Text: John Tomlin to Edgar Allan Poe — December 12, 1841


Jackson, Tennessee
Decr 12th 1841.

Dear Sir,

The lines on the first page were received by me a few days since anonomously [[sic]] — with the request that I should have them published.

You will not Mr. Poe for one moment believe that it was my vanity that caused the producing of the Eulogy — nor will you believe that your warm-hearted friend, with all of his Southern chivalry, can, or will ever act in derogation of the high name of man.

Ever faithfully yours,
Jno Tomlin

Edgar A. Poe Esq.

For Graham’s Magazine

To John Tomlin Esq.


Composed on reading his “Theodoric of the Amali” published in the May and June Nos. Of the “Gentleman’s Magazine” for 1840.


As a bright swan floats on a crystal river,

— So down the silver current of thy style,

Thy story glides, — and like a “joy forever”,

— Wins its glad way: charming us the while

To hear the mad thunders of the Hippodrome,

— With frantic homage greet the harlot’s charms,

Anon to see the majestic head of Rome

— Bowed to the Earth before the Gothic arms. —

To Thee! whose theme now plays with maiden’s hair,

— Now pictures warrior’s in their dread array,

With equal grace and glowing colours rare, —

— This homely tribute of rough verse I pay!

— But let not scenes like these engross thy pen;

— For broader plans and loftier themes I ask

Than the base manners of degenerate men —

— Oh! suit thy genius with a nobler task!

Declare the story of Virginia’s woes,

— How young Valeria played a Roman part,

Or how the virtuous servant girl arose

— And shared proud Peter’s throne, and reigned o’er all his heart.

T. E —— .

December 1841





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - J. Tomlin to Poe (RCL353)