I recently read Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Eleonora", a thinly veiled self-portrait in which the protagonist falls in love with his younger cousin, who later dies and leaves him alone. He (the protagonist, not Poe) vows that his love for his cousin will be undying and that he will never love another woman in her place. So far, so unsurprising: this is standard romance fare.
Then, in the final paragraphs of the story, the narrator reveals that, long after the death of Eleonora and his subsequent departure from the valley where they grew up, he falls in love again and marries another woman named Ermengarde, about whom almost nothing is said, except for the implication that Heaven and/or the spirit of Eleonora forgive him for breaking his vow, for reasons unknown.
What is the message being put across by this story? Is the 'moral', if you will, that it's OK to break a vow of eternal love? The story is all about issues which were surely of great emotional importance to the author; is there some hidden meaning in it which isn't immediately clear?