Stuck Like Song Lyrics

It’s autumn’s first cool night,
And a chill rides upon the air;
The sort that wakens memories
Some sweet; Some old; some fair.
So come; come one, come all
And sit by the fire with me,
And listen closely with your heart
To Poe’s sad story of “Annabel Lee”.
James Browning

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

Stopping by a chain bookstore today I spent time browsing some editions of literature they carry that are beautifully and ornately hard-bound. One particularly striking book I purchased as an early start of my Christmas shopping (for my son). Another striking book I picked up, thumbed through and laid down. I picked it back up and laid it down three times. Each time “The Works of Edgar Allen Poe” opened to “Annabel Lee”. On the first two glances I read just a little, then thumbed to other pages. The third time I stopped and read the poem all the way through once then twice.

I am grateful his “ode to love” touches me as it does and makes my heart soar. A sad story for sure, but the bitter-sweet kind in just the correct measure to make one feel delight in its telling. Hours have passed but Poe’s words still sing in my head, stuck like song lyrics there.

Every heart sings a song, incomplete,
until another heart whispers back.
Those who wish to sing always find a song.
At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.