Text: Thomas H. Chivers to Edgar Allan Poe — July 12, 1842


New York, July 12th, 1842.

My Dear Sir , — It gives me infinite pleasure, at any time, to receive a letter from you. I am now on my way to the South, and had not time toanswer your letter from Middletown, as I received it only a few moments before I started. My brother has written me a letter informing me that the division of my father’s estate will take place on the first of August, and I must hasten to my plantation to receive my portion. I should have answered yours sooner than this, but I have been so much engaged I could not.

I receive, with grateful pleasure, your polite remarks in regard to the autograph article. I had always spoken so highly of your talents as a poet, and the best critic in this Country, that, when my friends saw it, believing you were what I represented you to be, they came almost to the conclusion that they were not only mistaken, but that I was a bad writer, and a fit subject for the Insane Hospital.

I am very much pleased to find that you are pleased with the pieces which I sent you — although I can assure you I have pieces ten times as good as the best of them. I have had mighty dreams id my life. The embers of enthusiasm are still glowing with a quenchless heat in the centre of my heart. Music and poetry are my chief delights. Poetry, I consider the perfection of literature. Without it, the lips of the soul are dumb. It is the beautiful expression of that which is most true. It is the melodious expression of the unsatisfied desires of the heart panting after perfection. 1 will tell you more about what I think of it some of these days, as I have a prose article on the genius of Shelley, in which I attempt to describe it. If the Editor of “Graham’s Magazine “ likes the “Invocation to Spring” you may hand it to him, if you think proper. In regard to the “Penn Magazine,” all I can say at present is, that I will do all I can to aid you in the procurement of subscribers for it. I would take great delight in becoming the associate of a man whom I am proud to recognize as my friend, and whose superior talents I can never cease to admire.

I do not know how long I shall remain at the South; but, long or short, I will do all I can to benefit you. When I return, I will write a more perspicuous letter to you, as my head is now in such great pain from fatigue that I cannot think.

I have a poem entitled “The Mighty Dead,” with one or two Dramas, which I will submit to you for perusal before long. I hope you will excuse the manner in which this letter is written, as the pen is a very bad one. I shall ever take great pride in acknowledging you the noblest of all my friends. May all your days be forever brightened by the sunshine of prosperity; and if there should ever come over you a cloud, may it overshadow you like the wing of an Angel, which, when it has departed, lets down from heaven a tenfold radiance to light you round about.

Yours, very truly,
Thos. H. Chivers

E. A. Poe, Esqr.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - T. H. Chivers to Poe (RCL381)