To Her Whose Name is Written Below
For her these lines are penned, whose luminous eyes,
Bright and expressive as the stars of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name that, nestling, lies
Upon this page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly these words, which hold a treasure
Divine — a talisman — an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure —
The words — the letters themselves. Do not forget
The smallest point, or you may lose your labor.
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot,
Which one might not undo without a sabre.
If one could merely comprehend the plot
Upon the open page, on which are peering
Such sweet eyes now, there lies, I say perdu,
A musical name, oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets — for the name is a poet’s, too,
In common sequence set, the letters lying,
Compose a sound delighting all to hear.
Ah, this you’d have no trouble in descrying,
Were you not something, of a dunce, my dear:
And now I leave these riddles to their seer.
Edgar Allan Poe
Origninally Published in 1846
Poe wrote this poem for Frances Sargent Osgood, whose name can be found within the text. If you take the first letter of the first line (F), the second letter of the second line (R), and so on, the letters spell her name. In the original version of the text (as seen above) Poe accidentally misspells Osgood’s middle name as Sargeant.