A Valentine

by Edgar Allan Poe

Published 1846


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


A Valentine,” one of many poems by Edgar Allan Poe, was first published in 1846.


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