through his use of language and imagery.


The story begins with the introduction of the narrator, who is a young man living in Italy. He is haunted by the memories of his ancestors and their involvement in a strange event that took place in Jerusalem centuries ago. The narrator is determined to uncover the truth about his family's past and sets out on a journey to Jerusalem.

Once in Jerusalem, the narrator meets a man named Monsieur Maillard, who is a historian and a friend of the narrator's family. Maillard reveals to the narrator the true story of his ancestors and their involvement in the strange event that took place in Jerusalem.

The event involves a group of individuals who were seeking to discover the secrets of the universe. They believed that they could achieve this by constructing a giant tower that would reach the heavens. However, their efforts were thwarted by a supernatural force that caused the tower to crumble to the ground.

The supernatural force is revealed to be an angel who was sent by God to punish the individuals for their arrogance and defiance. The angel's presence causes chaos and destruction, and many of the individuals involved in the project are killed.

The narrator is left shocked and horrified by the revelation of his family's involvement in such a blasphemous act. He returns to Italy, haunted by the memories of the events in Jerusalem.

Literary Criticism

The Tale of Jerusalem is a complex and layered story that showcases Poe's mastery of the Gothic horror genre. The story is filled with symbolism, allegory, and themes that explore the human condition and our relationship with the divine.

One of the main themes of the story is the arrogance of humanity and our desire to control and understand the universe. The individuals involved in the construction of the tower represent the human desire for knowledge and power, and their downfall is a warning against the dangers of such hubris.

The supernatural force that destroys the tower is a representation of God's power and authority. The angel's appearance is a reminder that humans are not in control of their fate and that there are forces beyond our understanding that govern the universe.

Poe's use of imagery and language is also a prominent feature of the story. The descriptions of the tower and the destruction it causes are vivid and unsettling, creating an atmosphere of unease and horror.

The narrator's journey to Jerusalem is also symbolic of his quest for knowledge and truth. His search for answers about his family's past is a representation of the human desire for understanding and the lengths we will go to uncover the truth.

The character of Monsieur Maillard is also significant in the story. He represents the voice of reason and logic, providing the narrator with the answers he seeks. However, his knowledge also comes with a warning about the dangers of seeking too much knowledge and the consequences of our actions.

Overall, The Tale of Jerusalem is a haunting and thought-provoking story that showcases Poe's talent as a writer and his ability to explore complex themes through his storytelling.


The Tale of Jerusalem can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the reader's perspective and worldview. Some may see the story as a cautionary tale against the dangers of arrogance and the pursuit of knowledge, while others may view it as a commentary on the relationship between humanity and the divine.

The story can also be seen as a reflection of Poe's own beliefs and philosophy. Poe was known for his fascination with the supernatural and the unknown, and his works often explored themes of death, decay, and the afterlife.

The character of Monsieur Maillard, who warns the narrator about the dangers of seeking too much knowledge, can be seen as a representation of Poe's own views on the limits of human understanding. Poe believed that there were certain things that were beyond the grasp of human knowledge and that our attempts to understand them could have disastrous consequences.

The Tower of Babel, which is referenced in the story, is also significant. The Tower of Babel is a biblical story about the arrogance of humanity and our attempts to reach heaven through our own efforts. The story is often seen as a warning against the dangers of hubris and the consequences of our actions.

The supernatural force that destroys the tower can also be interpreted in many different ways. Some may see it as a representation of God's punishment for the arrogance of humanity, while others may view it as a symbol of the unknown and the mysterious forces that govern the universe.

Overall, The Tale of Jerusalem is a complex and layered story that can be interpreted in many different ways. It is a work that continues to resonate with readers today, showcasing Poe's enduring legacy as a master of the Gothic horror genre.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Prose Tale of Jerusalem: An Enthralling Journey into the Depths of Human Psyche

Edgar Allan Poe, the master of the macabre, is known for his dark and twisted tales that explore the depths of human psyche. One such tale is the Prose Tale of Jerusalem, a haunting story that delves into the themes of guilt, redemption, and the power of the human mind.

