May Queen Ode, by Edgar Allan Poe

S.J. Thompson - The May Queen and her court
S.J. Thompson, photographer – The May Queen and her court, New Westminster, BC, Canada (c.1887) – New Westminster Public Library, Heritage Database, accession number 2728

About April 1836, Harriet Virginia Scott, a schoolgirl in Richmond, asked Edgar Allan Poe to compose a poem for her to recite to the Queen of the May. He complied by writing four or five stanzas. About eighty years later (between 1911 and 1917), she remembered one of them and sent it to J. H. Whitty, who published it in the second edition of Complete Poems (1917).


Fairies guard the Queen of May,
Let her reign in Peace and Honor —
Every blessing be upon her;
May her future pathway lie
All beneath a smiling sky.

Source: The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2017/05/01.

2 thoughts on “May Queen Ode, by Edgar Allan Poe

  1. Harriet Virginia Scott Thomson is my Great, Great Grandmother. She was a very wonderful source of the stories of this side of my family. I have the Poe poetry book to which she contributed this story. She and her father came to Texas to join her brother, who had arrived in 1836 on the day of the battle of San Jacinto. They arrived in 1846. Her brother, James Scott, worked with Sam Houston and Harriet wrote about meeting him. I am so fortunate that both sides of my family wrote about their experiences, and I am collecting these stories. What fun.

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