Annabel Lee’s Cynical Makeover

I wrote this while wondering: what if Edgar Allen Poe, so enraptured with his love in his poem, “Annabel Lee”, grew older, wiser and disillusioned?  What would his sorrow sound like in that case?  Below is how I envision that possibility.  Click here to view the original version: Edgar’s Annabel Lee


But that was many and many a year ago, 
   In a kingdom by the sea. 
When there lived a maiden whom you may know 
   By the name of Annabel Lee. 

Yes, back then, I was a child and she was a child, 
   In that kingdom by the sea; 
And we loved with a love that when push came to shove, 
   Buried the child in me. 

Our love was weaker by far than the doubt 
   Of our older versions, we’d see- 
   Of the wiser versions we’d be- 
And neither do seraphs in heaven shout 
   Nor demons down under the sea, 
That ever an ember of envy ignited, 
   From the love of that Annabel Lee. 

Moonlight’s false beams do bring no more dreams, 
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
And only stars rise through expanses of skies, 
   Once framing idle reverie; 
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down on my side 
   With no lover, no darling; a monk has no bride, 
   In the sepulchre there by the sea, 
   In the quiet of the sounding sea.