Poe Metzengerstein 1832

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  • Author: Edgar Allan Poe
  • Copyright: Public domain
  • Published in: 1832
  • Word count: 3,287 words (≈ 13 minutes)

Note: "Metzengerstein", also called "Metzengerstein: A Tale in Imitation of the German", was the first short story by American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe to see print. It was first published in the pages of Philadelphia's Saturday Courier magazine, in 1832. The story follows the young Frederick, the last of the Metzengerstein family, who carries on a long-standing feud with the Berlifitzing family. Suspected of causing a fire that kills the Berlifitzing family patriarch, Frederick becomes intrigued with a previously unnoticed and untamed horse. Metzengerstein is punished for his cruelty when his own home catches fire and the horse carries him into the flame. Part of a Latin hexameter by Martin Luther serves as the story's epigraph: Pestis eram vivus—moriens tua mors ero ("Living I have been your plague, dying I shall be your death").

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