The story begins with the narrator, a young man named Charles Goodfellow, who is haunted by the memory of his friend, Julius Rodman. Julius was a brilliant and adventurous young man who set out on a journey to explore the uncharted territories of the American West. However, he never returned, and his fate remains a mystery.

Charles is consumed by guilt over his friend's disappearance, as he was the one who convinced Julius to embark on the journey. He is tormented by the thought that he may have been responsible for Julius's death, and he cannot shake off the feeling of remorse that plagues him.

In an attempt to find closure, Charles sets out on a journey to retrace Julius's steps and uncover the truth about his friend's fate. He travels to the remote wilderness of the West, where he encounters a group of Native Americans who tell him a chilling tale about a white man who was captured by their tribe and sacrificed to their gods.

Charles is horrified by the thought that his friend may have suffered such a gruesome fate, and he becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. He spends months wandering through the wilderness, searching for any clues that may lead him to Julius's remains.

As he delves deeper into his quest, Charles begins to experience strange and unsettling visions. He sees Julius's face in his dreams, and he hears his voice calling out to him from the depths of the wilderness. He becomes convinced that his friend's spirit is trying to communicate with him, and he becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea of finding him.

The Prose Tale of Jerusalem is a masterful exploration of the human psyche, as it delves into the themes of guilt, obsession, and the power of the mind. Poe's vivid descriptions of the wilderness and the Native American culture create a haunting and atmospheric setting that draws the reader into the story.

The character of Charles Goodfellow is a complex and multi-layered one, as he struggles with his guilt and his obsession with finding Julius. His journey through the wilderness is a metaphor for his own journey into the depths of his psyche, as he confronts his inner demons and comes to terms with his past.

The story also explores the theme of redemption, as Charles seeks to atone for his perceived sins by finding Julius's remains and giving him a proper burial. His quest for redemption is a powerful one, as it shows the transformative power of guilt and the human desire for absolution.

The Prose Tale of Jerusalem is also notable for its use of symbolism, as Poe employs a number of motifs and images to convey the themes of the story. The wilderness, for example, represents the unknown and the subconscious, while the Native American culture represents the primitive and the mystical.

The character of Julius Rodman is also a symbol, as he represents the human desire for adventure and exploration. His fate is a cautionary tale about the dangers of pursuing one's dreams without considering the consequences.

In conclusion, the Prose Tale of Jerusalem is a haunting and atmospheric story that explores the depths of human psyche. Poe's vivid descriptions and powerful imagery create a sense of unease and foreboding that draws the reader into the story. The character of Charles Goodfellow is a complex and multi-layered one, as he struggles with his guilt and his obsession with finding Julius. The story's themes of guilt, redemption, and the power of the mind make it a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers to this day.

Editor Recommended Sites

Ontology Video: Ontology and taxonomy management. Skos tutorials and best practice for enterprise taxonomy clouds
Zerotrust Video: Zero Trust security video courses and video training
ML Ethics: Machine learning ethics: Guides on managing ML model bias, explanability for medical and insurance use cases, dangers of ML model bias in gender, orientation and dismorphia terms
Notebook Ops: Operations for machine learning and language model notebooks. Gitops, mlops, llmops
Database Migration - CDC resources for Oracle, Postgresql, MSQL, Bigquery, Redshift: Resources for migration of different SQL databases on-prem or multi cloud

Recommended Similar Analysis

Sonnet XXXIII by Elizabeth Barrett Browning analysis
Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay analysis
Sweet Skepticism of the Heart- by Emily Dickinson analysis
Earth's Answer by William Blake analysis
When Malindy Sings by Paul Laurence Dunbar analysis
I years had been from home, by Emily Dickinson analysis
On Anothers Sorrow by William Blake analysis
The Cow In Apple-Time by Robert Frost analysis
The Angel Of The Odd- An Extravaganza by Edgar Allen Poe analysis
Hyla Brook by Robert Frost analysis