Annabel Lee poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe's Annabel Lee was first published in Sartain's Union Magazine, Philadelphia, January, 1850.

Cover of Sartain’s Union Magazine (Philadelphia), which first published this poem Annabel Lee in January 1850.

Annabel Lee is Edgar Allan Poe’s last complete poem, published after his death in 1849. Scholars have speculated that the poem was inspired by his wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, but there is no confirmation of this in Poe’s known writings.

A local legend in Charleston, South Carolina suggests that Poe was inspired by the romantic tale of a sailor and his love, Annabel Lee, who died while he was at sea, but this has also not been officially confirmed.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

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 wingèd 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 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 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 the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

From Elson Grammar School Literature: Book Four by William H. Elson and Christine Keck, 1912.

Edgar Allan Poe Resources