Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott (and E. A. Poe), “Eulalie,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 347-350 (This material is protected by copyright)


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­[page 347, continued:]

EULALIE

This is certainly not a major effort, and surely is hardly to be taken too seriously. Poems about girls with pretty names were the fashion, and what more should one ask of them than grace? Vincent Buranelli calls it “such stuff” and adds, “Poe simply had Wordsworth’s talent for writing heroically bad verse.”(1)   But on this occasion he had also Wordsworth’s virtue of close observation of nature. There is considerable originality in his use of the visibility by day of Venus, the planet of love. The poem does not seem to have been written for an album, but it is not impossible that it was composed to please Virginia Poe. It was on a manuscript of “Eulalie” that Poe wrote the touching fragment “Deep in Earth” after her death. And “Eulalie” seems to have some relation to “Ulalume,” which concerns (among other things) the planet Venus and the loss of Poe’s wife.

The inspiration of “Eulalie,” I believe, came from three items found together in the New Mirror of October 14, 1843 (2:20-21). Two of these were noticed by Ingram (Edgar Allan Poe, p. 226), but he presented his material so casually that its importance has been overlooked.

The first of these items is a story reprinted from The Gift for 1844 (apparently just out), called “Revenge of Leonard Rosier,” with a heroine named Eulalie, an uncommon name. Second, on the page facing the beginning of the story, is a poem by Albert Pike, called “Isadore” (reprinted without credit from the Magnolia for February 1843), including the lines:

When first thy love for me was told and thou didst to me cling,

Thy sweet eyes radiant through their tears, pressing thy lips to mine

In that old arbour, dear, beneath the overarching vine —

Thou art lost to me forever, Isadore!

The moonlight struggled through the vines, and fell upon thy face, ­[page 348:]

Which thou didst lovingly upturn with pure and trustful gaze . . .

The southern breezes murmured through the dark cloud of thy hair . . .

Third, is a note initialed by N. P. Willis prefacing Pike’s poem: “Here is an imagination — we are happy to say only an imagination for he has an admirable wife, living and well . . . These lines were written after . . . the thought of losing her . . . suddenly crossed his mind in the stillness of the midnight.”

Poe seems to have taken up a challenge (as he did in his stories “Berenicë,” “Descent into the Maelström,” and “William Wilson”) and to have written a poem about a marriage with a wife alive and happy.

The poem was composed probably before Poe left Philadelphia early in 1844. His closest friend there at the time, Henry B. Hirst, owned a manuscript in a state earlier than the first printed version, and there is other evidence that he knew of the poem before it was published. Although the name Eulalie was decidedly unusual in America and England before the appearance of Poe’s poem in print about July 1, 1845, Hirst has a poem called “Eulalie Vere” — a doubly Poesque title — in his volume The Coming of the Mammoth, which was published in time for a presentation copy from the author to Poe to be inscribed “June 1845.” Poe’s review of the book was in the Broadway Journal of July 12. An earlier version of Hirst’s poem had been published in Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion for June 1843, but its title was then “Elenor Long.”

 

TEXTS

(A) Manuscript (1844), once belonging to Henry B. Hirst; (B) American Review, July 1845 (2:79); (C) Broadway Journal, August 9, 1845 (2:65); (D) manuscript (about 1845), facsimiled in the Yale List (1959), number 50; (E) The Raven and Other Poems (1845), p. 24; (F) manuscript (1846) facsimiled in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, December 1914 (18:1462); (G) J. Lorimer Graham copy of The Raven . . . with one change (from “vapour”) in spelling (1849); (H) Works (1850), II, 44; (Y) doubted manuscript in a letter in the Lilly Collection at Indiana University; (Z) manuscript in the Koester Collection at the University of Texas, probably identical with A.

The text followed is the manuscript (F) in the New York Public Library since 1892 from the collection of Robert L. Stuart. The first manuscript (A) was listed as lot 563 in the sale of Hirst’s papers at the Anderson Gallery, May 11, 1921; I noted the variants in the auction room at that time. The ­[page 349:] manuscript at Yale (D) is in the Aldis Collection. The doubted manuscript (Y) is in a letter “to Robert Carter,” dated “February 16, 1843,” offering it for publication in The Pioneer. If it is a forgery it is a skillful one, but the language of the letter is horribly inflated (even for Poe!), and would show that Poe had difficulty in selling this uncontroversial poem. The text is very much like the genuine early manuscript (A) — especially in the cancellations in lines 4, 20, and 21. Observe also the extraordinary non-classical form “Astart” for “Astarte” in Y.

