Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “To — — [Song]” (Text-A), Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), p. 25


[page 25:]

TO — —

I saw thee on the bridal day;

When a burning blush came o’er thee,

Tho’ Happiness around thee lay,

The world all love before thee.

And, in thine eye, the kindling light

Of young passion free

Was all on earth, my chain’d sight

   Of Loveliness might see.

That blush, I ween, was maiden shame:

As such it well may pass:

Tho’ its glow hath rais’d a fiercer flame

In the breast of him, alas!

Who saw the [[thee]] on that bridal day,

When that deep blush would come o’er thee, —

Tho’ Happiness around thee lay;

The world all Love before thee. —



It is thought, reasonably enough, that this poem refers to Elmira Royster, Poe's childhood sweetheart. When he returned from the University of Virginia in 1827, he found that her parents had arranged a marriage to a wealthy business man, Alexander Barett Shelton (1807-1844). According to the recollections of Edward M. Alfriend, Poe came home on the day of the wedding, during the evening. The wedding having already taken place, a party was in progress at her home when Poe arrived. Unaware of the marriage, he asked her to dance and was told of what had occurred. He then learned that his letters to her and hers to him had been intercepted by her parents. Since Elmira was not actually married until December 6, 1828 and this poem was already composed and printed by that date, it has been suggested that the recollection is slightly in error, and that the party was in celebration of the engagement rather than the wedding itself.


[S:1 - TAOP, 1827 (fac, 1941)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - To — — [Song] (Text-A)