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The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, c.1818 Art Print

One can hardly discuss 19th century American poetry and literature without some inclusion of Edgar Allan Poe. A Bostonian son and a peculiar, but passionate man he is best known for his chilling gothic short stories and the most notorious verse; The Raven, which has already been covered by this blog. While The Raven is most assuredly a masterpiece in its own right, my favorite poem of Poe is Annabel Lee. I am inclined to fated romances and parted lovers; but as for the words themselves, they are most memorable and trip off of the tongue like a dance.

Annabel Lee was penned in 1849 and was Poe’s last poem before his untimely demise. Lore has it the inspiration was Edgar Allan Poe’s beautiful wife, Virginia, who died two years prior of consumption at the tender age of four and twenty, after battling the disease for five years.

**I apologize for the lack of line breaks between stanzas, I was having the most difficult time with them on WordPress.**

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, 1849

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 thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

She was a child and I was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

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

I and my Annabel Lee

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 by night

Chilling my Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn 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 a cloud, chilling

And killing my Annabel Lee.

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 side of the sea.