Text: rejected, “[Lines on Ale],” formerly attributed to Poe, as written about July 10, 1848


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[[Lines on Ale]]

Fill with mingled cream and amber,

I will drain that glass again.

Such hilarious visions clamber

Through the chamber of my brain —

Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies

Come to life and fade away;

What care I how time advances?

I am drinking ale today.


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Notes:

This poem was attributed to Poe by Thomas Ollive Mabbott in 1939, and again in 1969. The original manuscript supposedly hung on the wall of the Washington Tavern in Lowell, Massachusetts for many years. It was apparently last seen around 1892. It was recalled from memory by a former bartender there about 1939. Although of questionable origin, the attribution had some merit and for decades was not seriously opposed.

It was suggested that alternate versions of some lines of the poem might have read as follows:

Filled with mingled cream and amber,

I will fill that glass again

[. . . .]

Faintest thoughts — queerest fancies

[. . . .]

The poem may now be safely rejected, however, following discoveries made by Michael Patrick Hearn, and sent to the Poe Society of Baltimore on March 28, 2013 by Herb Moskovitz. The lines are identified as

“. . . really no more than a poor recollection of the first verse of ‘Drinking Wine’ in George Arnold’s Poems Grave and Gay (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867, pp. 83-84):

Pour the mingled cream and amber!

Let me drain the bowl again!

Such hilarious visions clamber

Through the chambers of my brain.

Quaintest jests and queerest fancies

Spring to life and fade away:

What care I how time advances?

I am drinking wine to-day.

See also ‘The Lounger,’ The College Courant, December 24, 1870, p. 389; and A. L. Rawson, ‘A Bygone Bohemia,’ Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, January 1896, p. 96.”

 

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[S:1 - recalled, 1848 (1939)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Rejected - Lines on Ale