A Valentine (1850)

by Edgar Allan Poe


For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
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 perdu,
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.




Public domain.png A Valentine is currently in the Public Domain. This text can now be legally distributed as the work was published before 1923 and the author died in 1849 therefore the 70 year extension has expired.
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