Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hymn” appeared in The Raven and Other Poems (1845). Poe revised it slightly from a version he used in his short story, “Morella.” He originally titled the work, “Catholic Hymn,” but crossed out “Catholic” in a copy of the collection he sent to a friend. It is said that Poe wrote the poem after hearing the bells of a Catholic Church ringing at noon in acknowledgment of the reciting of the Angelus prayer to the Virgin Mary.

AT morn — at noon — at twilight dim —
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and wo — in good and ill —
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the Hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o’ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine!

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The featured image is the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, detail showing the Virgin Mary, and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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