Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. T. O. Mabbott), “Couplet from The Fall of the House of Usher,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 318-319 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 318, continued:]

(from “The Fall of the House of Usher”)

These lines are seen inscribed “on a shield of shining brass” by the hero of an imaginary “antique volume” called The Mad Trist of Sir Launcelot Canning. From this book the narrator of [page 319:] “The Fall of the House of Usher” reads to the distraught protagonist. All the other books named as in the library of Roderick Usher are genuine, but The Mad Trist is made up by Poe as part of the plot of his tale. Sir Launcelot Canning is purely a figment of Poe's imagination, his surname probably from the William Canynge of Thomas Chatterton's “Rowley” poems, his title and given name from the knight of Arthurian legend. Lines attributed to Sir Launcelot Canning were used by Poe in a prospectus he published in 1843 for his projected magazine, THE STYLUS, and were of course composed by Poe himself. See p. 328.


(A) Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, September 1839 (5:151); (B) Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840), I, 99; (C) Tales (1845), p. 80; (D) Griswold, Prose Writers of America (1847), p. 530; (E) Works (1850), I, 307.

Text E is followed; there are no variants.





[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions-The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Couplet from The Fall of the House of Usher)