Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “To Elizabeth Winchester — Impromptu,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 339-340 (This material is protected by copyright)


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­[page 339, continued:]

[TO ELIZABETH WINCHESTER — IMPROMPTU]

In 1940 Professor William Starkweather of Hunter College told me the following family tradition. He was an adopted child ­[page 340:] whose foster mother was Elizabeth Winchester Starkweather, daughter of Samuel Winchester of Baltimore and niece of Oliver Winchester, maker of rifles.

One day when Elizabeth Winchester was about twelve years old, while out walking with her father, she dropped a glove. A passerby picked it up and handed it to her with a little impromptu speech in rhyme. Her father recognized the gallant gentleman as Poe, but the rhymes were not remembered.

Elizabeth was born about 1831, but was not too sure how old she was when she saw Poe, who visited Baltimore not infrequently. However, he lectured there on the evening of January 31, 1844, and that date may be suggested for the lost scrap of verse.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (To Elizabeth Winchester -- Impromptu)