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A Valentine
by Edgar Allan Poe

US poet, critic and short story writer. Poe is best known for his macabre horror stories including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold Bug and The Black Cat (1842). His key poems include Lenore (1831), The Raven (1842), Ulalume (1847). He also wrote some critical essays including The Philosophy of Composition (1846), Time and Space (1844) and The Poetic Principle (1850), and a novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Poe had a great influence on a number of writers including Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.


A Valentine
by Edgar Allan Poe

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
    Brightly expressive as the twins of Loeda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies
    Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! -- they hold a treasure
    Divine -- a talisman -- an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure --
    The words -- the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor!
    And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

Which one might not undo without a sabre,
    If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
    Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
    Of poets, by poets -- as the name is a poet's, too.
Its letters, although naturally lying
    Like the knight Pinto -- Mendez Ferdinando --
Still form a synonym for Truth -- Cease trying!
    You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.


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