Text: Charles W. Kent (notes) Robert A. Stewart (variants) (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Notes to A Valentine,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VII: Poems (1902), pp. 216-217


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[page 216, continued:]

A VALENTINE.

Page 115.

FLAG OF OUR UNION, 1849; SARTAINS UNION MAGAZINE, MARCH, 1849.

Text, Union Magazine.

EDITORS NOTE.

This puzzle in verse contains the name Frances Sargent Osgood which is deciphered by taking the first letter of the first line, second letter of second line, etc.; Cf. “An Enigma” and “A Few Words on Secret Writing,” “The Gold-Bug,” etc.

[page 217:]

TO ———.

[From the Griswold MS.]

FOR her these lines are penned, whose luminous eyes, |

Bright and expressive as the stars of Leda, |

Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling, lies |

Upon this page, enwrapped from every reader. |

Search narrowly these words, which hold a treasure |

Divine — a talisman — an amulet |

That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure — |

The words — the letters themselves. Do not forget |

The smallest point, or you may lose your abor. |

And yet there is in this no Gordian knot |

Which one might not undo without a sabre |

If one could merely comprehend the plot. |

Upon the open page on which are peering |

Such sweet eyes now, there lies, I say, perdu |

A musical name oft uttered in the hearing |

Of poets, by poets — for the name is a poet’s too.

In common sequence set, the letters lying,

Compose a sound delighting all to hear —

Ah, this you’d have no trouble in descrying

Were you not something of a dunce, my dear: — |

And now I leave these riddles to their Seer.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 46.

(raised ornamented edge all round sheet, and bouquet of flowers left-hand upper corner.)

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Notes to A Valentine)