Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott (and E. A. Poe), “To Octavia,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 16-17 (This material is protected by copyright)


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­[page 16, continued:]

TO OCTAVIA

This original poem, unsigned, is written in Edgar Poe’s hand in the album of Octavia Walton, to whom it is addressed. She was the daughter of George Walton, Secretary of West Florida under Governor William P. Duval. Her grandfather was Governor George Walton of Georgia, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. After her marriage to M. LeVert they built Château LeVert, near Augusta, where she was a celebrated hostess. The date of the poem, “May the 1st, 1827,” is in Octavia’s hand.

The poem has always been known as Edgar Poe’s. He also wrote in the album eight lines (in quotation marks) from the first chapter of Voltaire’s Princesse de Babylone. The principal evidence for Poe’s visit to Baltimore has been cited in the discussion of “To Margaret” above. Octavia Walton’s visit to Baltimore is argued by the fact that her path can hardly have crossed Poe’s anywhere else. The similarity of their social backgrounds certainly suggests that Miss Bassett and Miss Walton would have met.

The album was obtained by the late August William Dellquest from the administrator of the estate of Colonel D. B. Dyer, who, in 1868, bought Château LeVert after Mme. LeVert’s death. Her grandson, George Walton Reab, authenticated the contents of the album. The history is complete, for the album was inherited by Mr. Dellquest’s son, Augustus Wilfred Dellquest, now of Los Angeles. Through his courtesy, in 1941 I was able to print the ­[page 17:] text of the poem from a copy, in the introduction of my facsimile reprint of Tamerlane and Other Poems, at page xiv. The title is mine. Mr. Dellquest showed me the actual album at my home in the summer of 1953. It is now at Columbia University.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (To Octavia)