Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “A Paean” (Comparative Text - POEMS and SLM)


Texts Represented:


Title: A PÆAN.

Rule: {{1831-01: ———— }}

Stanza: {{1831-01: I. }}

Line-01-001: How shall the burial rite be read?

Line-01-002: [[indented]] The solemn song be sung?

Line-01-003: The requiem for the loveliest dead,

Line-01-004: [[indented]] That ever died so young?

Stanza: {{1831-01: II. }}

Line-01-005: Her friends are gazing on her,

Line-01-006: [[indented]] And on her gaudy bier,

Line-01-007: And weep! — oh! to dishonor

Line-01-008: [[indented]] {{1831-01: Dead //1836-02: Her }} beauty with a tear!

Stanza: {{1831-01: III. }}

Line-01-009: They loved her for her wealth —

Line-01-010: [[indented]] And they hated her for her pride —

Line-01-011: But she grew in feeble health,

Line-01-012: [[indented]] And they love her — that she died.

Stanza: {{1831-01: IV. }}

Line-01-013: They tell me (while they speak

Line-01-014: [[indented]] Of her “costly broider’d pall”)

Line-01-015: That my voice is growing weak —

Line-01-016: [[indented]] That I should not sing at all —

Stanza: {{1831-01: V. }}

Line-01-017: Or that my tone should be

Line-01-018: [[indented]] Tun’d to such solemn song

Line-01-019: So mournfully — so mournfully,

Line-01-020: [[indented]] That the dead may feel no wrong.

Stanza: {{1831-01: VI. }}

Line-01-021: But she is gone above,

Line-01-022: [[indented]] With young Hope at her side,

Line-01-023: And I am drunk with love

Line-01-024: [[indented]] Of the dead, who is my bride. {{1831-01:}}

Stanza: {{1831-01: VII. }}

Line-01-025: Of the dead — dead {{1836-02:}} who lies

Line-01-026: [[indented]] All {{1831-01: perfum’d there // 1836-02: motionless }} ,

Line-01-027: With the death upon her eyes,

Line-01-028: [[indented]] And the life upon {{1831-01: her hair // 1836-02: each tress }} .

Stanza: {{1831-01: VIII. }}


Line-01-029: Thus on the coffin loud and long

Line-01-030: [[indented]] I strike — the murmur sent

Line-01-031: Through the grey chambers to my song,

Line-01-032: [[indented]] Shall be the accompaniment.

//1836-02: [[These lines entirely omitted]] }}

Stanza: {{1831-01: IX. }}

Line-01-033: {{1831-01: Thou died'st in thy life's June — //1836-02: In June she died — in June }}

Line-01-034: [[indented]] {{1831-01: But thou did'st not die too fair: //1836-02: Of life — beloved, and fair; }}

Line-01-035: {{1831-01: Thou did'st //1836-02: But she did }} not die too soon,

Line-01-036: [[indented]] Nor with too calm an air.

Stanza: {{1831-01: X. }}

Line-01-037: From more than fiends on earth,

Line-01-038: [[indented]] {{1831-01: Thy life and love are // 1836-02: Helen, thy soul is }} riven,

Line-01-039: To join the {{1831-01: untainted //1836-02: all-hallowed }} mirth

Line-01-040: [[indented]] Of more than thrones in heaven —

Stanza: {{1831-01: XII. [[XI.]] }}

Line-01-041: Therefore, to thee this night

Line-01-042: [[indented]] I will no requiem raise,

Line-01-043: But waft thee on thy flight,

Line-01-044: [[indented]] With a Pæan of old days.




For an explanation of the formatting used in this Comparative Text, see editorial policies and methods. This format is very much an experiment, particularly for poetry.

Because these changes reflect two different printed texts, pagination has been omitted in the present text.

In the 1831 Poems this poem is one of only three that carry numbering for the stanzas, the other two being “Israfel” and “Tamerlane,” all using Roman numerals. (Of these two, only “Tamerlane” was printed in the 1827 volume, where it also carries stanza numbers, along with “Imitation,” the former poem using Roman numerals and the latter Arabic numerals. In the 1829 Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, all of the poems with multiple stanzas, other than “Al Aaraaf,” carry stanza numbers, using Arabic numerals.) In the Southern Literary Messenger, the stanzas are no longer numbered. In general, after 1829, Poe moved away from the practice of numbering stanzas, a formal matter that may have seemed increasingly ostentatious and old-fashioned. Reprinting “Israfel,” like “A Pæan” in the Southern Literary Messenger, the numbering was also dropped. When “Tamerlane” was reprinted in the 1829 Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems and 1831 POEMS, stanzas were still numbered.


[S:0 - comparative] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - A Paean (Comparative Text - Poems and SLM)