Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “[Lenore]” (reprint), from the Evening Mirror (New York, NY), November 28, 1844, vol. I, no. 46, p. 3, col. 1, lower middle


[page 3, column 1, continued:]


DEAREST MIRROR: — I copy the subjoined lines “By Mr. Willis,” from an old number of the Jackson (Tenn.) Advocate, where they are evidently out of place, and at all events so grossly misprinted that I must ask you to re-publish them, the more especially as they do not appear in the late collection by Mr. W. It can scarcely be possible that there are two Dromios.


Ah, broken is the golden bowl — the spirit flown forever!

Let the bell toll! — a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river.

And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear? weep now or nevermore —

See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love Lenore.

Come! let the burial rite be read, the funeral song be sung, —

An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young.

“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth, and ye hated her for her pride,

“And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her — that she died.

“How shall the ritual then be read — the requiem how be sung

“By you — by yours the evil eye, by yours the slanderous tongue

“That did to death the innocence that perished so young?

Peccavimus; yet rave not thus, and let a Sabbath song

Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong;

She — sweet Lenore — hath “gone before,” with Hope that flew beside,

Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride —

For her the fair and debonnair that now so lowly lies,

The life upon her yellow hair but not upon her eyes —

“Avaunt! to-night my heart is light — no dirge will I upraise,

“But waft the angel on her flight with a Pæan of old days!

“Let no bell toll! — lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth,

“Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth.

“To friends above, from fiends below, th’ indignant ghost is riven —

“From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven —

“From grief and moan to a gold throne beside the King of Heaven![[”]]

We thank our friend, the “Amelia,” for supposing us capable of the authorship of these majestic stanzas. They are not ours — we wish they were! But, (if they are not “Amelia's[[”]] — and they are very much in the measure of the “Step-son”), we do not know whose they are; and we trust that our sail is not filled by many such mis-labelled breezes. Else

“When every feather stuck in its own wing,

Lord Timon might be left a naked gull.”



Evidently, Poe did not see the copy for this item, since he would immediately have recognized the composition as his own poem “Lenore.” At one point, Poe's poem “Ulalume” was also mistakenly attributed to Willis. This text is significantly different from the version printed in The Pioneer, clearly showing revisions made by the author. How the text made its way, apparently anonymously, into the pages of the Jackson Advocate is unknown, as is the original printing from which these reprints were taken. Here, the introductory note is by “Amelia,” and the ending note by N. P. Willis. Willis's reference to “the Amelia” and her poem “of the ‘Step-Son’ ” identify her as Amelia Ball Coppuck Welby (1819-1852, author of the poem “The Little Step-Son”).

The late collection of Willis's poems probably refers to The Poems, Sacred, Passionate and Humorous of Nathaniel Parker Willis (New York: Clark & Austin, 1844), reviewed as a new book as early as June 14, 1844.

The final comment about two Dromios is presumably intentionally ironic. In Shakespeare's play, “A Comedy of Errors,” there are indeed two characters named Dromio, Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse. These are twin brothers, and the chief humor of the play results from these two being mistaken for each other.

The final quotation of two lines comes from Shakespeare's play “The Life of Timon of Athens” (act II, scene 1):

When every feather sticks in his own wing,

Lord Timon will be left a naked gull,


[S:1 - NYEM, 1844] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Lenore [reprint]