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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "For Annie," manuscript, March 23, 1849.]

  FOR ANNIE

Thank Heaven! the crisis
    The danger is past;
And the lingering illness
    Is over at last
And the fever called "Living"
    Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know, I am
    Shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move,
    As I lie at full length:
But no matter! I feel
    I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly
    Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
    Might fancy me dead
Might start at beholding me,
    Thinking me dead.

The sickness the nausea
    The pitiless pain
Have ceased, with the fever
    That maddened my brain
With the fever called "Living"
    That burned in my brain.

The moaning and groaning
    The sighing and sobbing
Are quieted now; with,
    The horrible throbbing
At heart: oh, that horrible,
    Horrible throbbing!

And ah, of all tortures
    That torture the worst
Has abated the terrible
    Torture of thirst
For the napthaline river
    Of Glory accurst.
I have drank of a water
    That quenches all thirst:

Of a water that flows,
    With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
    Feet under ground
From a cavern not very far
    Down under ground.

And ah! let it never be
    foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy
    And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
    In a different bed
And, to sleep, you must slumber
    In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit here
    Blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
    Regretting, its roses
Its old agitations
    Of myrtles and roses.

For now, while so quietly
    Lying, I fancy
A holier odor about me,
    of pansy
A rosemary odor
    Commingled with pansies
With rue and the beautiful
    Puritan pansy.

And so I lie happily
    Bathing in many
A dream of the love
    And the beauty of Annie
Drowned in a bath
    Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me
    She fondly caressed
And then I fell gently
    To sleep on her breast
Deeply to sleep from the
    Heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,
    She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
    To keep me from harm
To the queen of the angels
    To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly
    Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
    That you fancy me dead
And I rest so contentedly
    Now in my bed,
(With her love at my breast)
    That you fancy me dead
That you shudder to look at me,
    Thinking me dead:

But my heart it is brighter
    Than all of the many
Stars of the Heaven
    Sparkles with Annie
It glows with the thought
    Of the love of my Annie
With the thought of the light
    Of the eyes of my Annie.


[Annie was Nancy Locke Heywood Richmond. Poe and her closest friends always called her Annie, a name she adopted legally after her husband's death in 1873. In a letter of March 23, 1849, Poe tells Annie Richmond, "I think the lines 'For Annie' (those I now send) much the best I have ever written."]

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