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When I was a child and first learned Annabel Lee, the second stanza began "She was a child and I was a child.." I remember that clearly because I memorized the poem and was surprised when my father insisted it went the other way around. I've seen many versions of Annabel Lee since then. Many versions end in 'sounding sea'. Some say 'feel' the bright eyes. Sometimes the punctuation is changed; sometimes the wind is blowing out of the cloud by night in a different stanza. Many versions say a 'highborn kinsman', but the manuscript looks like 'high-born kinsmen' to me, and as a matter of fact, that's still the way I remember it. ~ Reely
 "sounding sea" version

ANNABEL LEE
by Edgar Allan Poe

featuring readings of the
Thompson version and the Griswold version

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click on a reading to start

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.

She was a child and I 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 wingéd 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, by night
     chilling my beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born 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, 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 see 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 side of the sea.

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Tuberculosis was a dreaded disease in the 19th century, one to which not only Poe's wife succumbed, but also his mother. When Virginia Poe came down with this disease, there were no sanitariums or antibiotics with which to cure her. It was not even known at this time that tuberculosis was highly contagious.
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Camomile Tea, a parody of Annabel Lee

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