Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 289 pages of information about Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works.


The bells!—­ah the bells! 
The little silver bells! 
How fairy-like a melody there floats
From their throats—­
From their merry little throats—­
From the silver, tinkling throats
Of the bells, bells, bells—­
Of the bells!


The bells!—­ah, the bells! 
The heavy iron bells! 
How horrible a monody there floats
From their throats—­
From their deep-toned throats—­
From their melancholy throats
How I shudder at the notes
Of the bells, bells, bells—­
Of the bells!

In the autumn of 1848 Poe added another line to this poem, and sent it to the editor of the ‘Union Magazine’.  It was not published.  So, in the following February, the poet forwarded to the same periodical a much enlarged and altered transcript.  Three months having elapsed without publication, another revision of the poem, similar to the current version, was sent, and in the following October was published in the ‘Union Magazine’.

* * * * *


This poem was first published in Colton’s ‘American Review’ for December 1847, as “To——­Ulalume:  a Ballad.”  Being reprinted immediately in the ‘Home Journal’, it was copied into various publications with the name of the editor, N. P. Willis, appended, and was ascribed to him.  When first published, it contained the following additional stanza which Poe subsequently, at the suggestion of Mrs. Whitman wisely suppressed: 

  Said we then—­the two, then—­“Ah, can it
      Have been that the woodlandish ghouls—­
      The pitiful, the merciful ghouls—­
  To bar up our path and to ban it
      From the secret that lies in these wolds—­
  Had drawn up the spectre of a planet
      From the limbo of lunary souls—­
  This sinfully scintillant planet
      From the Hell of the planetary souls?”

* * * * *


“To Helen” (Mrs. S. Helen Whitman) was not published Until November 1848, although written several months earlier.  It first appeared in the ‘Union Magazine’ and with the omission, contrary to the knowledge or desire of Poe, of the line, “Oh, God! oh, Heaven—­how my heart beats in coupling those two words”.

* * * * *


“Annabel Lee” was written early in 1849, and is evidently an expression of the poet’s undying love for his deceased bride although at least one of his lady admirers deemed it a response to her admiration.  Poe sent a copy of the ballad to the ‘Union Magazine’, in which publication it appeared in January 1850, three months after the author’s death.  Whilst suffering from “hope deferred” as to its fate, Poe presented a copy of “Annabel Lee” to the editor of the ‘Southern Literary Messenger’, who published it in the November number of his periodical, a month after Poe’s death.  In the meantime the poet’s own copy, left among his papers, passed into the hands of the person engaged to edit his works, and he quoted the poem in an obituary of Poe in the New York ‘Tribune’, before any one else had an opportunity of publishing it.

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Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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