Edgar Allan Poe — “Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — about 1825? — no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in the reprints in Southern Opinion and the No Name Magazine, below) — (Mabbott text A)



  • “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — about 1868 — transcript — (Mabbott text B)  (Mabbott notes this as “possibly existing, but now inaccessible.” This transcript was used for the printing in Southern Opinon.)
  • O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — March 7, 1868 — Southern Opinion — (Mabbott text C) (The text was provided by John R. Thompson.)
  • Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” — October 1889 — No Name Magazine — (Mabbott text D)  (This is Mabbott's copy-text) (This entry is an article by E. L. Didier. Although it claims to be the first printing, it is apparently based on the earlier printing in Southern Opinion, possibly from a transcript. There are minor differences in spelling, and this version accidentally omits two words.)
  • “Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” — October 13, 1889 — Buffalo Sunday Morning News (Buffalo, NY) — (reprinted from Didier's article in the No Name Magazine) (This entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie, in an e-mail dated February 5, 2017)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Oh Tempora! Oh Mores!” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, pp. 161-165  (reprinted from No Name Magazine) (Although Killis Campbell was aware of the poem, he did not include it in his collection of Poe's poetry, first published in 1917 and revised in 1925. Campbell does mention the poem in his article on the Poe Canon, reprinted in his book The Mind of Poe and Other Studies, p. 201 as one of several poems “ascribed to Poe on evidence that is more or less plausible, but that is not entirely convincing.”)
  • “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — 1922 — The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. A. Harrison and R. A. Stewart, New York: T. Y. Crowell (with an introduction by Charles W. Kent), pp. 130-133. By this time, Harrison and Kent were both deceased, and Stewart had displaced Kent as editor of this volume from the 1902 Virginia Edition, updated to what was then the most current state of Poe scholarship. This poem is added based on the authority of J. H. Whitty, reprinting the Didier article from No Name Magazine. The comment about Whitty appears on p. iv.)
  • “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — October 1945 — Jay B. Hubbell, “ ‘O, Tempora! O, Mores!’ A Juvenile Poem by Edgar Allan Poe,” Elizabethan Studies and Other Essays in Honor of George F. Reynolds, University of Colorado Studies, Series B, Studies in the Humanities, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 314-321. (reprints the full article from Southern Opinion)
  • “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (0p. 137-140, and pp. 294-296) (reprints the text from Southern Opinion, 1868, with variants noted)
  • Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:9-13) (uses the No Name Magazine text as the copytext, with variants noted)
  • “O, Tempora! O, Mores!” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 21-23) (reprints the text from Southern Opinion, 1868)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • None.



  • Campbell, Killis, “Introduction — II. The Canon of Poe's Poems,” The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Boston: Ginn and Co, 1917, pp. xxvii (especially footnote 3)
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Hubbell, Jay B., “ ‘O, Tempora! O, Mores!’ A Juvenile Poem by Edgar Allan Poe,” Elizabethan Studies and Other Essays in Honor of George F. Reynolds, University of Colorado Studies, Series B, Studies in the Humanities (Boulder, CO), vol. 2, no. 4, October 1945, pp. 314-321.
  • Kopley, Richard, “More on Poe's ‘Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!’,” Edgar Allan Poe Review vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2013, 14:250–251 (abstract of a talk ultimately presented at MLA in January 2014)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Oh, Tempora!, Oh, Mores!, Oh, Dider!,” Edgar Allan Poe Review, Spring 2013, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 110-112 (This article details the early print history of the poem, and establishes the version given by E. L. Didier in the No Name Magazine is, as was the printing in the Southern Opinion, derrived from John R. Thompson, and therefore not an independent verification of Poe's likely authorship.)


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