The Complete poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe

The Happiest Day

The Happiest Day (1827)

“The Happiest Day” or, “The Happiest Day, the Happiest Hour” is a six quatrain poem . It was first published as part of in Poe’s first collection Tamerlane and Other Poems. Poe may have written it while serving in the army. The poem discusses a self-pitying loss of youth, though it was written when Poe was about 19.

A nearly identical poem called “Original” written by Poe’s brother William Henry Leonard Poe was first published in the September 15, 1827 issue of the North American. It is believed Poe wrote the poem and sent it to his brother, who then sent it to the magazine. T. O Mabbott felt that the rather tepid value of this slightly edited version of the poem suggests that they were made by William Henry, though perhaps with Edgar’s approval.

The happiest day — the happiest hour

My sear’d and blighted heart hath known,

The highest hope of pride and power,

I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? yes! such I ween;

But they have vanish’d long, alas!

The visions of my youth have been —

But let them pass.

And, pride, what have I now with thee?

Another brow may even inherit

The venom thou hast pour’d on me

Be still, my spirit!

The happiest day — the happiest hour

Mine eyes shall see — have ever seen,

The brightest glance of pride and power,

I feel — have been:

But were that hope of pride and power

Now offer’d with the pain

Even then I felt — that brightest hour

I would not live again:

For on its wing was dark alloy,

And, as it flutter’d — fell

An essence — powerful to destroy

A soul that knew it well.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59