Though first published as "The Valley Nis" in Poems by Edgar A. Poe in 1831, this poem evolved into the version "The Valley of Unrest" now anthologized. In its original version, the speaker asks if all things lovely are far away, and that the valley is part Satan, part angel, and a large part broken heart. It mentions a woman named "Helen," which may actually refer to Jane Stanard, one of Poe's first loves and the mother of a friend.
The poem was renamed "The Valley of Unrest" for the April 1845 issue of the American Review. This version of the poem is shorter and quite different from its predecessor, and there is no mention of "Helen".