Annabel Lee Examples
"Annabel Lee" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The speaker in the poem is a bereaved husband whose wife, Annabel Lee, has died and is buried near the sea. In the poem, he tells the story of their love, her untimely death, and his undying devotion. This is the full text of the poem:
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 her sepulchre there by the sea- In her tomb by the sounding sea.
The first two stanzas of the poem tell of the young love between the speaker and Annabel Lee. He essentially says that they lived to love each other, and their love was so great that the "winged seraphs of Heaven" were jealous. The next two stanzas tell of the death of Annabel Lee. The speaker says that a "wind" came out of the clouds "chilling and killing" Annabel Lee. The reader can infer that Annabel Lee became sick and did not recover. The speaker tells of Annabel Lee's "kinsmen" who came and took her and "shut her up in a sepulchre" near the sea.
The final three stanzas emphasize the love that the speaker has for Annabel Lee. In the fifth stanza, he reiterates that it was jealous from Heaven that caused her death. The final two stanzas tell of how there is nothing that can "ever dissever [his] soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee." He continues to feel her presence in ature around him, and he says that he lies down by her side "all the night-tide . . . in her tomb by the sounding sea." The speaker, if the reader takes him literally, visits the grave of Annabel Lee and lies down beside her tomb each night.
The structure of the poem lends to the lyric qualities as it is read. Poe has used assonance and alliteration to create a sing-song effect with the repeated consonants and vowels. In addition, he has used internal rhyme in many of the lines (i.e. "all the night-tide, I lie down by the side"), and a repeated rhyme scheme of ABCBDB.
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