Eulalie, by Edgar Allan Poe

Ewa Ludwiczak - Edgar Allan Poe
Ewa Ludwiczak – Edgar Allan Poe – from

I present today a poem that celebrates the love of a young girl; it tells how the poet emerged from “a world of moan” and found happiness when he encountered his bride, the “young Eulalie”, a “radiant girl” who brightened his life.

It was probably composed early in 1843, and it appeared first in the July 1845 issue of American Review. There are several versions of this poem (3 of them on Wikisource). The one I give follows the so-called “Stuart” manuscript (also transcribed on Wikisource); this manuscript is probably the one shown on Wikimedia Commons.

by Edgar Allan Poe

I dwelt alone
In a world of moan,
And my soul was a stagnant tide
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride —
Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.

Ah, less, less bright
The stars of the night
Than the eyes of the radiant girl,
And never a flake
That the vapor can make
With the moon-tints of purple and pearl
Can vie with the modest Eulalie’s most unregarded curl —
Can compare with the bright-eyed Eulalie’s most humble and careless curl.

Now Doubt — now Pain
Come never again,
For her soul gives me sigh for sigh
And all day long
Shines bright and strong
Astarté within the sky,
While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye —
While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.

According to a straightforward interpretation, the poem refers to Poe’s wife Virginia Eliza Clemm, aged 13 when they married. Indeed, shortly after the death of Virginia on January 30th, 1847, Poe wrote on the back of the “Stuart” manuscript a two-line poem mourning her:

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep Deep in Earth.

There is another version of it:

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone.

The gentle love of a young girl is the most beautiful treasure in a poet’s life.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2016/05/20.

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