“To Margaret” may be an unfinished poem, never published in Poe’s lifetime. In the original manuscript, dated 1827, Poe cites the references to other, mostly classical works, from each of his lines. The seven-line poem, according to Poe’s notes, refers to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, William Shakespeare, and Alexander Pope.
Who hath seduced thee to this foul revolt
From the pure well of Beauty undefiled?
So banish from true wisdom to prefer
Such squalid wit to honourable rhyme?
To write? To scribble? Nonsense and no more?
I will not write upon this argument
To write is human — not to write divine.
Line 1 Milton Par. Lost Bk. I
3, 4 Cowper’s Task, Book I
5 Shakespeare 6 do. Trolius & Cressida 7 Pope Essay on Man
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:12