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To Helen (1831) by Edgar Allan Poe


"To Helen" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. This was the first poem addressed to Helen and should not be confused with the other version. It was first published in Poems by Edgar A. Poe and was reprinted in 1836 with minor changes in the Southern Literary Messenger.

The poem "To Helen" is a celebration of women, including their beauty, scent, and mind.

This poem consists of three stanzas with five lines in each. It is rhymed as ABABB-ABABA-ABBAB.


To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
  Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfum'd sea,
  The weary way-worn wanderer bore
  To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam,
  Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
  To the beauty of fair Greece,
And the grandeur of old Rome.
Lo! in that little window-niche
  How statue-like I see thee stand!
  The folded scroll within thy hand -
A Psyche from the regions which
  Are Holy land.

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Next: To Helen (1848)

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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 19th Century