Later in life, after the death of this child-wife, Mr. Poe became greatly attached to a lady of rare genius and deep spiritualism. The engagement was broken off, perhaps wisely on the part of the lady. A story is in circulation to the purport that Poe, repenting of the engagement, visited the lady in a state of intoxication, in the hope her disgust would release him. I do not place any reliance whatever upon the motive of this visit. That he might have visited her in this unfortunate state is more than possible, and that such might have been the consequence also; but that it was from no such design upon the part of the unfortunate poet I am equally confident.

He may have talked wildly and in unmanly wise, after such result, but it was nothing more than the reckless language of a child who has marred some precious work. He found then, as always, persons ready to listen to the wild, mortified language of genius, and to go away and report it; but the better soul of Poe disclaimed it altogether.

One of his most touching and significant poems was addressed to this lady, and I am happy to, say she, who was so well able to read and understand the true soul of a poet, despite of all that may tear the harmony of its demonstrations, has not failed to cherish tenderly his memory. She is worthy of the “Lines to Helen.”

I once heard him say,

“Had I known Helena sooner, I should have been very different from what I have been. I am fond of the society of women—poets always are; and I have found enough to play into my foibles and palliate my defects; but a true woman, with superior intellect and deep spiritualism, would have transformed my whole life into something better.”

The remark has force in more ways than one. It indicates the sincerity of regret which the man must have felt in view of the past, and is also a fine tribute to the angel–mission of woman. This was uttered but a few weeks before his death, when his last work, Eureka, upon which he had expended much time and thought, was beginning to attract some attention. He had expected more. He had thought this deep utterance of a poetic soul would be hailed as a revelation, and his chagrin was not to be concealed. He was ill at ease at this time. He felt his best life had not been realized. He was always grave, now he was melancholy. Circumstances painful and mortifying had transpired, and he reviewed them with grief.