Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “For Annie” (Text-04), “Willis” manuscript, April 1849, incomplete


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[page 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 moaning and groaning,

The sighing and sobbing

Are quieted now,

With that horrible throbbing

At heart: — ah, that horrible,

Horrible throbbing!

——

The sickness — the nausea —

The pitiless pain — [page 2:]

Have ceased, with the fever

That maddened my brain —

With the fever called “Living”

That burned in my brain.

——

And oh! of all tortures

That torture the worst

Has abated — the terrible

Torture of thirst

For the naphthaline river

Of Passion 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.

——

[[. . . remaining stanzas are lost, the following lines are given from the Home Journal printing:]]

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, it fancies

A holier odor

About it, of pansies —

A rosemary odor,

Commingled with pansies —

With rue and the beautiful

Puritan pansies.

——

And so it lies, happily,

Bathing in many

A dream of the truth

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 sky,

For it sparkles with Annie —

It glows with the light

Of the love of my Annie —

With the thought of the light

Of the eyes of my Annie.

 


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Notes:

Poe’s name in the byline is inserted by Willis on the manuscript. On the left edge of the manuscript, running parallel to the left edge of the page, is the following note by Willis: “Will Mr Babcock please put this on the second page this week, & leave me twenty lines room for an introduction NPW.” The manuscript was, according to Mabbott, at one time in the collection of William H. Koester. At some point, it was acquired by William E. Self, through the famous bookdealer John Flemming.


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[S:1 -MS, 1849 (photograph)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - For Annie (Text-04)