Annabel Lee

Original Text: 
Edgar Allan Poe, Works, ed. R. W. Griswold, II (New York: J. S. Redfield, 1850), 27-28. For a later version (Sept. 1849), see Collected Work of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Thomas Ollive Mabbott (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1969), I, 478-79; and George E. Woodberry, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, II (1909): opp. p. 352.
1It was many and many a year ago,
2     In a kingdom by the sea,
3That a maiden there lived whom you may know
4     By the name of Annabel Lee;--
5And this maiden she lived with no other thought
6     Than to love and be loved by me.
8     In this kingdom by the sea;
9But we loved with a love that was more than love--
10     I and my Annabel Lee--
11With a love that the wingéd seraphs in Heaven
12     Coveted her and me.
13And this was the reason that, long ago,
14     In this kingdom by the sea,
18     And bore her away from me,
19To shut her up in a sepulchre,
20     In this kingdom by the sea.
21The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
22     Went envying her and me--
23Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
24     In this kingdom by the sea)
27But our love it was stronger by far than the love
28     Of those who were older than we--
29     Of many far wiser than we--
30And neither the angels in Heaven above,
31     Nor the demons down under the sea,
32Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
34For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
35     Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
37     Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--
38And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
39Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
40     In her sepulchre there by the sea--


7] A manuscript version written Sept. 26, 1849, reverses "I" and "she" (George Edward Woodberry, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe [Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1909], II, 352). Never content unless tinkering, Poe this time did not improve his work (e.g., line 41). Back to Line
15] cloud, chilling: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "cloud by night". Back to Line
16] My beautiful: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "Chilling my". Back to Line
17] kinsmen: "kinsman" in the 1850 edition. Back to Line
25] cloud by night: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "cloud, chilling". Back to Line
26] Chilling and killing: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "And killing". Back to Line
33] Possibly indebted to the Episcopal funeral service and its use of Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (cited by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe [Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969], I, 481). Back to Line
36] feel: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "see". Back to Line
41] by the sounding sea: the manuscript version of Sept. 26 reads "by the side of the sea". Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2.0.