Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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 winged 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 kinsman 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.
Edgar Allan Poe
The poem's setting has several Gothic elements, as the kingdom by the sea is lonely and in an undefined but mysterious location. Poe does not describe the setting with any specificity, and he weaves a hazy, romantic atmosphere around the kingdom until he ends by offering the stark and horrific image of a "sepulchre there by the sea." The location by the sea recalls the city of "The City in the Sea," which is also located by the sea and which is conceptually connected to death and decay. At the same time, the nostalgic tone and the Gothic background serve to inculcate the image of a love that outlasts all opposition, from the spiritual jealousy of the angels to the physical barrier of death. Although Annabel Lee has died, the narrator can still see her "bright eyes," an image of her soul and of the spark of life that gives a promise of a future meeting between the two lovers.The name "Annabel Lee" continues the pattern of a number of Poe's names for his dead women in that it contains the lulling but melancholy "L" sound. Furthermore, "Annabel Lee" has a peaceful, musical rhythm which reflects the overall musicality of the poem, which makes heavy use of the refrain phrases "in this kingdom by the sea" and "of the beautiful Annabel Lee," as well as of the repetition of other words. In particular, although the poem's stanzas have a somewhat irregular length and structure, the rhyme scheme continually emphasizes the three words "me," "Lee," and "sea," enforcing the linked nature of these concepts within the poem while giving the poem a song-like sound.