An Acrostic Elizabeth Poem by Edgar Allan Poe
Elizabeth it is in vain you say
“Love not”—thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth—and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love—was cured of all beside—
His folly—pride—and passion—for he died.
An acrostic is a poem (or other form of writing) in which the first letter (or syllable, or word) of each line (or paragraph, or other recurring feature in the text) spells out a word, message or the alphabet. The above acrostic poem by Edgar Allan Poe takes the first letter of each line to spell the word ELIZABETH.
First published in The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co (p. 141, and p. 285) as “From an Album”. “L.E.L.” probably refers to an Letitia Elizabeth Landon