Edgar Allan Poe — “Lines on Joe Locke”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Lines on Joe Locke” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1830-1831
    • Text-01a — “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — mid-1830-early 1831 — [There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition. Poe was at West Point as a cadet from about May 21, 1830 until February 18, 1831, when he was released from the academy following his court-martial. The short and purely light nature of this poem might allow for a rare example of a poem that never had a written form as a manuscript. It is certainly possible that Poe composed the poem purely in his head, and recited it from memory. If this supposition is true, each recitation might have had some minor differences, although the nature of meter and rhyme can help to fix the form of a poem.]
    • Text-01b — “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — November 1867 — second stanza only, Harper's Monthly (vol. 35, p. 754) — (Mabbott text C) — [Although published much later, this recalled version was presumably based on the earlier text. It must be admitted, of course, that differences may be as much attributable to faulty memory as to changes Poe actually made before publishing the lines in Text-02.]
  • Text-02 — “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — February 28 and March 4, 1843 — Saturday Museum — (Mabbott text A) — [The lines are quoted as part of an article about Poe, attributed to H. B. Hirst. Poe sent two copies of this article to J. R. Lowell, one on October 19, 1843 and a second on May 28, 1844. In both cases, he appears to have done so for the purpose of providing Lowell with some biographical material to use for his article on Poe for Graham's Magazine. There is no indication that any of the poems in these copies had modifications made by Poe.]



  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — July 29, 1843 — Baltimore Saturday Visiter (quoted from the Saturday Museum, in an article adapted from the March 4, 1843 printing [Text-02b].)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — October 20, 1849 — M‘Makin's Model American Courier (formerly called the Saturday Courier)  (quoted as part of an article about Poe by H. B. Hirst.) — (Mabbott text B)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — October 23, 1867 — Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY), vol. 27, no. 252, p. 4, col. 2 (second stanza only, reprinted from Harper's)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1876 — Laurel Leaves (p. 368)  (from an article by William F. Gill)  (reprinted from Saturday Museum)
  • “Epigram on Joseph Locke, Instructor of Tactics” — 1878 — West Point Tic Tacs: A Collection of Military Verse, New York: Homer Lee & Co., p. 72 (second stanza only, noted as “by Cadet Edgar Allan Poe,” and presumably reprinted from Harper's)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1878 — Life of Poe (p. 53)  (biography by William F. Gill)  (reprinted from Saturday Museum)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1880 — Edgar Allan Poe: His Life, Letters and Opinions (p. 84)  (reprinted as part of a long quotation from the article in Harper's Magazine)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — October 27, 1885 — Galveston Daily News (Galveston, TX), vol. XLIV, no. 186, p. 5, col. 5 (second stanza only, reprinted from Tic Tacs of 1878, as a quotation in an article about hazing at West Point, originally from the New York Sun.)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — June 2, 1895 — Chicago Sunday Tribune (Chicago, IL), vol. LIV, no. 153, p. 47, col. 7 (second stanza only, reprinted from Harper's, as a quotation in an article about “Edgar Allan Poe, Cadet.”)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — October 8, 1899 — Sunday Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL), vol. XXVIII, no. 198, p. 1, col. 4 (second stanza only, reprinted in a fairly generic article on “Poe's Life and Death, Semi-Centennial of the Gifted Poet's Demise; His Pathetic Career; Brief Experience as a Cadet at West Point.”)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1902 — James A. Harrison, “Biography,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. I, New York: T. Y. Crowell (1:87) (reprinted from Text-03, thus only the second stanza)
  • “[[Lines on Joe Locke]]” — 1909 — George E. Woodberry, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. I, New York: T. Y. Crowell (1:373) (reprinted as a selection from the Saturady Museum article)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — May 20, 1917 — “Unpublished Poems of Edgar Allan Poe’,” New York Times Book Reviews (p. 199) (reprinted in a review of the new edition by Whitty)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — March 6, 1923 — Brazil Daily Times (Brazil, IL), vol. XXXIV, no. 72, p. 1, col. 4 (second stanza only, reprinted in a fairly generic article by Edward B. Clark on “Edgar Allan Poe Twice in Service,” mostly taken from the Gibson article in Harper's)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1926 — Mary E. Phillips, Edgar Allan Poe: The Man, Chicago: J. C. Winston (1:370) (reprinted, based on the context, from Text-02b)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — 1926 — Hervey Allen, Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: G. H. Doran Co. (1:282)
  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — April 1959 — Col. Richard Gimbel, “Quoth the Raven: An Exhibition of the Works of Edgar Allan Poe,” Yale University Library Gazette, vol. 33, no. 4 (printed in the description to 16)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Lines To Joe Locke” — 1917 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co (p. 153, and p. 322)  (This poem was added to the second edition, and does not appear in the first edition of 1911. The preface of the second edition is dated March 1, 1917, and it was reviewed in May of that year.)
  • A West Point Lampoon” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (p. 139, and p. 299, although in the first issue of this edition the poem appears on p. 138. This edition was copyrighted in August and September 1917.)
  • “A West Point Lampoon” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (p. 141, and pp. 296-297)
  • Lines on Joe Locke” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:150-151)
  • “Lines on Joe Locke” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (p. 62) (reprints Text-02b, with the title assigned by Whitty, 1917)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • “[Lines on Joe Locke]” — Comparative Text (Saturday Museum, February 1843 and Saturday Museum, March 1843)


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • None.



  • 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.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Lines on Joe Locke