Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” (Text-05b), Sartain's Magazine, vol. 6, no. 1, January 1850, 6:99-100


[page 99, unnumbered, column 2, continued:]


In the December number of our Magazine we announced that we had another poem of Mr. Poe's in hand, which we would publish in January. We supposed it to be his last, as we received it from him a short time before his decease. The sheet containing our announcement was scarcely dry from the press, before we saw the poem, which we had bought and paid for, going the rounds of the newspaper press, into which it had found its way through some agency that will perhaps be hereafter explained. It appeared first, we believe, in the New York Tribune. If we are not misinformed, two other Magazines are in the same predicament as ourselves. As the poem is one highly characteristic of the gifted and lamented author, and more particularly, as our copy of it differs in several places from that which has been already published, we have concluded to give it as already announced.




IT was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me. [page 100:]

She was a child and I was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love —

I and my Annabel Lee —

With a love that the wingéd seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman [[kinsmen]] came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre,

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me —

Yes, that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling, my darling, my life, and my bride,

In her sepulchre there by the sea —

In her tomb by the sounding sea.



The controversy referred to in the introductory note unfairly casts Poe as having been dishonest by selling the same poem to multiple editors. In reality, Poe only really sold the poem to John Sartain, while Poe was launching his southern tour to lecture and publicize his efforts to create his own magazine, The Stylue. Poe sent a copy of the poem to Rufus W. Griswold for inclusion in a proposed revised edition of The Poets and Poetry of America, for which Poe received no pay. He apparently also gave another manscript of the poem to John R. Thompson, when he left Richmond, and while Thompson claims to have given Poe money, it is not clear that Poe though that he was selling the poem to appear in the Southern Literary Messenger, where Thompson printed it after Poe's death. Griswold rushed the poem into print as part of his obituary of Poe, eager to be the first to launch Poe's last poem, and apparently unaware and perhaps unconcerned about Poe's own arrangements for publication. In copying the obituary into his own Home Journal, N. P. Willis became one of many other periodicals to reprint the poem before it had appeared in Sartain's. Griswold, of course, was all too happy to allow a new calumny to darken Poe's reputation.


[S:1 - Sartain's, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Annabel Lee (Text-05b)