Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Parody of "Annabel Lee"

Subtitle:  "Yes, I Waste My Life and Probably Rot My Brain Hunting Down Stuff Like This."

"Deborah Lee," written by William H. Burleigh, first appeared in 1859, and for reasons I don't even pretend to know, became extremely popular in the magazines and newspapers of the day. As I have published several "Raven" parodies here over the years, I thought it only fair to give this equal time.  Have no fear, it is of the same wretched quality as all the other Poe parodies we have seen. Enjoy!

'Tis a dozen or so of years ago,
Somewhere in the West countree,
That a nice girl lived, as ye Hoosiers know,
By the name of Deborah Lee.
Her sister was loved by Edgar Poe,
But Deborah by me.

Now I was green and she was green
As a summer's squash might be,
And we loved as warmly as other folks,
I and my Deborah Lee;
With a love that the lasses of Hoosierdom
Coveted her and me.

But somehow it happened long ago,
In the agueish West countree,
That a chill March morning gave the shakes
To my beautiful Deborah Lee;
And the grim steam-doctor (hang him!) came
And bore her away from me;--
The doctor and death, old partners they,
In the agueish West countree.

The angels wanted her up in heaven,
But they never asked for me,
And that is the reason, I rather guess,
In the agueish West countree,
That the cold March wind and the doctor and death,
Took off my Deborah Lee
From the warm sunshine and the opening flowers,
And took her away from me.

Our love was as strong as a six-horse team,
Or the love of folks older than we,
And possibly wiser than we,
But death, with the aid of doctor and steam,
Was rather too many for me;
He closed the peepers, and silenced the breath
Of my sweetheart, Deborah Lee;
And her form lies cold in the deep, dark mold,
Silent and cold--ah me!

The foot of the hunter shall press the grave,
And the prairie's sweet wild flowers,
In their odorous beauty, around it wave
Through all the sunny hours;
And the birds shall sing in the tufted grass,
And the nectar laden bee,
With his dreamy hum, on his gauze wings pass--
She wakes no more to me,
Oh!  never more to me;
Though the wild birds sing and the wild flowers spring,
She awakes no more to me.

Yet oft in the hush of the dim, still night,
A vision of beauty I see;
Gliding soft to my bedside,--a phantom of light,--
Dear, beautiful Deborah Lee,
My bride that was to be.
And I wake to mourn that the doctor and death,
And the cold March wind should stop the breath
Of my darling Deborah Lee,
Adorable Deborah Lee;
That angels should want her up in heaven
Before they wanted me.

There are those moments when I think we Edgar fans have a lot to answer for.