Text: Unknown (ed. James H. Whitty), “May Queen Ode,” The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, p. 164


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[page 164:]

QUEEN OF MAY ODE

FAIRIES guard the Queen of May,

Let her reign in Peace and Honor —

Every blessing be upon her;

May her future pathway lie,

All beneath a smiling sky.

NOTE

Mrs. Harriet Virginia Thomson, née Scott, of Austin, Texas, who is over ninety years of age, knew Poe in Richmond, Va. She lived there with her parents when a girl, residing on the Main street near the Southern Literary Messenger office. She saw Poe pass her house several tunes daily, and in those early days looked upon him as a great poet.

Her school was to have a May Queen celebration, and she was required to recite verses to the May Queen. In company with a cousin, an attorney, of Richmond, and a warm friend of Mr. Poe’s, she called at the Messenger office, and asked Mr. Poe to write her a May Queen Ode.

He readily complied, and sent her the lines the following day. The manuscript was preserved for some time, but finally went astray.

Mrs. Thomson remembers that there were four or five stanzas, as she committed them to memory, and recited them on the occasion. One of the stanzas, she says, she never forgot, and gives it as above from memory.

The school celebration was published in some pamphlet or periodical at the time and the lines printed, but she does not think they were credited to Mr. Poe.

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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[S:0 - JHW11, 1911] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - May Queen Ode (ed. J. H. Whitty, 1911)