Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “For Annie” (Text-01), “Annie” manuscript, March 23, 1849


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[front of page, column 1:]

For Annie.

By Edgar A. Poe.

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! [column 2:]

[[——]]

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 pansy —

With rue and the beautiful

Puritan pansy. [back of page:]

[[——]]

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 — for it

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.

 


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Notes:

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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[S:1 - MS, March 23, 1849] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - For Annie [Text-01]