written in 1849 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 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 high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepluchre
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,
Not 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.

crayz-- I wonder if it means that he sits out on the beach or shore all night. But, you are right... It could be that he dreams of her. Also, there are two tides, right? One at night, and one in the morning? Maybe he sat out by her tomb every night, at the evening tide, when it was either coming in or going out, not necessarily sleeping by her. I tried to find something that was explaining it, but I came up short. I will keep looking though. :)

On of the best "covers" of this poem was done by William S. Burroughs when he recited "Annabel Lee" for a very weird adventure game I played a long time ago (3-4 years), The Dark Eye, loosely based on the life and the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. The game's mood was dark, with expressionist graphics and cartoonish characters.

I wish I could find this game again, just for the brilliant reciting of this great poem.

Radio Futura, one of the best rock bands in Spain also did a wonderful adaptation and translation in their 1987 album "La canción de Juan Perro":

ANNABEL LEE

Hace muchos muchos años en un reino junto al mar
habitó una señorita cuyo nombre era Annabel Lee
y crecía aquella flor sin pensar en nada más
que en amar y ser amada, ser amada por mi.

Éramos sólo dos niños mas tan grande nuestro amor
que los ángeles del cielo nos cogieron envidia
pues no eran tan felices, ni siquiera la mitad
como todo el mundo sabe, en aquel reino junto al mar.

Por eso un viento partió de una oscura nube aquella noche
para helar el corazón de la hermosa Annabel lee
luego vino a llevarsela su noble parentela
para enterrarla en un sepulcro en aquel reino junto al mar.

No luce la luna sin traermela en sueños
ni brilla una estrella sin que vea sus ojos
y así paso la noche acostado con ella
mi querida hermosa, mi vida, mi esposa.

Nuestro amor era más fuerte que el amor de los mayores
que saben más como dicen de las cosas de la vida
ni los ángeles del cielo ni los demonios del mar
separaran jamas mi alma del alma de Annabel Lee.

No luce la luna sin traermela en sueños
ni brilla una estrella sin que vea sus ojos
y así paso la noche acostado con ella
mi querida hermosa, mi vida, mi esposa.

En aquel sepulcro junto al mar
en su tumba junto al mar ruidoso.

Hace muchos muchos años en un reino junto al mar
habitó una señorita cuyo nombre era Annabel Lee
y crecía aquella flor sin pensar en nada más
que en amar y ser amada, ser amada por mi.

With respect to the first two writeups...
With the full stanza intact, it is apparent that Poe meant to convey, that through his dreams he could be with her:

    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.

Poe's dark writing style is ubiquitous, but rather than see the poem as gruesome, it communicates the agony of losing someone and how that loss is reconciled. He does this by laying the groundwork for the well-held belief that when a person dies, their soul goes to heaven or to hell, and then defies that belief by reasoning that their love is too strong for their souls to ever part:

    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,
    Not the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful Annabel lee.

Some have suggested that Annabel Lee is personal; that it's about Poe's wife, Virginia Clemm, who died two years before it was written (Poe died the year it was written). Others would argue that Poe is the skillful, objective narrator.

The name, Annabel means to love.

Writing a summary of "Annabel Lee" seems almost pointless, as the thoughts of the poet can be clearly understood. His clear, simple wording allows for no mistakes in interpretation, as he wants the story told 'accurately.' Poe's style in this piece seems to be one in which he makes a statement, and then elaborates upon it. For example, in the second stanza, Poe writes, "But we loved with a love that was more than love--/I and my ANNABEL LEE--/With a love that the wingéd seraphs in Heaven/Coveted her and me," (lines 9-12)/ The end of the third stanza, by far the longest in the duration of the piece, elaborates on what Poe has said in lines 9-12:

"The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me--

In this kingdom by the sea)
That wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE,"
(lines 21-26).

The syntax of the poem and its wording almost seem to be pleading, with its repetition of several phrases and constant capitalization of the dead girl's name; "ANNABEL LEE," drives into the reader's mind the presence and sad tale of the title character. Poe has an erratic but eventually apparent 'ababcb' rhyme scheme for the majority of the poem, only deviating from it in the third and last stanzas. The poem definitely has an erratic rhythm. It reminds one of crying. When someone in dire sorrow weeps, the pain of loss comes in waves, sometimes in racking, choking sobs, occasionally ebbing into subdues crying. The rhythm and rhyme of this piece by Poe seems to do this, its closing starting off in fervent surety, and tapering off at the end of the poem as Poe lies down next to the tomb of Annabel Lee, exhausted.

"Annabel Lee" has readily apparent literary devices, both mechanical and figurative. Mechanically, Poe uses several devices in his work. Describing the events surrounding Annabel Lee's death, his word choices have negative connotations. Rather than saying, "She got sick and died," he wrote, "Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE," (line 26); Poe seems to personify the wind, making it almost sentient, "killing" his love with an ill will. The "personification serves to make the situation sound worse than it is. In reality, the author, as a young man, loved a girl who took a chill and subsequently died. Instead of this sad but true event, chalked up to illness, Poe almost blames God, making Annabel Lee's death the result of a cosmic malevolence. Also, when Poe describes the burial, he makes it sound as if Annabel Lee's family showed him malice when they buried her. To be sure, "Her high-born kinsmen came/And bore her away from me," (lines 17-18) has a far more negative connotation than, "Her family buried her." Poe very meticulously chose his words in this piece, using negative connotation wherever possible; perhaps in his grief, he wanted his piece to have a bitter and depressed air. Poe uses some alliteration, as in the repetitive "h" in line 21, "Not half so happy in Heaven," Also, there is an example of assonance in "Annabel Lee:" "All the night-tide, I lie down by the side," (line 38) repeats the long "I" vowel sound. The poem is highly symbolic. "Annabel Lee" is representative of Edgar Allan Poe's child-bride, his cousin Virginia Clemm. The "kingdom by the sea" is Boston, where the couple lived. "She was a child," mentioned in line 7, alludes to Virginia's tender age, as she was thirteen years old when she and Poe were wed. The remainder of the poem details the dénouement of Annabel Lee, but in fact is a description of the death of Poe's wife. Both the title character and Virginia died after an illness, and were buried, leaving Poe (and the unnamed narrator) alone and melancholy.

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