Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Joseph B. Boyd — December 25, 1839 (LTR-089)


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Philadelphia,
Dec 25th 1839

Dr Sir,

I have only to urge a world of pressing engagements as an excuse for not sooner attending to your very flattering request of November the fifteenth. It will now give me great pleasure to copy, as you desire, one of my own poems — selecting a Sonnet for brevity’s sake.

Silence — A Sonnet. 

There are some qualities — some incorporate things —
    That have a double life — life aptly made
The type of that twin entity which springs
    From matter and light — evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —
    Body and soul. One dwells in desert places
    Newly with grass oergrown. Some solemn graces,
Some human memories (a tearful lore)
Render him terrorless — his name’s “No More”.

He is the corporate Silence — dread him not.
    No power hath he of evil in himself.
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
    Bring thee to meet his shadow — (nameless elf,
Who haunteth the dim regions where hath trod
No foot of man) — commend thyself to God!

With every sentiment of respect,

I am
Yr Obt St
Edgar A Poe.

To
Joseph B. Boyd, Esquire
Cincinnati,
Ohio.


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Notes:

Facsimile of MS, Am. Art Sale, Apr. 20-21, 1921.


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[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. B. Boyd (LTR089/RCL227)