 


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VARIANTS

Title:  Eulalie — A Song (B, C, D, E)

4  blushing / first written smil (A, Z)

6  Ah, less / And ah (A, Y, Z)

10  That the vapor / Their lustre (A, Z) ­[page 350:]

11  With the moon-tints of purple / Of the vapor and gold (A, Y, Z); With the morn-tints of purple (B)

12  modest / sweet young (A, Y, Z); unregarded / humble and careless (Y)

13  humble / vagrant (Y)

17  And / While (B, C, D)

19  Astarté / first written The Moon and changed to Astart (Y); within the / in the purple (Y)

20, 21  While / And (B, C, D); to her / to it (A, Z); first written to it but changed to to her (Y)

 


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NOTES

Title:  The name Eulalie seems to be a “bright variant” of Ulalume.

5  Both Mrs. Albert Pike and Virginia Poe were brunettes, like Isadore, but unlike Eulalie.

16  In his unfinished satire on himself, “A Reviewer Reviewed,” Poe about 1849 pointed out the parallel in Thomas Moore’s “Last Rose of Summer”:

No flower of her kindred,

No rosebud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes

And give sigh for sigh.

19  Astartë is the Phoenician goddess sometimes identified with the moon and sometimes with the planet Venus. Poe had read a good deal about her, and alludes in “Ulalume” and the tale “Ligeia” to some of her less favorable aspects. Here he refers to her only as the benign patroness of love, the planet Venus. In “To Helen [Whitman],” line 66: “Venuses, unextinguished by the sun,” Poe again refers to the planet as visible in the daytime. This phenomenon is far more common than is usually supposed; Venus is often visible to the naked eye on a clear day, if one knows where to look, and I assume that Poe (like me) had seen it for himself.

20  See the introductory note for a parallel in Pike’s “Isadore.”

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 347:]

1  Edgar Allan Poe (1959), p. 105. Wilbur, Poe (1959), p. 145, based a cryptic interpretation on the readings of a manuscript of doubtful authenticity.

 


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Notes:

TOM does not trust the manuscript sent to R. Carter on Feb. 6, 1843, but his only reason for doing so appears to be that early date would contradict TOM’s suggested sources of Oct. 14, 1843. This letter was accepted by J. W. Ostrom in his 1948 edition of Poe’s letters, and is retained in the revised edition of 2008 (1:380), where the editors specifically address concerns about authenticity, mostly relying on internal evidence, and render a judgement of probably genuine. If the letter is authentic, then the manuscript that accompanies it must also be authentic. The “Carter” manuscript does closely follow the accepted “Hirst manuscript” rather than the more widely known versions printed in B or E.

In his own copy TOM’s edition of the Poems, Burton R. Pollin adds a note in regard to the title of the poem. At the bottom of p. 350, in the margin next to the title note, BRP writes “No!” and adds at the bottom of the page the following details: “* No! From a form of Eulalia (fair speach) & cf. Eulalia, martyed under Diocletian on Feb. 12.” Here, BRP refers to St. Eulalia of Barcelona, marytred on February 12, 303.

Errata:

page 348: Maelström / Maelstrom [This correction is noted by Burton R. Pollin in his own copy of TOM’s edition of the Poems]

TOM saw the manuscript at the Anderson auction of May 11, 1921, where it was sold from the library of a descendant of H. B. Hirst. Two letters from Poe to Hirst from the same auction are now in the Huntington Library, but the manuscript of “Eulalie” was purchased by William Randolph Hearst. When Hearst ran into severe financial difficulties in the 1930s, he was forced to sell much of his collection. The manuscript was lot 245 at the Hearst sale at Parke-Bernet Galleries (NY), Nov. 16-17, 1938, which is where Koester acquired it. Thus, manuscript Z may confidently be combined with A. [JAS]


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[S:0 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Eulalie)