Text: Charles W. Kent (notes) Robert A. Stewart (variants) (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Notes to Annabel Lee,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VII: Poems (1902), pp. 218-221


[page 218, continued:]


Page 117.


Text, New York Tribune.

NOTE. — In the article in the Tribune in which the poem is inserted, it is stated that the MS. was given the author by Poe “just before he left New York recently.” — John R. Thompson makes the same statement as to himself in the Southern Literary Messenger.

Variations of the Home Journal from the text.

I. 2. sea (sea,) IV. 1 angels, (o. c).

Stanzas in quotation marks in Home Journal.

The poem is introduced in Sartain’s by the following note: — [page 219:]

“In the December number of our Magazine we announced that we had another poem of Mr. Poe’s in hand, which we would publish in January. We supposed it to be his last, as we had received it from him a short time before his decease. The sheet containing our announcement was scarcely dry from the press, before we saw the poem, which we had bought and paid for, going the rounds of the newspaper press, into which it had found its way through some agency that will perhaps be hereafter explained. It appeared first, we believe, in the N. Y. Tribune. If we are not misinformed, two other Magazines are in the same predicament as ourselves. As the poem is one highly characteristic of the gifted and lamented author, and more particularly, as our copy of it differs in several places from that which has been already published, we have concluded to give it as already announced.”

Variations of Sartain” s from the text.

I. 2 sea (sea,) II. 2 I ... she (She ... I) 2 sea (;) III. 5 kinsmen (kinsman) IV. Yes! — (!) V. 7 Lee: (.) VI. 1 beams, (p. c.) 3 rise, (o. c.) 5 so, (o. c.) 6 — my (,) 6 darling — (,) 6 life (life,) 4 Lee: (;).


This love lyric of beautiful movement celebrates the love of a youth and maiden separated by the death of the maiden. But not death or any other power could sever her from his love. Can this refer to aught save his love for Virginia? Mrs. Whitman thought it referred to herself. Mrs. S. A. Weiss informed Professor Harrison that Poe showed her the poem in 1849, and said it was composed years before his wife’s death and had no reference to her. [page 220:]


By Edgar A. Poe.

[From the Griswold MS.]

IT was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee ; —

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me,

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love

I and my Annabel Lee —

With a love that the winged seraphs in Heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her high-born kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre,

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,

Went envying her and me —

Yes! — that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. [page 221:]

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in Heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,

In her sepulchre there by the sea —

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

[Written on 3 pieces of ruled f. c. paper pasted in one long broad page and enclosed in an outer page of the same bluish white ruled foolscap, in a long oblong shape, old-fashioned envelope style, addressed



No, 7. — University,

New York City.”

[Gray seal.]   C. P.]





[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Notes to Annabel Lee)