Text: Thomas Skinner Surr (ed. Killis Campbell), “Lines to Louisa,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Ginn and Company, 1917, p. 139


[page 139:]


Flow softly — gently — vital stream;

Ye crimson life-drops, stay;

Indulge me with this pleasing dream

Thro’ an eternal day.


See — see — my soul, her agony!

See how her eye-balls glare!

Those shrieks, delightful harmony,

Proclaim her deep despair.

Rise — rise — infernal spirits, rise,


Swift dart across her brain

Thou Horror, with blood-chilling cries,

Lead on thy hidious train.

O, feast my soul, revenge is sweet,

Louisa, take my scorn, —


Curs’d was the hour that saw us meet,

The hour when we were born.




Although a manuscript for this poem exists in Poe’s hand, it is a copy he made of a poem by Thomas Skinner Surr, from his 1789 novel, George Barnwell. J. H. Whitty had previously printed the poem from the manuscript, with the title “The Vital Stream,” and Hervey Allen included a photograph of the manuscript in his 1926 biography of Poe. The attribution was corrected by Sylvia Townsend Warner in the New Statesman, November 17, 1934.



[S:0 - KCP, 1917] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Lines to Louisa (ed. K. Campbell, 1917)