Monday, February 8, 2010

Poe's Valentines: Hymn (1835)

Hymn (1835)

This 16-line poem was sung by the title character in Poe's short story Morella, first published in April 1835 in the Southern Literary Messenger. It was later published as a stand-alone poem as "A Catholic Hymn" in the August 16, 1845 issue of the Broadway Journal. The poem addresses the Mother of God, thanking her for hearing her prayers and pleading for a bright future. When it was included in the collection The Raven and Other Poems it was lumped into one large stanza. In a copy of that collection he sent to Sarah Helen Whitman, Poe crossed out the word "Catholic."

Choral composer Jonathan Adams included "Hymn" as part of his Three Songs from Edgar Allan Poe written for chorus and piano in 1993.

Edgar Allan Poe

At morn- at noon- at twilight dim-
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe- in good and ill-
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

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