A discourse on lost love perhaps or the dissipated affection of platonic musings leading to death, both much cherished themes of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, that dark apparition which casts a shadow of warm reassurance in its inevitability – the death of a beautiful woman has no parallel in the majesty of her passing. 
Written in May 1849 just months before his, own death it remains uncertain as to whom Annabel Lee refers. It may have been his wife Virginia Clemm who had died young of consumption but then there had been many women in Poe’s life whose passing had been deeply mourned. 
Whomsoever Annabel Lee may have been he was determined the poem be published and perhaps anticipating his own demise was willing to pay to ensure it was. But he would never see it in print for it did not appear in Sartain’s Union Magazine until January 1850, three months after his own mysterious death. 
Sharing a similar style and rhythm to his previous The Raven with its theme of ‘nevermore’ it differs in that it holds out the prospect of renewed love and redemption – which maybe in the end is all anyone can hope for. 
Annabel Lee 
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. 
I was a child and she 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, chilling 
My beautiful Annabel Lee; 
So that her highborn kinsman 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 the cloud by night, 
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 feel 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 tomb by the sounding sea. 
Tagged as: Poetry
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