Edgar Allan Poe — “Spiritual Song”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Spiritual Song” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Spiritual Song” — 1836 — “Whitty” manuscript — (Mabbott text A — This is Mabbott's copy-text) — [This poem is so short that no draft manuscripts are presumed. The manuscript, housed in a lovely dark-red leather folder that allows both sides of the page to be seen, was sold at auction on January 13, 2010 by RR Auction of Amherst, NH.]



  • Spiritual Song — June 1911 — The Bookman: A Magazine of Literature and Life (New York, NY), vol. XXXIII, no. 4, p. 440 (quoted in a review of Whitty's edition of the poems)
  • Spiritual Song — February 19, 1912 — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), p. 4 (Although recognizing the value of the edition overall, the reviewer comments rather severely that the attention Whitty has dedicated “to treasure the least literary gem that has come from the pen of a poet ... verges upon the ridiculous,” citing this fragment as an example. “Now this gem consists of exactly three lines, with neither rhyme nor reason to them. ... While we feel very sorry for the arch angels who had nothing else to wrap themselves in, the ‘poem’ excites no other feelings in anybody's heart, except perhaps to wonder why Poe, who paid so much attention to the philosophy of point, should put a eoruma after the first ‘Hark’ and a semicolon after the second. Probably Prof. Woodberry can explain.”


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Spiritual Song” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co (p. 139, and pp. 283-284) (It is interesting to note that the poem was not included by Killis Campbell in his 1917 collection of Poe's poems, nor by Floyd Stovall in his 1965 edition)
  • Spiritual Song” — 1969 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. I: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:303-304)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


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 - Spiritual Song