The Museum Collection

John R. Thompson Sonnet for Anna C. Lynch

ID #:
Creator: John R. Thompson
Date: August 1850
Format: poem
Source: Gift of Fayetta H. and Alberta W. Laighton
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


John R. Thompson (1823-1873), Poe's friend and editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, wrote this sonnet for Poe's sometimes friend the poet Anna C. Lynch (1815-1891). Judging from the text of the poem, Thompson sent it with a gift of issues of the Southern Literary Messenger. The title of the magazine is referenced in the last line of the poem.

The text of the poem reads:

Sonnet to Miss Anna C Lynch

Fair Patroness of Letters and of Art,
Sweet, clever, always excellent Miss Lynch,
Nay, at these epitaphs don't budge an inch,
I offer thee -- not a devoted heart,
As seemed the rhyme most surely to compel me,
But a slight tribute to thy graceful mein,
In these few numbers of my magazine.
You'll "take them kindly," will you not? Come, tell me.
Perhaps you'll say a magazine's a thing
That's rather dangerous among the sparks.
You're ever throwing out such bright remarks,
But there's no peril in the one I bring.
Then let it be, as by its name 'twould seem,
A monthly messenger of my esteem.

Jno R. Thompson

Richmond, August 1850

The Poe Museum also owns Thompson's manuscript for an essay about Edgar Allan Poe. Other items in the collection related to Anna C. Lynch include a portrait of her, a letter she wrote to Edgar Allan Poe, and a copy of the Southern Literary Messenger she owned.

This manuscript was once in the autograph album of Lucy Dorothea Henry Laighton. Laighton's daughters gave the album, which also included some Poe manuscripts and a poem and letter written by Anna C. Lynch in addition to the autographs of over 250 other celebrities, to the Poe Museum in 1928.