Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. T. O. Mabbott), “Lines after Elizabeth Barrett,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 377-378 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 377:]


These lines first appeared in an elaborate study of the poems of the future Mrs. Browning. The criticism, finished during the last fortnight of 1844, is in two parts, of which the first appeared in the Broadway Journal of January 4, presumably published on January 2, 1845. In it Poe seems to allude to a criticism by E. P. Whipple in Graham's for January 1845, issued about December 15, 1844. The verses are in the second part, published in the Broadway Journal for January 11.

Poe thought his verses had improved upon Miss Barrett's “Drama of Exile,” lines 1658-1656:

Hear the steep generations, how they fall

Adown the visionary stairs of Time,

Like supernatural thunders — far, yet near,

Sowing their fiery echoes through the hills!

Poe quoted his lines again in his essay “About Critics and Criticism,” finished early in 1849 — according to an implication in a letter to Mrs. Richmond about January 21 — but not published until after his death.


(A) Broadway Journal, January 11, 1845 (1:18), in “Reviews — The Drama of Exile”; (B) manuscript, early 1849, of “About Critics and Criticism,” once owned by Henry B. Hirst; (C) Graham's Magazine for January 1850 (36:51), from B; (D) Works (1850), III, 388, from C, with Griswold's title, “E. P. Whipple and Other Critics”; (E) Works (1850), III, 417, from A, with the title, “Elizabeth Barrett Barrett.”

The text is that of B. It was kindly verified by Mr. Herbert C. Schulz, Curator of Manuscripts at the Huntington Library, where the original, sold at Anderson's on May 11, 1921 (lot 562), is now preserved. A and E differ slightly from the other texts in the use of commas.





[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions-The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Lines after Elizabeth Barrett)