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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "To ---- [Violet Vane]," Broadway Journal, May 24, 1845.]

          TO ----

I would not lord it o'er thy heart,
    Alas! I cannot rule my own,
Nor would I rob one loyal thought,
    From him who there should reign alone;
We both have found a life-long love;
    Wherein our weary souls may rest,
Yet may we not, my gentle friend
    Be each to each the second best?

A love which shall be passion-free,
    Fondness as pure as it is sweet,
A bond where all the dearest ties
    Of brother, friend and cousin meet, --
Such is the union I would frame,
    That thus we might be doubly blest,
With Love to rule our hearts supreme
    And friendship to be second best.


[This poem was first attributed to Poe by Professor James B. Reece about 1960. Thomas Ollive Mabbott accepted the attribution, with an explanation, in his Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume I: Poems, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969, pp. 380-382. There, Mabbott identifies "Violet Vane" as a pen-name for Frances S. Osgood.]
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