Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry), “A Valentine,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Stone and Kimball, vol. X, 1895, p. 82


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[page 82:]

A VALENTINE

FOR her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,

Brightly expressive as the twins of Lœda,

Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies

Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.

Search narrowly the lines! they hold a treasure

Divine, a talisman, an amulet

That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure —

The words — the syllables. Do not forget

The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor:

And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

Which one might not undo without a sabre,

If one could merely comprehend the plot.

Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering

Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus

Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing

Of poets, by poets — as the name is a poet’s, too.

Its letters, although naturally lying

Like the knight Pinto — Mendez Ferdinando,

Still form a synonym for Truth. — Cease trying!

You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

 


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Notes:

Stedman and Woodberry notes.

 

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[S:0 - SW, 1895] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - A Valentine (Stedman and Woodberry, 1895)