Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “Poems Published in 1827,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 21-22 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 21:]


Poe’s Tamerlane and Other Poems. By a Bostonian was published by Calvin F[rederick] S[tephen] Thomas, of 70 Washington Street, Boston, in 1827, when the author was eighteen years old. The volume was on sale about July, in time to be noticed as received in the Boston United States Review and Literary Gazette of August. It is mentioned in the North American Review of October of the same year and in Samuel Kettell’s “Catalogue of American Poetry” in his Specimens of American Poetry (Boston, 1829). No review, however, has been found. The little volume was reprinted by Richard Herne Shepherd (London, 1884) and, subsequently, by six other persons. My edition, made for the Facsimile Text Society (New York, 1941), has a long introduction dealing with bibliographical problems, the biography of the printer, and so forth.

The title page bears a quotation from Cowper’s “Tirocinium,” lines 444-445:

Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm,

And make mistakes for manhood to reform.

The preface follows, beginning with a statement of doubtful accuracy — like all Poe’s statements about dates — and ending with a quotation from Martial (Bk. 13, Epigram 2, line 8) meaning, freely, “I myself know the unimportance of all this.”


The greater part of the Poems which compose this little volume, were written in the year 1821-2, when the author had not completed his fourteenth year. They were of course not intended for publication; why they are now published concerns no one but himself. Of the smaller pieces very little need be said: they perhaps savour too much of Egotism; but they were written [page 22:] by one too young to have any knowledge of the world but from his own breast.

In Tamerlane, he has endeavoured to expose the folly of even risking the best feelings of the heart at the shrine of Ambition. He is conscious that in this there are many faults, (besides that of the general character of the poem) which he flatters himself he could, with little trouble, have corrected, but unlike many of his predecessors, has been too fond of his early productions to amend them in his old age.

He will not say that he is indifferent as to the success of these Poems — it might stimulate him to other attempts — but he can safely assert that failure will not at all influence him in a resolution already adopted. This is challenging criticism — let it be so. Nos haec novimus esse nihil.





[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions-The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Poems Published in 1827)