El Dorado - The Gilded One


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The literal definition of El Dorado is "The Gilded One," but the meaning of the phrase lies elsewhere.

El Dorado was a legendary king of the legendary kingdom of Manoa, a fabulously wealthy city located by the Amazon river . . . somewhere.

The Readers Encyclopedia describes him thusly,
". . . covered with oil and then powdered with gold dust. This operation had been performed so many times that he was permanently, and literally, gilded. Many expeditions, from both Spain and England (two of which were led by Sir Walter Raleigh), tried to discover El Dorado, and the name was later transferred to his supposed territory."

"Hence, the term refers to any place or realm of fabulous richness."
William Rose Benet

El Dorado
Edgar Allen Poe

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old --
This knight so bold --
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow --
"Shadow," said he --
"Where can it be --
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied, --
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

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