Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” (reprint), The Present or Gift of the Times (1850, with the preface dated as June 1850), pp. 147-148


[page 147:]


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 tho't

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

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


With a love that the winged 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 high-born 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. [page 148:]

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 see 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.




In the notes to his 1965 edition of Poe's poems, Floyd Stovall includes the text of The Present among his variants for the poem, commenting: “The text in The Present, an annual of 1850, is not quite like any other” (p. 288). He does not go into further detail, but the implication is that he considers it as possibly being derrived from an original source with authority. Outside of differences in punctuation, the main variants it shows are the curious spelling of “tho't,” which Stovall does not list, and the hyphenation of “high-born.” All of these changes can easily be explained as being editorial, although it might be interesting that Poe also hyphenates the word in all of his manuscripts even though none of the printings made from them adopt this reading. The consistent rendering of “ANNABEL LEE,” in regular and small capital letters, matches the format used in all of the Griswold texts, and only in those printed texts. This feature strongly suggests that the editor of The Present used one of these as the base text and that alterations were made by the editor or the typesetters. The strange placement of the comma in “And the stars never rise but, I see the bright eyes,” is surely a tyographical error.

Mabbott (Poems, 1969, 1:477) states summarily: “A version in a gift book, The Present, edited by F. A. Moore (Manchester, New Hampshire, 1850), can hardly be authorized.” Consequently, Mabbott does not list it among the variants.


[S:0 - PGFT, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Annabel Lee (reprint)