Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah H. Whitman — November 26, 1848 (LTR-291)


Sunday Evening. 26

I wrote you yesterday, sweet Helen, but, through fear of being too late for the mail, omitted some things I wished to say. I fear, too, that my letter must have seemed cold — perhaps even harsh or selfish — for I spoke nearly altogether of my own griefs. Pardon me, my Helen, if not for the love I bear you, at least for the sorrows I have endured — more, I believe, than have often fallen to the lot of man. How much have they been aggravated by my consciousness that, in too many instances, they have arisen from my own culpable weakness or childish folly! — My sole hope, now, is in you, Helen. As you are true to me or fail me, so do I live or die.

I forgot to reenclose your poem & do so now. Why have you omitted the two forcible lines —

While in its depths withdrawn, far, far away,

I see the dawn of a diviner day?

— is that dawn no longer perceptible? “Who wrote the verses signed “Mary” I am unable to say.

Can you solve me the riddle of the poem [page 2:] enclosed? It is from last Saturday's “Home Journal.” Somebody sent it to me in M.S.

Was I right, dearest Helen, in my first impression of you? — you know I have implicit faith in first impressions. Was I right in the idea I had adopted before seeing you — in the idea that you are ambitious? If so and if you will have faith in me, I can & will satisfy your wildest desires. It would be a glorious triumph, Helen, for us — for you ~ me. I dare not trust my schemes to a letter — nor, indeed, have I room even to hint at them here. When I see you I will explain all — as far, at lease, as I dare explain all my hopes even to you.

Would it not be “glorious”, darling, to establish, in America, the sole unquestionable aristocracy — that of intellect — to secure its supremacy — to lead & to control it? All this I can do, Helen, & will — if you bid me — and aid me.

I received yesterday a letter from Mr Dunnell. He says that they have “lost” their lecturer [page 3:] for the 6th prox. & offers me that night instead of the I3th. I have written him, however, that I cannot be in Providence before the 13th.

My kindest regards to Mr Pabodie.

Devotedly Your own

Preserve the printed lines. I send the M S. — perhaps you may recognise it.

As one of the “signs of the times” I notice that Griswold has lately copied my “Raven” in his “Hartford Weekly Gazette” — I enclose his editorial comments — so that you have quite a budget of enclosures.

P. S — I open this letter, dearest love, to ask you to mail me, as soon as possible, three articles of mine which you will find among the critical papers I gave you, viz: “The Philosophy of Composition” — Tale-Writing — Nath’ Hawthorne” — and a review of “Longfellow's Poems.” I wish to refer to them in writing my Lecture 8: can find no other copies. Do not fail to send them dear dear Helen, as soon as you get this. Enclose them in a letter — so that I may be sure to get them in season.

Mrs O's “Ida Grey” is in “Graham” for August — 45





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to S. H. Whitman (LTR291/RCL746)