Annabel Lee

by EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

(Thompson version)

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 wingéd 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 beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born 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 the 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.

When I was a child and first learned Annabel Lee, the second stanza began “She was a child and I was a child..” I remember that clearly because I memorized the poem and was surprised when my father insisted it went the other way around. I’ve seen many versions of Annabel Lee since then. Many versions end in ‘sounding sea’. Some say ‘feel’ the bright eyes. Sometimes the punctuation is changed; sometimes the wind is blowing out of the cloud by night in a different stanza. Many versions say a ‘highborn kinsman’, but the manuscript looks like ‘high-born kinsmen’ to me, and as a matter of fact, that’s still the way I remember it. ~ Reely

Go to Page 2 for the  “sounding sea” version

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