Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” (Text-06a), undated “Thompson” manuscript, September 1849


Annabel Lee.

By Edgar A. Poe.

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee; —

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

She was a child and I was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love that was more than love —

I and my Annabel Lee —

With a love that the wingéd seraphs of Heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud by night

Chilling my Annabel Lee;

So that her high-born kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up, in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,

Went envying her and me: —

Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling

And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in Heaven above

Nor the demons down under the sea

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride

In her sepulchre there by the sea —

In her tomb by the side of the sea.



This manuscript of the poem belonged to John Ruben Thompson, who published it in the Southern Literary Messenger for November of 1849 as part of an article on “The Late Edgar Allan Poe.” The manuscript was reproduced in facsimile by George E. Woodberry in The Life of Edgar Allan Poe: Personal and Literary, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1909, II, between pages 352 and 353. The manuscript is now part of the collection of the Butler Library of Columbia University, in New York. The final stanza of the manuscript is reproduced in facsimile in R. H. Stoddard’s article on “Edgar Allan Poe” from Harper’s Monthly Magazine, September 1872, 268:562. (Stoddard was Thompson’s literary executor, with full access to his papers.)

According to a letter written by Bashford Dean (1867-1928) to the New York Times, dated Jan. 17, 1909 and published on January 18, 1909, the manuscript was inherited from Thompson by a second cousin, Mr. Isaac Michael Dyckman (1813-1899), and loaned by his widow, Mrs. Frances Blackwell Brown Dyckman (1832-1914) to Columbia University. Mrs. Bashford Dean was Mary Alice Dyckman (1869-1950), one of two daughters of Isaac and Frances Dyckman. Dean is in error, however, in describing the way that Dyckman obtained the manuscript, for there appears to be no documented relationship between the two families. Instead, it is known that Dyckman purchased the manuscript at an auction of books and autographs from the library of John R. Thompson, sold by Bangs, Merwin & Co. in New York on June 20, 1873. The manuscript was tipped in an 1858 illustrated edition of Poe’s poems, published by J. S. Redfield. Along with the lot, for which Dyckman paid $180, was a letter from Poe to Thompson of December 7, 1848 (see New York Evening Post, June 21, 1873, p. 2, middle of col. 3). After Mrs. Dyckman’s death, the manuscripts were owned by her daughter, Fanny Fredericka Dyckman (1871-1951) (Mrs. Alexander McMillan Welch), who left them to Columbia University about 1951.


[S:1 - MS, 1849] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Annabel Lee (Text-06a)